Anand Parthasarathy looks back on this year's BangaloreIT.biz event.
Bangalore Oct 19 2011: Karnataka state's flagship ICT event, Bangalore IT.biz wound down on Thursday, to general euphoria: Over 110 exhibitors and 900 plus delegates took part as well as 600 plus companies with two surprise states -- Rajasthan and Bihar -- showcasing their attractions for the industry. It was a clear warning to states like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh that the days of 'monopoly' in the IT business were drawing to a close -- and the unlikeliest challengers might yet emerge, with good value propositions of their own
After a few dull years, the event is now picking up momentun again -- and this year, industry majors like Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Intel, IBM, HCL, Airtel, Nokia, Siemens, Map my India, Mahendra Satyam, Tata Elxsi, Texas Instruments, Dell and Tessolve participated.
However key supporters like Infosys and Intel who were awarded large exhibition space, commensurate with the level of their sponsoship, couldn't seemingly be bothered to deploy either time or talent, to utilize this opportunity and connect with visitors. In a repeat show of last year, Infosys had a few laptops running with some of their recent services like a mobile extension to their banking solution Finnacle: But with no experienced staff on the spot and no collateral by way of brochures or additional information, it turned out be a mere waving of a (very limp) flag.
Intel took the event even more casually: Even as the company was launching radical new form factors like the UltraBook, it had seemingly decided that the event was not worth even a minimal commitment. The company appeared to have 'donated' its space to a few resellers who used it to promote Intel servers and other boxes.
The Universal Identification Authority ( Aadhar) used its stand to educate delegates about the project -- and drew many visitors. They also offered to create UIDs for walk in visitors -- but even on Day One this soon morphed into just another capture station, because the rush of people seeking a UID forced them to ration the issue of application forms and limit ID creation to a small number every day. It just showed how challenging it is the average citizen in the Silicon state to enroll in such initiatives without committing a lot of personal time.
The conferences and seminars focussing on Animation and Gaming, National GIS, Green Technology, Skill development, Cloud Computing, MSMEs and Aadhaar, as well as the workshop on Electronics Systems Design and Manufacturing were well attended.
Said M.N. Vidyashankar, Principal Secretary, Department of IT, BT, S&T, E-Governance, Government of Karnataka, “The industry response to this year’s event has been tremendous. The Associations like NASSCOM, ISA, MAIT. ELCIA, ITSMA, TiE, EDGE Forum and FISME have worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the event by ensuring that the conference sessions had the best quality of content and speakers. I am certain that participants will take back with them a rich learning experience through the outstanding quality of speakers and content provided at the various conferences”.
However the state's policy on Animation and Gaming was postponed for the umpteenth time -- it has been promised periodically for 18 months now -- and sent out a very poor signal about the commitment of the state government to the very industry sectors that sustain its good name as an attractive destination. Don't be surprised if Karnataka is overtaken by more agile neighbours in coming weeks -- at least in the animation business.