'Piloting' Lucknow as an IT-BPO destination | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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'Piloting' Lucknow as an IT-BPO destination

Efforts to develop Lucknow as an IT-BPO destination got a boost with Sachin Pilot, the young minister of state for IT and Communications saying that his ministry was ready to help, if the state government took the initiative. Manish Chandra Pandey reports.

lucknow Updated: Oct 25, 2009 17:21 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey

Efforts to develop Lucknow as an IT-BPO destination got a boost with Sachin Pilot, the young minister of state for IT and Communications saying that his ministry was ready to help, if the state government took the initiative.

Responding to an HT query the minister, in city to attend the AIMA-LMA function, said, “Lucknow as indeed UP has the potential to become an IT hub. We are ready to help, but the offer is up for grabs for a first-come basis not just for UP but all other states too.”

A NASSCOM-AT Kearney study on potential of 50 cities across India for IT-BPO operations put Lucknow in the 'challenger category ' -- the best category after the top 7 existing IT destinations.

A delighted Jayant Krishna, principal consultant, Tata Consultancy Services, heading its global delivery operations from Lucknow welcomed the minister’s initiative.

“We already have kicked off a major NASSCOM supported initiative to develop the city as an IT-BPO destination,” Krishna, also the chairman of the Lucknow Management Association (LMA) said.

He said, “The city is one of the knowledge hubs in India with some of the country's best engineering colleges and business schools located in and around the city. Neary 1 lakh engineering students who pass out annually along with 75 engineering colleges in the Lucknow-Kanpur-Allahabad-Varanasi belt provide a sizeable technical talent pool that can be tapped for the BPO work under a lower cost base.”

The euphoria is not out of place, as experts agree city has an edge over the National Capital Region (NCR) -- Commercial rentals are half, attrition is less than half, salaries are at least 25% lower and so are several overheads, at least by 30 per cent. He said, “Nearly 12 per cent of the country’s IT manpower comes from UP. Given an opportunity they would like to work in Lucknow. There was a plan to develop an IT-SEZ in state capital. If that happens, more companies would come here and we think we would be able to pursue our dream to have revenues of USD 2 billion from the city by 2012.”

Krishna, who has been behind the develop Lucknow drive however said, “We would need to shun our laid-back 'chalta-hai' syndrome. We need to accept the new dawn of reality where economic development and value-addition alone would fetch premium and non-believers in these would get marginalized.”

The minister who also visited the TCS, Lucknow campus said, “There is a need to provide quality IT support to India’s SME sector which is going to emerge as the massive engine of growth in the near future.”

He said, “Using the wireless communication technology, the government has embarked on an ambitious scheme of e-Districts in every state of the country so that people could be offered government services like, registration of birth and death, relevant certificates from Government, access to land records etc, in a transparent manner through the use of IT. The need is for the private sector to join hands with the government in taking this initiative to all the villages in each district of the country.” The minister also shared his story of how/why he became a politician with the youths.