Blighted seeks to reinvent itself

Blighted seeks to reinvent itself

The 12th edition promises plenty on offer for the participants

Will the 12th edition getting underway on November 11, 2009, shrunk from five to three days, be any different? This is the question which belies an answer from the State’s flagship event, which, over the years, has sought to reinvent itself to give the showcase spectacle industry patina to IT than purely State-sponsored show.

While officials aver that the primary focus will be on business, networking and B2B (business-to-business) event unlike in the previous years, the industry, though, isn’t buying it. According to them, the participation has gone down significantly over the years as the whole scenario has changed.

Today, many more IT centres have come up in the country. Officials taking cognisance of this harsh reality have to rework the entire event. However, officials say, this time, we have been guided by the Programme Advisory Committee which has eminent persons drawn from the IT sector.  

Likewise, as if the sector’s principal players’ apathy was not worrisome enough, the event has received another bolt from the blue following flash floods that ravaged State’s northern districts. With austerity politically correct chant in the times of deluge and distress, too has been moved from halycon precincts of majestic Bangalore Palace to more modest Hotel Lalit Palace in keeping with the theme of moderation.

Smaller size

Officials, averred that despite this conscious shift, the event per se has not shrunk in size, scope, scale and intent in terms of pavilion, conferences, as also participation from the industry, different states and overseas representation, despite sizeable cut in budget and low-key promotions. But, whether the annual calendar conclave, which has lost its earlier significance for the sector it seeks to represent as an important itinerary for business and networking, will live upto its reputation needs to be seen. Industry sources say that their participation which has become merely symbolic has been primarily due to the insistence by the government they do so than on their own.

Meanwhile, as of date, sources told Deccan Herald that eight State governments — Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Orissa and Chandigarh have confirmed participation while Kerala, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh are yet to do so. Similarly, they said, as many as 80 companies have taken up stalls and this time around Chile will be partner country, with Japan through Jetro, Bavaria, Mexico and Netherlands stated to log in at the meet.

Theme pavilions

Pointing out that the five theme pavilions — STPI, Hardware, Software, States & International will be there as usual, sources said nine track conferences in line with conclave’s stated objective of networking, forging business alliances, sharing knowledge on latest technologies and expanding geographical footprint through business deals, will see experts throwing light on trends and status of the targeted verticals over the three days. Each day, three tracks will be simultaneously run deliberating on specific vertical and its applications in ICT. Incidentally, the theme of this year’s is ICT for Billion People. Stating that the event has been structured with the intention of adhering to B2B focus, sources said, verticals in focus are Healthcare, Energy, Telecom, Banking & Finance, GIS, Education, and e-Governance, besides Embedded Electronics.

Further, sources said there will be three Vision 2020 talks by prominent personalities namely Cisco’s Padmashree Warrior, Intel’s  Praveen Vishakantaiah, and Unique ID Project CEO Nandan Nilekani. Wipro Chairman Azim Premji will be Guest of Honour.

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