Software exports from Kerala fail to impress

Wednesday, 28 January 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has registered a marginal increase in IT exports from 1.63 billion in 2001-02 to 1.85 billion in 2002-03, indicating that it has a long way to go before it catches up with other southern states.

Most of the exports have come from companies based in Technopark near here and those registered with the Software Technology Parks. Both these contributed 1.65 billion. The rest came from units at the Cochin Export Processing Zone.

Reacting to the state's somewhat disappointing performance, former Technopark chief Rajiv Vasudevan said Kerala could not be compared with other southern states because they had at least one major IT player.

"Kerala looks forward to a huge performance from Infosys that is to open shortly. But it would be at least two years before even Infosys would be able to perform here," Vasudevan told IANS.

The total export turnover of Karnataka during the last year was a record 141 billion. Neighbouring Tamil Nadu had a turnover of 75 billion and Andhra Pradesh 41 billion.

Vasudevan said another reason for the poor figures was the "under reporting" by many software units in the state because most had some foreign partner.

"In most of these companies, certain deals do take place abroad and the money changes hands abroad itself," he explained.

From the state government's point of view, it has done its best. Despite the poor performance in software exports, a record 800 million has been invested in IT infrastructure in Kerala during 2002-03, taking the total investment made in this sector to 2.15 billion in the last few years.

Technopark today house 55 companies that employ a little more than 5,000 employees.

Source: IANS
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