Gujarat, the Right Choice



# Small is Beautiful
After having spent ten years in the US working for companies such as Intel
and Sun Microsystems, Parul Mehta (Motif co-founder) and I decided to set up
base in Ahmedabad. It is the commercial capital of Gujarat, one of India’s
most industrialized states. It has one of the lowest real estate costs in the
country, one of the few privately-owned electric utilities in the country
(negligible outages) and a well-networked infrastructure, with multiple ISPs.
Gujarat also has a large talent pool. This is backed by government incentives to
promote the industry.

From the point of view of my industry, the contact center (BPO/call center)
sector in the US is mainly based in smaller cities. This has been, and will be,
the trend in India as well. Consequently, I see cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara,
Chandigarh, Cochin, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Pune becoming the
locations of choice as regards setting up ITeS units.

Kaushal Mehta, MD, Motif, one of the first call centers to set shop in
Gujarat

# On the Right Track
Being a development center in Ahmedabad, Elitecore has enjoyed the benefits
of working in this city.  Distances are short. This leads to more
quality working hours and putting in late hours, when necessary, also does not
become a problem. We get trained manpower of good quality, real estate cost
is comparatively low and the quality of life is high.

The government has also taken various steps to improve the atmosphere for IT
companies, provide support to the industry and develop the state as an IT
destination.  It has rolled out the Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN). 
It has set up a high-tech Infocity in Gandhinagar, with facilities of a
Satellite Earth Station with hubs at Ahmedabad and Baroda.  The Software
Technology Park in Gandhinagar, with various facilities and concessions for IT
companies, is also an attraction.

Nikhil Jain, MD, Elitecore Technologies, a leading convergent billing,
provisioning and customer acquisition software solutions company

# Bandwidth Gains
We have just completed five years in Gujarat. In these five years, the state
has undergone a metamorphosis with regard to the IT industry. Today, the
bandwidth availability is Gujarat has turned on its head, with the scenario
changing from one of scarcity to that of abundance. Players like Bharati, Tata,
Reliance, etc, have wired up Gujarat to the national map and hence bandwidth is
available on tap. More and more undersea cables are landing in India and they
are increasing the total bandwidth available to India, and to Gujarat, to a
great extent. The rates have gone down because of competition and this is
creating a very positive impact on IT, ITeS and related industries. Moreover,
there is a very positive change in attitude and beliefs of entrepreneurs
regarding the IT industry. Earlier, investment in IT was seen as a cost and it
is now being viewed as an investment to improve revenues. Globalization and the
fact that there are a large number of NRGs in the US have resulted in several
IT-enabled service companies coming up in Gujarat in the last two years. One can
find the best of call centers now in Gujarat. Events like Vibrant Gujarat
and CIT have also gone a long way in improving the image of Gujarat as an IT
destination.

Chirag Mehta, MD, Icenet.net, Gujrat’s largest private ISP

# Calling Attention
We are based in Infocity and it has provided us good facilities. I would
like to say that bandwidth availability in Gujarat has improved over the years
and is now comparable to the rest of the country. Today, the prices are
competitive and we have different options to opt from and with increase in
interactions with our foreign counterparts the companies do try and meet the SLA’s
put down. The state government too offers a good amount of help to the start up
companies in terms of subsidies. Of course, much more needs to be done.

Arun Prasad, center manager, I-Call India, call center based in Infocity

# Ready to Roll
Gujarat has improved greatly as an investment destination for IT and ITeS.
According to Nasscom, Gujarat is among the top five BPO/ITeS destinations in
India, ahead of Bangalore and Mumbai. There is a lot of potential and we, the
corporates and the government, have to realize it fully. Gujarat today has more
than 20 BPO/ITeS companies and total seats are somewhere in the region of 7,000.
Moreover, events like Vibrant Gujarat and CIT have attracted global attention.
Better things are in the offing.

Ruzan Khambatta, E Comm Opportunities, largest ISP providing Internet on
cable

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