Bengaluru: Tech-savvy Karnataka is conspicuously absent at a major IT trade fair being held here from Thursday. Eyebrows were raised at the inaugural session of the CeBIT India, as not a single official from the state was present on the dais, where ministers and secretaries of other states vied to woo investments from the multi-billion dollar IT industry.
“Karnataka has lost out but Bengaluru gained, as the IT event has attracted many states, multinationals and other stakeholders at a time when the resilient industry is riding on start-ups and Digital India,” former Infosys director T.V. Mohandas Pai told IANS here.
Organised by the Hannover Milano Fairs India Ltd and the state-run Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), the second edition of the three-day CeBIT 2015 global conferences-cum-expo has attracted about 400 firms, including 100 multinationals, 300 delegates and 170 CXOs from 12 countries.
“Forget ministers and officials, the state is not present in the exhibition hall to showcase its advantages or promote its other cities as an alternate to a choked Bengaluru for attracting investments,” a trade representative lamented.
Though the state government jointly hosted the first edition of CeBIT as ITE.biz last year with the German firm at the same venue — Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) on the city outskirts, it parted ways this time to hold its flagship IT trade event separately from November 19-21.
“You should ask the state government why its IT minister (S.R. Patil) or its IT secretary (V. Manjula) are not present at such an event to pitch for investments, as Karnataka accounts for 40 percent of software exports,” Pai added.
Ironically, the state government claimed last year that its partnership with CeBIT had given a new life to its annual IT event, which had lost sheen and failed to be a premier trade event in the country.