Wednesday, August 18, 2004

CMs woo Bangalore IT biggies

Uma Bharti rolls out red carpet for Premji
Madhya pradesh keen on joining the IT/ITES bandwagon
Business Standard

In response to Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti’s request to expand operations to Madhya Pradesh, Wipro chairman Azim Premji has decided to send a team to Madhya Pradesh for assessing the infrastructure facilities before taking any decision.

“Mr Premji promised us of sending a team, which will assess the situation there before taking a decision,” Bharti said, after an hour-long meeting with Premji at Wipro’s headquarters in Bangalore on Tuesday.

Bharti added that her decision to showcase Madhya Pradesh to Wipro, especially Indore and Bhopal, came after Premji’’ recent announcement to expand the company’s operations beyond Bangalore.

In the recent earnings call, Premji had said, “We will set up centres outside Bangalore rapidly as we go along. The key reasons include increased commuting time and high attrition. Qualified engineers and graduates are coming up in other cities and states. We will take our business wherever there is opportunity for our employees, so as to maintain customer satisfaction. The reality is that there is opportunity outside Karnataka and outside Bangalore. We have to be present where talent is available and infrastructure is superior.”

In fact, it was only when several other key personalities in the IT sector echoed Premji’s thoughts that chief minister N Dharam Singh decided to meet them and promise them of full support.

According to Uma Bharti, her government has in store ‘unlimited’ land and good infrastructure for IT firms, besides the Indore and the Bhopal IT parks with state-of-the-art facilities.

Bharti is in Bangalore along with a team from her ministry to project an ‘investor-friendly’ image. Discussions with Premji also included the options of expanding access to education in every district of MP. “He enquired about access to education for children in the state,” Bharti said.

The recent outbursts from the IT community in Bangalore over poor infrastructure seems to have reached all corners of the country. Uma Bharti’s visit coincides with West Bengal IT minister Manab Mukherjee who is also on a similar mission. Mukherjee is accompanied by his IT secretary G D Gautama.

This delegation is on a two-day road show to meet the heads of 15 top IT companies and showcase the state’s ‘intrinsic strengths’. The list includes Intel, SAP Labs, MphasiS, Texas Instruments and Max Healthscribe.


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