Goa Technology Association is the only representative body of technology companies in Goa. Founded in April 2017, GTA has gathered momentum of being in the business of creating serious operations for tech companies in Goa. Business Goa speaks to Milind Anvekar, President, who outlines his plan for the year and GTA’s plan to make Goa an IT hub

Tell us about GTA and its mission?
Goa Technology Association (GTA) is an association of all IT & ITES companies, IT Startups and academic institutions offering technology courses in Goa. GTA is an effort to build a strong, vibrant, and ‘happening’ IT ecosystem in Goa. For IT, Goa was unfortunately known for the non existing policies and an IT park that only had new location announced every five years. It had to change. It was important for everyone to understand the IT industry that already existed in the state and doing great globally; however, working in isolation. There was a need to come together. We founded the Goa Technology Association (GTA) in the year 2017 wanting to build an IT ecosystem in Goa by creating growth opportunities for members nationally and internationally, organizing events and programs in the interest of members, engaging with the education system to bridge the gaps and create job opportunities for students, co-ordinating with the State Government for a stronger industry by formulating
policies in support of an innovation and export driven growth for Goa. Today, we are the only registered IT body representing the industry in Goa. This year, as we complete five years, we feel the solution driven approach has helped us accomplish most of our objectives.

What are your views on the IT ecosystem in the state?
Lot of IT companies and a few startups are doing amazing work which is recognized globally. The IT industry in Goa is today building solutions for the world. Unfortunately, very few get the visibility and recognition that they deserve in Goa. Covid years however have created new possibilities for Goa. The state has become the most preferred destination to work from, for IT professionals. Many Goans professionally, are back in Goa working for
their companies remotely from their homes. Similarly, many from Goa who were unable to move out of Goa for a reason are today able to work for an international company staying with their family in Goa. In fact, today, there is a serious issue of non-availability of skilled personnel in Goa to meet the local needs. Besides, there is no good and easy space available for IT companies to expand and all the co-working spaces are fully occupied. There is a serious need for the Government to facilitate creation of good infrastructure – office space, reliable internet connectivity and better transport. IT industry has the potential to provide a boost to the Goan economy and create more job opportunities. It is high time the state Government works seriously for supporting the industry on a priority basis.

What is the primary focus of GTA during your term as President?
It is important to showcase the work that is being done by the members of the IT ecosystem
in Goa. This is the only way that people, students and the Government will appreciate the local industry achievements. We will very shortly be launching an IT directory on our website which will be a one point stop for all technology availability in Goa and career opportunities available. This will also help local companies and Government departments to know about their potential technology partner in Goa. With partnerships with national bodies like NASSCOM Future Skills, we hope to skill and up skill our students and workforce. We continue to engage with the Government on policy implementation and simplifying the unnecessary process overheads for companies. For GTA, the focus is on enhancing the member experience and creating strong financials for the association by
end of the term.

What legacy programs do you plan to continue with, from your predecessors?
From the beginning, I have been involved in building the objectives and roadmap for GTA. This clearly has helped in maintaining the required continuity. In fact, the past President is also part of the new managing committee. We had a clear four-year objective that we worked on and have built a new roadmap for the next 2 years that we are working on.

What projects will you be undertaking during your term as President?
GTA will work closely with the media to tell IT stories from Goa. We will have our annual Awards Night which is now a signature event for the Association. The GTA website is being reworked on as Goa’s IT Directory. For the members,
following workshops are lined up for now – How to list your company (in partnership with BSE), Educating Startups and Investors, Leadership for CXOs, Technology (in association with NASSCOM) and being ‘industry ready’ (for students). Additionally, we will also be hosting the first International IT summit early next year. GTA also intends to work closely with other associations and organisations, which will help our members bag new business and export
opportunities. By the end of my term, I would like to ensure that we can talk about the IT industry in Goa with updated and validated numbers with regards to employment, exports, etc.

L to R: Rohan Warty, Gajanan Kerkar, Mangirish Salelkar, Milind Anvekar and Sujeet Shetty with Dr Pramod Sawant

Who feature in your team at GTA and what strengths do they bring to the table?
GTA has a seven member Managing committee. Besides me, there is Vice President, Sujeet Shetty (Team Inertia Technologies); Secretary, Rohan Warty (XervisWlobal); Treasurer, Gajanan Kerkar ( B e s t G o a D e a l s . c o m ) ;
Immediate Past President, Mangirish Salelkar (Umang Group); Members: Chinmay Kamat (Copper Codes); and Rohir Naik (Coderix). It has been a pleasure working with them all for their thoughtfulness, energy, inspiration, and motivation. We had a difficult two years and giving time for the association activities was never easy; as each one had to focus on their business on priority. It is the sheer desire to make IT better in Goa that gets us going.

Where do you see GTA in a year from now? 
GTA is the only IT association representing the industry in Goa. It is really motivating to see that we now have more and more companies wanting to be members of the Association. Few companies planning to start their operations in Goa have reached out to GTA for inputs and help where needed. There are national and international associations approaching us for partnership. We truly believe the industry will look forward to GTA for providing a regular networking platform and create business opportunities. Academia should be able to achieve maximum placements for their students and the Government should have simplified the current painful processes for the industry.

What is the GTA’s plan to make Goa an IT hub?
We have shared our 5-point roadmap for Goa to the Chief Minister and the IT Minister. We have asked for better Infrastructure – availability of office spaces, reliable internet connectivity and better transport; Ease of Doing Business – the current processes defined for the policy registration are painful and will not encourage most of the companies to register including worries about the data security; Policy continuity – the current policy benefits to be disbursed for eligible companies on time before considering announcement of new policy; Promote work from Goa – this will definitely have more people considering to come to Goa and finally promote Goa as an IT event destination – this will help us host international quality technology events and also have an increase in
domestic and international tourists for the state while providing exposure to local companies and students.

How are you building a connect with the industry to further the aims and objectives of GTA?
Technology companies provide solutions for every industry. It is therefore important to collaborate with industry leaders and associations showcasing our solutions and  services. Very shortly we are announcing a workshop on
Industry 4.0 for businesses in Goa. This initiative will be rolled out in association with other industry bodies.
We would be looking at another workshop on Travel Technology in partnership with the travel industry and association.

How is GTA’s association and relation with the Government and other private bodies and how would you like to build bridges with them?
GTA has always taken a solution-oriented approach with the Government. Right from policy formation to any Government event, we have always extended our support. Very recently, I have personally studied and explained the loopholes in the websites being developed for providing the ease of doing business to the industries. I hope necessary actions would be taken in a timely manner. It is important that the Government has a clear vision for IT industrywith
timelines and communicates the same to us. With other states offering red carpet welcome to IT companies, I will not be surprised if we have some members deciding to expand their business outside of Goa. There is a serious need for data protection for the data that is submitted on Government portals and its access. For achieving Ease of
Doing Business in the true sense, complete solutions need to be developed and not in bits and pieces. For realizing the dream of Swayampuna Goa, work needs to be given to eligible local companies. GTA has worked closely with
other associations on various occasions, and we believe that collaboration is the key success mantra.




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