Bangalore, November 14 2014:
From Anand Parthasarathy
The inaugural edition of the CeBIT show in India held here from November 12 to 14, saw the Usual Suspects among India's IT majors, trickling back, their country heads like Infosys's Vishal Sikka, Intel's Kumud Srinivasan and IBM's Vanitha Narayanan, taking keynote slots and in some cases booking large real estate in the exhibition area.
Most of these IT biggies have in recent years, voted with their feet at Bangalore's annual government-sponsored IT show, which has gone through desperate morphs from IT.com to IT.Biz to ITE.Biz.... their exhibition space usually surrendered to small retail partners.
Infosys which used to take up big space at the annual event, couldn't be bothered even to detail the right people to explain what it did -- and its stand has in the past, resembled a dentist's waiting room with a few posters slung on the walls and a couple copies of its tech magazines strewn on the furniture. This year, it usefully deployed its space by showcasing dozens of startups.
Intel, another culprit when it came to projecting its work at key Bangalore IT events in the past, put together a useful exhibit this year, showcasing a range of consumer products fuelled by its chips and tools.
In more ways than one, CeBIT seems to have breathed life into Bangalore's moribund IT expo scene, featuring 600 brands from 35 countries and 30 conference sessions, in its first Indian foray.
However it seems not to have factored the weather. A soggy return monsoon season saw rain on the first two days of the event turning the makeshift parking lot into a vast quagmire which forced many delegates to arrive at the venue drenched and ankle deep in slush.
As it is, it takes 90 minutes to 2 hours to reach the venue -- the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre -- from downtown Bangalore by any transport. There is no infrastructure worth the name, like hotels or good eating places nearby and unless venue operators are able to address basic issues like easy covered ingress or a free shuttle into the expo space from road ( and soon) metro rail, some of the aggravation of visitors will inevitably rub off on agencies lik CeBIT.
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Other CeBIT news: Focus on Make in India
127 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises from 21 states across 9 Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) showcased their products and services in the 'MAKE IN INDIA’ Pavilion at the CeBIT India expo here this week, making it one of the largest showcases of Indian grassroots innovation.
Ten of these MSME companies were honoured at the STPI IT Export Awards function yesterday and 10 companies will participate in the forthcoming CeBIT event to be held at Hannover, Germany.
STPI has presence in 53 Locations in the Country. STPI promotes Software and Electronic Hardware Exports from the Country. In Karnataka Jurisdiction, the main centre is in Bangalore with Sub-Centers at Mysore, Mangalore, Manipal and Hubli.
There are 18 IT/ITES companies and 2 Electronic Hardware Companies who qualified for the title ‘IT Pride of Karnataka’ with exports greater than Rs.1000 Crores ( Rs 10 billion). These 18 IT/ITES Companies have contributed around 44% of the Software Exports and 37 % of total Employment in Karnataka. Infosys alone has contributed around 13 % of the Exports with turnover of Rs. 13,407 Crores ( Rs 134 billion) and 6 % of Employment with manpower of 31812. It has been recognized as ‘IT Ratna of Karnataka’.
On day 2 of CeBIT, IBM announced the winners of the BlueMix Hackathon contest. Over two days of intense competition, 50 plus developers created applications around smart shopping, reporting cybercrimes, finding ‘shared office space’ and many more using IBM’s open standard BlueMix platform. Keerthi Chandra and Gunjan Kumbhare of Team Chethana took the first prize for developing a “knowledge based search engine” app using the Watson API provided through the BlueMix platform.
Runners up were Ramesh Ravi, Peter Ngugi, and Vaibhav Mule of Team Stealthmode who developed “OfficeShare,” an application to connect young entrepreneurs and people looking for affordable office space with potential renters. “BlueMix provided much better user interface as well as error tracing features than other platforms available in the market,” said Vaibhav. “It took the team only 10 minutes to deploy the app on the BlueMix server.”