Software exports from the state of Tamil Nadu to witness a growth of 17 per cent in 2011-12, by reporting around Rs 48,000 crore exports as compared to Rs 42,100 crore, a year ago. The industry added 60,000 people during the fiscal. While the industry is cheering up about the growth, representatives from the industry are also worried about infrastructure issue, mainly lack of electricity.
O Panneerselvam, minister for finance, Tamil Nadu said that the challenge before the government is to sustain this momentum and also to spur growth in untapped sectors like hardware development. Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited (ELCOT), a state government promotional agency for IT industries, has promoted special economic zones called ELCOSEZ at Chennai, Trichy, Coimbatore, Madurai, Thirunelvei, Salem and Hosur. “We will take all steps to attract entrepreneurs to occupy the available space in ELCOSEZs and in the IT parks at Trichy, Madurai and Thirunelvei. We also proposed to have incubation and training centres exclusively for small and medium industries in such spaces”.
The sector currently employs around 3,50,000 people, making it as second largest IT cluster in the country. While the industry is cheering up the growth, the major challenge is power cut which is around four hours in a day in Chennai, and 6-12 hours in smaller cities and towns and there is also a compulsory power holiday on Tuesdays and Sundays. Industry sources says this means companies have to incur additional cost for power, due to the usage of generators.
“While cost of the power from the grid is around Rs 4 a unit, now the companies have to shell out Rs 13-15 per unit since we have to use diesel generators,” said a senior administration manager from one of the top IT companies.
K Purushothaman, regional director, NASSCOM says “its real pain in running our process day in and day out which is a 24ô7 working industry. There are 312 hrs of power cuts in a month,” he added.