Home > Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Elections 2009, Jaswinder Ahuja, N.K. Goyal, S. Uma Mahesh, Semiconductors, solar/PV, Telecom, UPA > Elections 2009! India’s IT, semicon, telecom sectors welcome UPA’s victory!

Elections 2009! India’s IT, semicon, telecom sectors welcome UPA’s victory!

May 16, 2009

The results of India’s 15th General Elections are nearly all out! The people’s verdict — voting Dr. Manmohan Singh and Indian National Congress (INC) led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to a second successive term!

Undoubtedly, this is a vote for stability, continuity and good governance. It is hoped, the nation will have good governance that can be devoid of external pressures of coalition partners. In some ways, the verdict is a vote in favour of the economic policies of the Indian government leading to continued liberalization as well.

This ‘pleasantly surprising’ result of India’s latest general elections has been welcomed overwhelmingly by leaders in India’s IT/ITeS, telecom and semiconductor industries.

Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, vice chairman and CEO, Zensar Technologies and former chairman, NASSCOM, says: “We welcome the results of the election, which are indicative of a stable government at the Centre. In the current global economic environment, it is important that India has a stable and progressive political environment that can focus on long-term policies for the sustainable development of the country, even as it takes decisive steps to immediately put the economy back on a high-growth trajectory.

“The Indian IT-BPO sector is both an engine and a catalyst for the development of the Indian economy and we are confident that the government will continue to partner with this sector for leveraging the benefits of IT for India’s domestic economy and through international trade. We also look forward to working with the government to promote inclusive growth and social benefits through the innovative use of IT. It is noteworthy that the biggest electoral process in the world — the globally-admired Indian elections — is through the use of EVMs, itself symbolic of the significance of IT for the country.”

According to Dr. Pradip Dutta, corporate VP and managing director, Synopsys (India) Pvt Ltd: “There is an element of decisiveness in the election results this time, which bodes well for the industry. An anxiety around a fractured and short-lived coalition has been replaced by a confidence that the new mandate will provide a government capable of delivering sustainable long term benefits for both economy and business.”

Jaswinder. S. Ahuja, corporate vice president and managing director, Cadence Design Systems (I) Pvt. Ltd, and former chairman, India Semiconductor Association (ISA), adds: “I am encouraged by the result. It is pro-progress. Also, the fact that Congress has a clear mandate should ensure that they can do the right things and make the bold moves that are needed at this time in order to ensure that India can claim its rightful place on the global stage, unencumbered by the compulsions of a fractured coalition.”

N.K. Goyal, president, Communications and Manufacturing Association of India (CMAI), chairman Emeritus, TEMA, chairman, CTIA, and vice chairman, ITU APT India, notes: “The country has given a clear message that it wants development and growth, and has rejected the approach of divide, religion, caste, etc. The long awaited liberalization agenda will get a boost now. The industry is sure that there would be stimulus in economy, growth in manufacturing and sustained policies for economic uplift.

“Infrastructure development will also get encouragement. India’s GDP growth will surpass 10 percent within the next three years. The telecom sector will see deeper penetration in rural areas, and broadband will match voice subscribers. We can expect 500 millions Internet connections by 2012.”

S. Uma Mahesh, co-founder CEO of Indrion Technologies, points out that UPA’s win is attributable to the following reasons:
* Rural support — unemplyment program (though it had more party orientation), and loan waiver (though it didn’t quite address all loaned people);
* Defocussed campaigning by other parties;
* Local factors (like ‘poor campaigning’, divided votes in AP);
* A ‘seasoned-company’ like approach by Congress that has to be commended, and the media support (similar for Democrats in US);

He adds: “Now the UPA has a chance of a lifetime — with no excuses. They should be able to do ‘real reforms’, and provide ‘real governance’ over the next four years at least, before getting into elections mode again. This should include — insurance reforms, labour laws, legal reforms, more liberal FDI, media reforms, and not to forget the rural sector, as well as the infrastructure.”

Quite correct! I am very sure that the new UPA government, which should be sworn in quite soon, will take all of the necessary steps to boost India’s IT/ITeS, telecom, semiconductor and solar photovoltaic sectors. There are several solar photovoltaic and semiconductor fab proposals that, I believe, need clearance as well.

Bundeep Singh Rangar, chairman, IndusView Advisors Ltd, the India-focused cross-border advisory firm, said in a statement today: “The government will have its task cut out with more than $700 billion worth of investments to be channeled in to India’s infrastructure, power, telecom and pharma sectors over the next five years to provide the country a strong foundation to achieve the aspirational growth of 10 percent.”

I would really like to see industry folks set their expectations before the new government at the center. If I can play a small role in carrying their messages, it would indeed be an honour!

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