Debating India

Growth without trickle-down

Monday 22 May 2006, by JAYANTH*V.

CHENNAI: Information Technology and IT Enabled Services (ITES) are recognised to be the fastest growing sectors. They are growing at 25 to 30 per cent a year and the employment growth has kept pace.

A major challenge for IT companies, big and small, has been to develop ideal workstations or complexes that can provide a common roof for a cluster of firms. The IT majors have been expanding phenomenally, spreading from one State to another. The construction industry has, perhaps, emerged as the major beneficiary of this growth. But the tragedy seems to be the lack of a rub off of this technology on the construction industry, especially in the small and medium segments.

National Association of Software and Service Companies chief Kiran Karnik considers the construction industry, at least the small and medium players, at least 50 years behind in the use of technology. "It is a pity to still see women and children carrying head loads of sand, bricks or cement at work in the IT office complexes. Despite the boom both in the IT sector and real estate, we have not been able to modernise the entire construction industry. It is in the application of IT in the domestic market that we have lagged behind and there are many reasons for this," Mr. Karnik said here at a recent interaction with journalists.

Describing the IT sector as the largest employment generator, he said at least 200,000 to 250,000 people were being absorbed annually. Each employee, other than the security or "external" staff, requires about 100 sq ft. When such was the dependence of the sector on the construction industry, the NASSCOM chief would like to see more IT applications to reduce or eliminate drudgery in the construction industry.

See online : The Hindu

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