Can Lokesh do a Naidu for IT sector?
At a time when the IT industry is taking baby-steps in the bifurcated Andhra Pradesh, a young Nara Lokesh has taken over the reins of the IT portfolio, besides Panchayat Raj and Rural Development, in the Council of Ministers. It is literally like starting from the scratch for the IT sector in Andhra Pradesh as successive governments, especially the TDP regime, put all the undivided Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh is still in an incubator stage with the annual IT export revenues hovering around a meagre Rs 800 crore. It will have to go a long way to match with Hyderabad, Bangalore and the other IT hubs.
To accomplish the task, Lokesh is expected to be more proactive and rise beyond the shadow of his father. Industry players nurture hopes of a vibrant IT impetus with the tech-savvy Lokesh helming the happening sector
At a time when the IT industry is taking baby-steps in the bifurcated Andhra Pradesh, a young Nara Lokesh has taken over the reins of the IT portfolio, besides Panchayat Raj and Rural Development, in the Council of Ministers. It is literally like starting from the scratch for the IT sector in Andhra Pradesh as successive governments, especially the TDP regime, put all the undivided Andhra Pradesh eggs in a single basket-Hyderabad.
Naidu’s 2020 vision came as a shot in the arm for the ever-growing industry and attracted the attention of head honchos of global giants like Microsoft, who established base in Cyberabad. The industry was hit adversely during the separate Telangana movement. The IT exports revenue dipped to Rs 40,000-45,000 crore from a staggering Rs 68,000 crore.
Although, some moved out of Hyderabad as it ceased to make business sense, a gradual return to normalcy is being witnessed after K Taraka Rama Rao (KTR) took over as the IT Minister.
Meanwhile, the IT industry in Andhra Pradesh remains hopeful of an overwhelming as the sector is in the hands of the tech-savvy Lokesh. “He is our hope. The industry is in safe hands because Lokesh has sufficient exposure to the industry and understands our needs and expectations,” reflected Dasari Ramakrishna of Affronics, a leading city-based IT firm.
While his father exposed the party to the nitty-gritty of computers and IT in early 90s in his capacity as the party General Secretary, Lokesh invigorated the organisational apparatus radically with IT as a change agent in different capacities.
`TDP App’ was launched as a means to help the party top brass to connect to the workers at the grassroots level and receive direct feedback about the ground-realities, per se.
“TDP dash board,” a digital platform for party activities, visits of ministers, video clippings showing TV debates showcasing the performance of party leaders in TV debates etc was launched. Unique individualized ID cards distributed to one crore party members helped the leadership to gain access to the basic details of party members.
According to Ravi Vemuri, Andhra Pradesh Non-Resident Telugus (APNRT), Lokesh has got down to business from the day he assumed the mantle. He has been scouting for IT majors running specialty institutes in the US to set up campuses in Amaravati.
Microsoft expressed its intention to establish a training institute on data sciences after an interaction with students of KL University and Nagarjuna University. Another centre of excellence in automotive interior designs came up in Vasireddy Venkatadri Institute of Technology (VVIT) in the very vicinity.
Lokesh appears to be laying thrust on promoting the cluster concept in manufacturing and e-health in the capital region as it is expected to help in sharing of knowledge in innovations within the neighbourhood and reduce costs and overheads.
E-health clusters are intended to focus on data billing, evaluation, coding and interpretation in collaboration with US firms. A modest beginning has been made to promote VFX clusters for training in filmmaking and visual effects.
Ravi said the AP government under the stewardship of Lokesh has acknowledged the need to overcome shortage of hands with skill sets in IT by bridging gaps in industry and colleges vis-à-vis skills. This was the reason for the massive campaign for bringing in professionalized training.
AP is still in an incubator stage with IT export revenues hovering around a mere Rs 800 crore per year, which is way behind the growth in Hyderabad and Bangalore. To accomplish the task, Lokesh is expected to be proactive and rise beyond the shadow of his father and establish an individual identity as the messiah for the IT industry.