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SMEs to be made part of the IT & ITES growth in the state of Andhra Pradesh

Hyderabad|India|Sept'2012: The state of Andhra Pradesh (AP) is the first to take the lead and announce preferential policy to expand the growth of Small-Medium-Enterprise (SME) companies in 2010. This has been very much welcomed by ITsAP as SMEs contribute to more than 50% of the Industrial output.

To review the progress made, and take suggestions from SMEs for improvisation of this SME policy, ITsAP and the Information Technology and Communications (IT&C) department of Government of Andhra Pradesh (GOAP) in collaboration with Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) organized an interactive seminar at Hotel Marriot on September 13 2012.

The event was well received and attended by 110 CEOs and senior leaders representing SME companies from Hyderabad and other Tier 2 cities.

Mr. Sanjay Jaju, Secretary, IT&C Department has outlined the vision of the government to promote SMEs in the state, various SME pro-growth policies in place and encouraged the SMEs to take advantage of the opportunities available for them to participate in Government IT and ITES projects.

Addressing the gathering here he said that 70% of the IT companies in the state are SMEs with multiple skill sets in Software Services, BPO and Products. He emphasized the need for the SMEs to work in niche areas to be successful. He has mentioned that, as part of the IT&C Policy of 2010-2015, Government of Andhra Pradesh has mandated that minimum 10% of all System Integration (SI) projects with cost of Rs 250 Lakhs and above must be outsourced to SMEs by the Prime bidders. Further, SI Projects with cost of below Rs 250 Lakhs are reserved for SMEs with an annual turnover between 50 Laksh and 10 Cr. Govt. of AP is the first state government in India to come up with such a pro-growth policy in favour of SMEs.

Further, he said that, hes recommending unbundling of Hardware, Software, Systems Integration components of the upcoming 60-crore project to digitize records at the district level, so that more SMEs could take part in such projects in the state. He went on to add that he was open to suggestions from the industry to amend the GO appropriately to enable better participation from SMEs playing to their strengths in Application Software and Software Systems Integration etc.

Mr. Satyanarayana Reddy, MD, APTS said that the SMEs need to empanel with APTS in order to participate in government projects either directly or via Prime bidders. He said that the SMEs can empanel themselves at www.atps.gov.in and find government IT project tenders listed at tender.eProcurement.gov.in. He gave out details on the nature of projects in the pipeline and explained the qualifying process before awarding the tenders. He has outlined key challenges faced by SMEs in bidding, execution and delivery in Government IT projects, and described ways to circumvent these challenges.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Venugopal, Director, STPI Hyderabad called upon the SMB's to build their technical and business capacity to bid for e-governance and other government projects.

Mr. V Rajanna, President, ITsAP has moderated the Q&A Session and underscored the need for SMEs to be part of the IT & ITES growth in the state. Many of the academic institutes in the state are coming forward to offer incubation centers for SME and start-up companies which can get operational within the academic campuses immediately which are complimentary for both the company and the institute, added Rajanna. ITsAP will continue to focus on helping SMEs in the state through SME forum of ITsAP led by strong leadership team comprising Mr. Ravi Rao, Managing Director of Value Momentum APAC and Chief Coordinator of the SME Forum in ITsAP, Mr. MuraliBollu - CEO ZenQA, and Mr. Ranga Pothula Vice President & Managing Director at Infor Global.

Mr. Ravi Rao said that such frequent interactions between SMEs and the government officials would greatly help clarify many questions that SMEs have, and make it easier for the SMEs to take part in Government IT projects in the future.

-Sept'2012

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