Omkar Rai is Director General, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), set up by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Govt. of India in 1991. Under his leadership, STPI has been providing services to the IT industry for promotion of software exports and entrepreneurship. He speaks about STPI’s role and contribution to IT services and Digital India. Edited excerpts:
What contribution has STPI made to the IT Services in India?
STPI has played an important role in promoting India as a major IT destination with support from the Centre and the state, through the Software Technology Park (STP) Scheme. STP is a 100% export-oriented scheme for the development and export of computer software, including export of professional services using communication links or physical media. STPI’s contribution to the country’s export of IT services has been unparalleled. From the total exports of $136 billion done by the IT sector in terms of services, STP units contribute close to 50% of the overall share.
What has been the role of STPI in Digital India?
Under the Digital India programme, STPI has launched the India BPO Promotion Scheme (IBPS) and the North East BPO Promotion Scheme (NEBPS) encompassing 120 cities. The scheme provides financial support in the form of Viability Gap Funding to eligible companies. It’s objectives are to create employment opportunities for the youth, by promoting the IT/ITES Industry particularly by setting up the BPO/ITES operations in smaller cities and promotion of investment in IT/ITES Sector in order to expand the base of ITES Industry and secure balanced regional growth. This scheme ensures substantial investment and has a multiplier effect on the economy in times to come.
Further, STPI is taking an initiative to create 28 Centres of Excellence in emerging fields which will work in collaboration with stakeholders, state governments, academia, industry to provide a platform for startups and budding entrepreneurs.
How does STPI promote startups and entrepreneurship?
STPI is now creating massive infrastructure all across the country with the aim of incubating and promoting the start-up ecosystem and entrepreneurship. We have been successfully managing various incubation programs PAN India. For example, the Orchid Techscape at Bengaluru, IMAGE (Innovation in Multimedia, Animation, Gaming and Entertainment) at Hyderabad, and the Semiconductor Characterisation Lab at Bengaluru. These facilities are intended to provide the required thrust to boost start-up and ensure that their ideas reach fruition and culminate in products beneficial to society. STPI has been constantly looking beyond the promotion of traditional IT outsourcing by diversifying into areas like entrepreneurial development, supporting incubation programmes, product companies and dispersal of the IT industry beyond the metros.
How is STPI contributing towards Make in India and Start-up India?
STPI’s vision has been in sync with the government’s vision. This is manifested through the schemes that have been governed and managed by STPI which have produced impressive results. The startup movement has traversed a long distance with STPI persistently striving for expanding its reach from Tier 1 cities to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. STPI’s various initiatives like Centres of Excellence (CoEs) is a domain-specific specialized incubation facility for start-ups in the area of emerging technologies where the highest-standards and best-practices in terms of infrastructure, technology, leadership, mentoring, training, research & development, funding, networking for the given focus area is made available.