Debating India

INDIA

Microsoft plans big for Pune

Siddharta D. KASHYAP

Sunday 11 April 2004, by KASHYAP*Siddharta D.

PUNE: After Hyderabad and Bangalore, Microsoft appears to have set its eyes on Pune for an R&D hub for high-end technologies.

The scheduled visit of a highlevel Microsoft delegation, led by Dan Ling, vice president (research), to the University of Pune (UoP) on Tuesday has raised hopes that Pune may be the software major’s next Indian destination.

The UoP has offered to play a catalyst’s role in this venture. As per the itinerary, UoP vice chancellor Ashok Kolaskar has scheduled a meeting between the Microsoft team and about 20 representatives from the Software Technology Parks of India, CDac, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, MCCIA and IT specialists such as Vijay Bhatkar and Persistent Systems CEO, Anand Deshpande.

The Microsoft team includes its India operations chairman Ravi Venkatesan. Confirming the visit,Kolaskar told TNN: "Pune has created a nich? for itself in academics and has high-end research capabilities and trained manpower. The idea is to showcase our strengths to Microsoft, and convince them to set up a R&D hub."

Venkatesan, who is scheduled to accompany Ling, told TNN from the US that Ling will be looking for new research options. He, however, declined to comment on Microsoft’s plans to set up an R&D centre here.

Microsoft Research has already forged strategic partnerships with universities in Beijing and Cambridge to inspire dynamic academic institutions that innovate and solve key computing challenges.

STPI director Sushil Gupta told TNN that although the proposal is at a preliminary stage, the visit of the delegation from Microsoft headquarters will help project Pune as a favoured destination globally.

"We are just hoping that we will be able to convince them to establish a high end software development centre in Pune," Gupta said.

See online : The Economic Times

P.S.

in The Economic Times, Sunday, April 11, 2004.

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