Visakhapatnam: Not to be hurt by Andhra Pradesh’s poor performance in IT exports, captains of the IT industry from the state that was formed after the 2014 bifurcation are optimistic that there will be much to cheer about in the New Year with big players coming to open their facilities in Visakhapatnam and other tier II and III cities across the state.
Even after a poor performance in software exports from Andhra Pradesh during 2021-22, Amazon Development Center (India) Private Limited has decided to start modestly by setting up a facility in Visakhapatnam, which is considered the IT capital of Andhra Pradesh.
In a tweet, the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) said Amazon will start with an initial investment of Rs 55.65 lakh and employment of 120 with projected exports of Rs 184.12 crore over the next three years. Sources at STPI said Amazon has decided to strengthen its operations in phases depending on the response.
When contacted, IT Association of Andhra Pradesh (ITAAP) president Sreedhar Kosaraju told Bizz Buzz that they are confident that a few big things will happen in the New Year to give a chance to the efforts to turn Visakhapatnam into a prominent IT hub.
The general feeling among investors in Andhra Pradesh is that before the bifurcation of the state, the Hyderabad-centric approach led to insufficient exploration of Visakhapatnam’s true potential. Many feel that Visakhapatnam’s natural beauty with its valleys and beaches make Visakhapatnam an ideal destination to become an IT hub. “After Infosys, we are trying to bring several big projects in our state,” said IT and Industries Minister Gudivada Amarnath, who is from Visakhapatnam.
Currently Visakhapatnam is doing business with Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Conduent, Miracle City, Patra India, VNS, Fluentgrid and Ciient. Adani Group has been allotted 130 acres in the city to set up a data park with an estimated investment of Rs 14,500 crore.
Telangana is the third largest exporter of software
However, Andhra Pradesh has not performed well in software exports over the past year, perhaps due to the effects of the pandemic and the absence of major players, which is a prerequisite for a good ecosystem. India’s software exports crossed Rs 11.59 crore, while Andhra Pradesh’s was only Rs 1290 crore, according to Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Answering a question from Rajya Sabha member GVL Narasimha Rao, the minister said that the value of software exports from India in 2021-22. included exports from the Indian IT and business process management (IT and BPM) sectors.
Of the total software exports, units registered under STPI accounted for Rs 6.29 crore and units registered under SEZ accounted for the balance of Rs 5.3 crore. The states with the highest software exports are Karnataka (Rs 3.96 lakh crore), Maharashtra (Rs 2.37 lakh crore) and Telangana (Rs 1.81 lakh crore).
In comparison, Andhra Pradesh’s was only Rs 1,256 crore, which is only 0.1 per cent of the value of exports from India, the minister pointed out. Visakhapatnam city with a large number of prestigious universities and technical institutions contributed IT/IT exports to the tune of Rs 776 crore only.
Commenting on the pathetic state of export performance of the IT sector from Andhra Pradesh, MP GVL stated that “The ISRCP government has completely neglected the IT sector in Andhra Pradesh resulting in the pathetic performance of the software sector. It is shocking that Andhra Pradesh, which leads countries and the world in providing the most successful and capable IT workforce, is completely absent from the IT sector.”