Today was the second AGM of our association – ITSME Association at Hotel Savera. The association was formed by an energetic team of SME entrepreneurs from Chennai few years back. The aim of the association is to provide a collective voice for the unique set of challenges that threaten the growth of Small & Medium IT companies in India; learn from best practises and foster a community.
A new team of Executive Committee took charge today under the leadership of Mr.V.Subramanian as President, Mr.Ananth Seshan as Vice President, Mrs.Sarada Ramani as Treasurer. I wish them all the best in their efforts this year.
Today’s AGM was followed by a special business session with a talk by Mr.P.W.C.Davidar IAS, IT Secretary to Government of Tamilnadu. Mr.Davidar gave a good talk on the efforts of Tamilnadu government for IT industry in general and in particular handling the present global meltdown. I was surprised to see a down to earth and a pragmatic talk by a government bureaucrat. Few highlights of his talk:
- Govt. of Tamilnadu with Elcot as the nodal agency for all E-Governance project / IT procurement has lowered the entry barrier to allow SMEs to easily participate in the bids. For example it is now allowed for a Rs.30 Lakh turnover firm to bid for a Rs.10 Lakh tender and so on.
- Govt. is looking favourably at specialized firms with niche expertise (for each project) as an important criteria while awarding projects than blindly going for larger firms
- All tenders in Elcot website are fully administered electronically, all bid openings can be accessed from anywhere from the world through the website
- Many of the SEZ in Tier-2, Tier-3 cities in Tamilnadu getting good response. The lands are now allocated in lots as low as 2 Acres. Government has realized that smaller allocation makes better use of the land and more employment
- Talked about the Citizen Computer Centres that Tamilnadu Govt. is setting in various parts of the state; for the success of those and to be self-sustaining economically it is important those franchisees have Entrepreneur skills apart from the Technical pre requisites. Govt. has provided these centres with thousands of URLs of central & state government services that are now available over the web
- Five districts have been declared as e-districts, where all the government functions/communications will be in digital format and appropriate connectivity are being setup
- Due to global melt-down there are thousands of floor space of IT offices are lying vacant in Chennai and other places, to help these be sold/leased and to provide a marketplace for them and for businesses from outside the state to setup business here easily, Elcot is building an web service to be released soon