Sujeet Shetty, President of Goa Technology Association (GTA), speaks on plans for his term and connecting with the industry
How has the journey for GTA been since it started in 2017?
Goa Technology Association (GTA) is the first and only registered association of business owners in the state and was established with the specific goal of developing a strong IT ecosystem in Goa. Our mission is to establish a bridge between industry and academia by bringing together IT and ITES firms, tech startups and academia. We aim to work with the Government of Goa and IT Department, for creating a technology favourable environment in the state, which would create business and networking opportunities.
What are your views on the IT scene in Goa?
In addition to being well-known for its stunning beaches and tourism, Goa is slowly becoming a hub for IT-related enterprises. The State Government has been working to advance IT and foster an atmosphere that is favorable to tech companies. Similar to several other areas, we have also observed the expansion of a local startup community. Startups and IT entrepreneurs have been assisted via initiatives by the government and the incubators. Goa has been affected by the worldwide trend towards remote work, and a large number of IT professionals have decided to work remotely from Goa due to the State’s natural beauty and high standard of living. To entice IT companies, the State Government has been implementing policies and offering incentives under the startup and IT policy. This entails providing infrastructure support, tax breaks and subsidies. Technology-related events and conferences are now being organised on a regular basis in Goa to bring together professionals and create networking opportunities which is a good sign. Goa has not seen the kind of IT buzz we have seen over the last few years, and this has been mainly due to the government being more aggressive in making sure of the time bound implementation of their vision. If the infrastructure support in the form of IT parks and hubs gain momentum and see the light of the day, then we could also see a lot of companies starting up or having their base in Goa.
What is the primary focus of GTA during your term as President?
The association intends to keep pushing for the adoption of IT and startup regulations in order to maximise benefits for all ecosystem participants. With time, the policies would entail revisions too, for which we will continue to offer our support and time for its formation and implementation.
GTA has a noteworthy presence in academia, having organised numerous seminars, workshops and career counseling sessions. Through partnership with National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) Future Skills, GTA has made IT courses accessible to more than thousand Goans.
The core of our operations is business networking opportunities through alliances and events. We have been providing a range of such opportunities for our members through event planning and collaboration with organisations such as Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Business Network International (BNI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), ASSOCHAM, VIBRANT GOA, Software Technology Park of India (STPI), and NASSCOM.
The GTA Women’s Wing has been established this term with the goal of empowering women entrepreneurs, help bring successful women in the limelight and motivate them to start their venture or assist those that need professional guidance.
What legacy programs do you plan to continue with, from your predecessors?
Continuing with the efforts of the earlier terms, of creating a strong industry representation in the State, I plan to work closely with the government, have our experienced members be a part of key decision making boards/committees and offer our full support for the growth of the industry.
Addressing the pain points of industry leaders with the respective departments and ensuring ease of doing business will continue to be an ongoing effort. Some of the great works done by the industry had gone unnoticed for decades, so we will continue organising the Technology Summit and our Awards night in order to recognise and appreciate the work of our fellow industry leaders.
Who feature in your team at GTA and what strengths do they bring to the table?
Every term, the managing committee has been the essential component that keeps GTA running. This term too, I have a great team where everyone is working towards goals that are aligned with our common objectives.
The committee members are Sujeet Shetty, President GTA, Co-founder – Team Inertia Technologies; Milind Anvekar, Immediate Past President GTA and Senior Vice President India Operations – Open Destinations; Yashvit Naik, Vice-President GTA and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) – Teknorix Systems Pvt. Ltd; Rohan Warty, Secretary GTA and Managing Director – Xerviz Wlobal; Chinmay Kamat, Treasurer GTA and Chief Operating Officer (COO) – Coppercodes Consulting LLP; Gajanand Kerkar, Chairperson – Events & Trade Fairs GTA and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Best Tourism Deals India Pvt. Ltd. and Vaishali Amonkar, Chairperson – Women’s Wing GTA and Head – Goa Operations, Tangentia India Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Where do you see GTA in a year from now?
Firstly, we would like to be one of the strongest industry representations, with a large membership base. With the number of startups now on the rise in Goa, we would like to reach out and let them know about us.
The demand for the IT and Startup policy by the industry has been fulfilled by the State, and to keep improvising on it with changing times and technologies, is something that we would like to work on an ongoing basis.
Skilled manpower resources has been an issue for a long time now, but with the industry-academia connect bridge, we have plans to reach out to our students and assist them with opportunities like internships and exposure to networking events so they can make the right career decisions.
There have been plans to make Goa an IT hub for quite some time now. What is the GTA’s plan to make Goa an IT hub?
The efforts of infrastructure and skill development by the State, if it sees the light of the day in a time bound and measured manner, then we would have truly made Goa an IT hub. The efforts are noteworthy and we as an association will work together to make this a reality. The state has recognised us and given us a representation into the Empowered Committee (EC) of the startup and IT policy, as well as a member of the Goa Investment Promotion Board (Goa-IPB), to support their vision.
How are you building a connect with the industry to further the aims and objectives of GTA?
With the goal of continuing to forge local, national and global connections, GTA will continue to partner with various leaders in the industry and provide networking and business opportunities.
GTA has forged relationships with the UK High Commission to promote corporate growth and investment opportunities globally, not restricted to only technology startups. GTA’s dedication to enhancing Goa’s IT environment is further evidenced by its partnerships with important events like Indiasoft ‘24, The Goa International Robotics Festival ‘24 and Digital Acceleration and Transformation Expo ‘23. At the same time the Industry-Academia connect program is initiated to drive the students to gear up and be industry ready with the need of the hour skill sets.
How is GTA’s association and relation with the Government and other private bodies and how would you like to build bridges with them?
We have stood by the government in their endeavour to make Goa as the next IT destination. We have been always supportive in the Government’s various initiatives, like the recently held Tech Media Startup Expo 2023, and have contributed significantly towards the success of these initiatives. We have been in constant dialogue with various private and government institutions, time and again, to ensure the ease of doing business continues and look forward to their whole hearted support at all times.
Having more committees internally and allocating responsibilities to them to handle the pain points of the industry with various stakeholders is going to be the way forward for speeding up the resolutions of the same