Give us better roads, power, water: NRN
Elder statesman of the technology industry N R Narayana Murthy, who returned to Infosys as executive chairman on June 1, on Friday returned to an old theme aired during his previous executive stints at the company – lack of adequate infrastructure and supporting services in Bangalore.
Speaking at the 36th AGM of the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) on Friday, Murthy said that it has been a longstanding demand of the software industry, which has been a significant creator of jobs and contributes almost 11 per cent of India’s GDP, that Bangalore’s infrastructure like roads, power and water supply be upgraded on an urgent basis.
“The software industry today contributes almost 25 per cent of Karnataka’s GDP output. It posts among the highest forex net earnings among all industries, which is 40-45 per cent of gross earnings. Bangalore alone contributes Rs 55,000 crore to India’s forex kitty, which is significant in a high current account deficit situation like the one we are facing. It is clear that our politicians should be paying more attention to the needs and requirements of this key industry,” Murthy said.
He said that the industry needs more incentives to facilitate further employment creation and generate more foreign exchange for the country.
“Going by my experience of the last 40 years, I have concluded that India can overcome poverty only through job creation sparked by entrepreneurship. Advanced economies and countries like China have created environments conducive to entrepreneurial and business growth. Karnataka has a lot to learn from their experiences,” Murthy said, adding that infrastructure growth will be a key challenge to face and overcome going forward.
“What is the IT industry creating? In Bangalore alone, the industry employs five lakh software professionals, excluding BPO, where every IT company employee typically generates secondary/tertiary employment for up to three people. The industry has the highest capital-to-output ratio of 5, which is the best for any industry in India.
An investment of about Rs six lakh is required per engineer whose output is around Rs 30 lakh. The industry has also been highly labour and energy-efficient making optimal use of water and power resources. It deserves better facilities to operate,” Murthy said.
All the industry is asking for is reasonably good roads, good connectivity, especially to the airport, and reliable and water and power supply, he said, adding, “Ideally, we would like a small airport to be situated near Electronic City.”