With the support of government, citizens and the constant efforts of the Goa Technology Association, Goa’s IT sector is poised for massive growth
By ANNA FERNANDES
In recent years, the information technology sector of Goa has been on an immense growth trajectory. Goa is gearing up in a big way to transform itself into a destination for digital technology with the Goa Technology Association (GTA) aiming towards further developing the IT ecosystem in the state. However, the basic needs of the industry continue to be unresolved and a pain point that prevents expansion. According to the GTA, robust infrastructure, reliable internet, consistent power and ease of doing business are vital towards attracting and developing an information and technology industry.
In a recent press conference held on November 1, 2018, the GTA addressed the issues relating to the development of IT infrastructure in the state and other non-validated concerns. Since inception, GTA has worked towards the development and advancement of Goa’s IT infrastructure, which would allow local IT companies to expand their business with better facilities and also generate more employment opportunities in the state. Although the government has promised to support the industry in this respect, implementation is still lacking. According to GTA, startups and existing IT firms in Goa could generate employment for over 8000 Goans if the government provides the right impetus for the sector, thereby facilitating growth.
Coming out in support of the proposed IT Park project at Chimbel, GTA said the government should not fall prey to people’s protests and cautioned against loss of investor confidence in the state if the proposed project is not implemented.
Ever since the project was announced, citizens and activists have been protesting at the site of the Chimbel IT Park. As an industry flagbearer, GTA understands the challenges and competition that such initiatives would pose for Goan businesses. They ensure that the stakeholders will be consulted before the project commences and that the IT department will work with every stakeholder in a constructive way.
The association fully supports the setting up of the IT Park as it will lead to infrastructure development, provide space for expansion to local companies, strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Goa and create job opportunities for Goans. In the past, two IT parks were proposed and then scrapped – first one in Socorro and then in Dona Paula. The GTA, therefore, urges the government to ensure that the promised project is executed to completion to gain the trust of local as well as global IT companies.
“It is important that the Goa government showcases the success stories of Goan companies and supports them fully rather than making them run around and they subsequently look to expanding outside Goa”
President, Goa Technology Association
Earlier this year, the state ministry for IT released the Goa Startup Policy in a bid to boost the sector. Though the policies are expected to bring in schemes to encourage the IT sector, the industry is worried about the implementation. GTA appreciates the efforts of government in advancing the IT ecosystem in the state, however, they believe that the provision for disbursement of incentives needs to be streamlined and communication with the stakeholders needs to be improved. Members also called for transparency and simplification in the process of registration mandated by the startup policy.
With the arrival of Visteon, a global company, in Goa, the Goan companies while welcoming the new entrant have expressed their anxiety. Under the IT policy, the government will provide the company with a ₹5 crore grant as a special incentive. President of GTA, Mangirish Salelkar said, “We welcome the initiative as this is how new companies would like to consider Goa for their expansion plans. We would at the same time, request the Goa Government not to forget the Goa-based companies that have sustained in the absence of the policy and has been seeking support to expand and create jobs.”
Salelkar further added that “While we support the initiative to get new international companies to set up shop in Goa, the existing companies that are doing well internationally and creating hundreds of jobs for Goan talent are feeling ignored. It is important that the Goa government showcases the success stories of Goan companies and supports them fully rather than making them run around and they subsequently look to expanding outside Goa. We have come a long way during the last 18 months and are hopeful that the government will provide the same treatment to local companies. GTA continues to assure support to the Goa government for infrastructure development for the IT ecosystem and job creation for local talent.”
GTA, a representative of local IT companies currently has a membership of about 76 units. According to the organisation, the local IT industry provides direct employment to about 5,000 people and indirect employment to about 3,000 individuals. Further, the industry utilises about 80 per cent of local talent. With the government’s backing, the GTA has estimated that IT units in the state have the potential to create 8,000 more jobs over the next five years.
Goa has the potential to emerge as one of the global leaders in multiple green technology disciplines. design, cybersecurity and fin-tech – the scope is limitless. With the support of the government, the locals as well as the GTA’s constant drive for innovation, Goa’s IT sector is poised for massive growth in the coming years