Techies raise voice against US protectionism

Techies raise voice against US protectionism
Highlights

Expressing concerns over the job loss of Indian IT professionals in the US, Forum for IT Prorfessionals (ForIT) has demanded the Centre and Telangana government to take this burning topic with Ivanka Trump, advisor to White House and daughter of US President Donald Trump.

Hyderabad: Expressing concerns over the job loss of Indian IT professionals in the US, Forum for IT Prorfessionals (ForIT) has demanded the Centre and Telangana government to take this burning topic with Ivanka Trump, advisor to White House and daughter of US President Donald Trump.

On the other side, Telangana Information Technology Association (TITA), an apex body for the IT professionals, has advised both the Centre and Telangana government to focus on nurturing ideas, encouraging innovation right from school level.

The Trump’s reshoring project is wreaking havoc on IT professionals and we want our government to raise this issue with Ivanka Trump at GES. It’s a general perception that investments will come to India because of global summits, but in reality, it may not be as true as it’s expected, said Y Kiranchandra, Founding Member of ForIT.

Instead of giving priority to hosting global summits, government should focus on addressing policy paralysis, Kiranchandra said. Sundeep Kumar Makthala, President, TITA, said: “Gradually, startup culture in Telangana particularly Hyderabad is catching up. In fact, it’s been much faster and encouraging after the formation of the Telangana state. Because of T-hub, which is already into second phase of expansion.”

However, ForIT is raising voice against US President Donald Trump’s protectionist policies, which are hampering prospects of Indian techies. Because of Trump’s reshoring project, which is aiming to create jobs in the US itself. Infosys has announced 10,000 jobs just in one state in the US. “Why can’t our government seriously take this issue to the US government and build the pressure,” questions Kiranchandra.

Elaborating on why global companies’ operations in India may not create jobs here, Kiranchandra explained that for instance, Amazon has set up multiple warehouses and running operations in India. How many and what kind of jobs it created. Only packing and maintenance jobs at warehouses, that’s all. But, mainstream jobs have been generated in the US only.

Amazon has set up servers in the US, Singapore and Malaysia as this is its primary business. Regardless of servers’ location, jobs are created in the US only. It makes profit from cloud-based services. So, global companies having presence in India is not important, but investment in what kind of segments is more important. That’s why Digital India has failed to create employment opportunities for the youth.

It’s estimated that 15 lakh engineering graduates are passing out every year in the country and our economy is not in a position to absorb them either by providing employment or enabling them become entrepreneurs,” explains Kiranchandra. Low success rate among startups: India lacks idea nurturing culture

Now, India and Telangana governments are talking about materialising ideas into business models via startups that too at engineering colleges level, whereas, this has been in practice in countries like the US from school level. Adding to this, lack of funding support is another major reason for low rate of success among startups, observed TITA.

Makthala further adds: “What I see the gap in the startup culture in the country is funding support. In Indian culture, surplus money goes into buying land, property, jewellery, etc. In the US, people with disposable money will invest in startups and other business ventures. Nurturing ideas into business models begins at school level.

That’s the reason, the US students have presentation skills as well. Our engineering graduates despite good ideas, lack presentation skills and funding support. Telangana government is taking measures to bridge this gap. T-hub success is a best example of Telangana government’s commitment.

“Generally, Bengaluru is at forefront of startup culture and ahead of other cities including Hyderabad, which follows the City of Gardens and Chennai in terms of IT exports. Bengaluru had IT exports worth over Rs2 lakh cr in FY17, Chennai had Rs 95,000 cr, Hyderabad had Rs75,000 cr worth IT exports. Despite this, GES is happening in Hyderabad and this shows the city’s potential,” he added.

Centre’ initiative Startup India is also promoting the new ventures. Venture capitalists and crowd funding are supporting the startup culture in the US. Hyderabad will also catch up with western part of the world soon, Makthala said.

By Sreenivasa Rao Dasari

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