India's premier tech event Bangalore IT.biz 2012 began Wednesday on a low-key, thanks to a poor response from the industry, which is reeling under the impact of the global economic slowdown. Organised by the Karnataka government in partnership with state-run Software Technologies Parks of India (STPI), the three-day conference-cum-expo has failed to attract the industry's marquee companies or multi-nationals as in the past, barring a token presence of bellwether Infosys Ltd.
The event saw a poor response from the industry
“Only 70 small and medium companies are participating this time to showcase their technologies and products in contrast to about 130 firms last year. However, 11 states are present at the event to woo investments from the industry,” an official told IANS here. Unlike the previous (14th) edition, which was unveiled by former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar had to inaugurate the 15th edition, indicating that the industry's premier event has lost its sheen. Holding the trade fair without fanfare at the non-descript Karnataka Trade Promotion Organisation (KTPO) in Whitefield, about 20 km away from the city centre, has also kept away the discerning tech community from visiting or participating in the event. The event is a damp squib as it has failed to attract new companies or entrepreneurs from the state or outside. Absence of new innovations or products at the expo has made the event an also-ran with little to attract visitors or draw attention of about 500 delegates who flocked to the venue.
Among the dignitaries, barring Infosys executive co-chairman S. Gopalakrishna and some senior officials from the central and state governments, noted industry leaders shied away even from the inaugural session. “The city's crumbling infrastructure, pot-holed roads and piling of garbage even on thoroughfares have dampened the mood of the IT industry and its community. Participating in a trade-related event in hard times is not a priority,” a delegate said.With the main theme being 'Unleashing India's ICT potential — creating the right eco-system — the event is focussing on the growth of the industry in telecom, aerospace, defence and automobiles.
IT secretaries and officials from participating states held a closed-door meeting on 'Braving challenges in effective service delivery to citizens through e-governance' during the inaugural day. Brain-storming sessions were also held on 'Cyber risks in an ICT global supply chain', and on 'Start-ups and SMEs: The Innovation Engine of India'.