Interactive Breakfast Session with Mr. Debashish Sen, IAS Additional Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary in charge of Information Technology and Electronics, Government of West Bengal
On 1st September 2017, AMCHAM’s Eastern Region organized an interactive breakfast session at the Hyatt Regency, Kolkata with Mr. Debashish Sen, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal, in-charge-of Department of Information Technology and Electronics, and Chairman – Managing Director, WBHIDCO and Chairman of New Kolkata Development Authority(NKDA) and Naba Diganta Industrial Township Authority (NDITA). The focus of the interaction was the scenario of IT, Ites in West Bengal, covering the value proposition, new policy and schemes that the Government of WB will be introducing in the coming months.
The session began with welcome remarks and introductions by Ms. Amada Kidwai, Regional Director – Eastern Region, AMCHAM. Mr. Debdas Sen, Chairman – Eastern Region, AMCHAM and CEO, TCG Digital, in his welcome remarks said, “The IT industry is at an inflection point and the changes in technology creates an opportunity to leapfrog, effectively creating a level playing field for all.” Mr. Gulshan Sachdev, Vice Chairman, AMCHAM, in his remarks said, “Today we all stand on a platform to focus on transformative changes, to deliberate about the oxymoron continuous disruption and sustainable tomorrow.”
The Chief Guest Mr. Debashis Sen, IAS touched upon various aspects of the IT policy including incentives offered in the scheme covering every conceivable segment of the IT industry – from established players to start-up companies. He said that the schemes provide encouragement for innovation, taking of patents and quality upgradation. He also mentioned many investment opportunities that were available in the state. He requested members present to look at expansion opportunities in the state and also requested to give their feedback on any issues that they were facing. In his concluding remarks, he hoped that West Bengal would soon emerge as a leading state in all sectors of information and communication technology. His talk covered a wide array of IT strategy for WB that included, inter alia, smart town and going a step ahead smart villages as well. He emphasized the need for a digital depository on higher education and for research and development to create a central database system for analyzing huge numbers of data. He also dealt with the subjects of digitization and a paperless office with a major focus on IoE (internet of everything). He mentioned that West Bengal was the third largest IT provider in India and he hoped that it would become the largest.
Mr. Surajit Banerjee, Past President – Eastern Region, AMCHAM and Managing Director of Fi-Tek, Pvt. Ltd. moderated the session. He highlighted the availability of power in the region, the attractive labor cost for skilled labor, no loss of man days, availability of space for setting up new offices, business friendly government and most of all the easy connectivity to southeast Asian countries. The Q&A interactive session he moderated brought up some well-defined questions which were both informative and lively.
The concluding remarks and vote of thanks were given by Mr. Ranjan Nandi, Managing Director of Richard Design Services India Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Nandi thanked Mr. Sen for supporting the AMCHAM Eastern Region community consistently over the years with meaningful and lively presentations. He highlighted specific thoughts such as the introduction of a course on start-ups at the school level, and suggested ‘coding for kids’ as another great way to get our children computer savvy from a young age. He also commended Mr. Sen for his vision and passionate commitment to the development of both Rajarhat and Sector V as knowledge clusters.