Press Releases: IT focus shifts to Hubli

BANGALORE: North Karnataka, historically neglected for ecades, is on the path to progress. And Information Technology - is catalysing the transformation. Bangalore, Mysore, and Hubli-Dharwad will be the hi-tech triangle that the government wants to create.

To pursue this agenda, Karnataka has adopted a two-fold approach: make necessary infrastructure available and nurture entrepreneurship.

In a significant development, the state government has set up a world-class 2.75 lakh sq. ft. IT park in Hubli. It's scheduled for inauguration soon. Bangalore-based Kshema Technologies and Tata Teleservices have already booked space in the IT Park. Offering business incubators for quick startups, it houses a branch of Indian Institute on Information Technology, Bangalore.

The Park also offers facilities like a well-equipped health club, fast-food joint and pizzaria and banks with ATM.

Interestingly, Kshema is establishing a 5,000 sq. ft. research & development centre with an engineering base of 40 people. Says Anant Koppar, CEO of Kshema Technologies: "Over 30 per cent of the engineers working in technology companies in Bangalore and Mumbai come from North Karnataka and the region has over 10 engineering colleges, which churn out thousands of engineers every year. Through our centre, we can tap the engineering talent."

The famous engineering colleges surrounding Hubli include B V B Engineering College at Hubli, SBM at Dharmasthala and K L E Society in Belgaum.

Hubli-Dharwad, strategically located midway between Mumbai, commercial capital of India and Bangalore, IT capital of Asia, generates over 10,000 engineering and medical graduates every year from renowned colleges in this region.

Facilitating the necessary infrastructure and business environment, Software Park of India (STPI) has set up an international communications gateway at Hubli and duty-free benefits on hardware that a STP unit needs. It also provides quick statutory approval to set up a software development unit.

Says B V Naidu, director of STPI, Bangalore: "After Bangalore and Mysore, now our focus is on Hubli-Dharwad. STPI along with the state government has created an environment wherein people can just walk in and commence their work without bothering about infrastructure and government procedures."

To nurture entrepreneurship in the area, STPI has created five incubation rooms in its premises.

Interestingly, Hubli today boasts of a handful of local companies that include Transparent Technologies, Quest, Kshitija, N. S. Infotech, Sharptech and Innovative Business India, specialising in multimedia, ERP, insurance and legal services. In fact, Hubli contributed Rs 16 lakh towards software exports last year.

Says IT Secretary Vivek Kulkarni: "This region has a lot of potential for growth. Our endeavour will be to ensure that the fruits of technology help this region to emerge strong from years of deprivation."

To showcase Hubli, the state government is organising a day-long seminar on `Hubli: an IT destination" on April 4 in Bangalore.