Lokesh sets the tone for IT in Vizag
On a warm May morning last week, the information technology industry in Andhra Pradesh was pleasantly surprised, at a time when the news emanating from the sector is grim amid reports of layoffs in the sector. So what was there to get excited about? It was the presence of Mr. Nara Lokesh, the Minister of Panchayati Raj and Information Technology, in the government of Andhra Pradesh. Mr. Lokesh, a graduate from the Ivy League Stanford University in the United States, was on his first visit to the port city as IT minister.
The young and highly-educated minister spent quality time with leading lights of the IT industry in Visakhapatnam. He gave a patient hearing to the views put forward by the industry, according to an IT industry executive who attended the meeting with Mr. Lokesh.
“He came across as a very positive and action-oriented person. He assured us that he will do his best to put an industry-friendly IT policy in place,” one of the Captains of the IT industry said. According to Mr. Lokesh, Visakhapatnam has the potential, in terms of skilled manpower and quality infrastructure, including a stable power supply, to be an attractive destination for high-paying IT jobs. He said the new IT policy of the Andhra Pradesh would aim to set the groundwork for the creation of one lakh jobs over the next two years.
“We requested a comprehensive ecosystem for job creation which includes promotional policy for IT infrastructure players involved in construction of big IT parks, and incentives for attracting IT companies to Visakhapatnam. We also requested Mr. Lokesh to set up good tourism attractions and to improve fitness among IT employees. He promised action at the earliest,” the industry source said.
The source said that Mr. Lokesh promised to coordinate with the tourism, urban development and sports for the overall development of the ‘City of Destiny’. The minister said he would work with various agencies in the government of Andhra Pradesh, to help brand Visakhapatnam as the new “IT destination”, leveraging the categorisation of the port city as one of the cleanest cities in India.