India Plans IT Incubation Centre in Dubai

DUBAI — An Indian government agency plans to set up a business incubator centre in Dubai to help Indian IT firms find an affordable foothold in the UAE as a base for exporting their products worldwide.

By Issac John

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Published: Wed 5 Aug 2009, 1:43 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:43 AM

A high-level delegation from India’s Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council, known also as ESC, held talks on Monday with counterparts from Dubai Silicon Oasis in an effort to pave the way for the centre’s launch. If the two sides reach an agreement, the UAE will become only the second country in the world to host such an incubator centre, after the US.

“Dubai is an important gateway market for Indian IT industry. Our strategy is to enable small and medium IT companies from India to have direct global market access by using Dubai as a springboard,” the Council’s Executive Director D. K. Sareen told Khaleej Times.

The incubator centre would target Indian IT companies that have little or no presence in the Middle East. It would offer them subsidised offices and other facilities as an incentive to explore opportunities in this region’s software and services market, particularly in the outsourcing business.

Although the US is the main market for India’s IT industry, the recession there has taken a toll on exports.

The ESC is looking at new and emerging markets, such as the Middle East, to sustain its export growth momentum.

The Council represents more than 2,300 Indian IT and business process outsourcing firms, which together account for nearly 95 per cent of India’s electronics and IT exports.

Sareen and ESC Chairman Sunil Vachani had discusions on Monday with Dr. Juma Al Matroushi, Chief Corporate Services Officer of Dubai Silicon Oasis. The Council’s regional representative was to follow up on their talks to move the project forward, Indian officials said.

The ESC has already set up two business incubators in the US — in the states of Virginia and Maryland — within the past six months. It hopes to establish as many as 60 additional centres in the US, Sareen said.

The proposed Dubai facility would provide affordable, state-of-the-art office facilities for a specified period. During this time, firms could develop contacts with potential buyers and seek other opportunities, Sareen said.

India’s electronics and software exports to the Middle East rose by 10 per cent in the first half of this year, in spite of the current economic hardships. These exports surged last year to $980 million, up 26 per cent from 2007.

Still, the Middle East accounted for just two per cent of India’s total exports of electronics and computer software and services, said Kamal Vachani, the ESC’s regional director. India’s worldwide exports of electronics and software recorded 30 per cent growth in 2008 to $49 billion.

“We expect to post a global annual export growth of 10 per cent, and in the Middle East, we hope to record 12-15 per cent growth this year,” Sareen said.

Forty Indian companies expect to take part in Gitex, the information technology exhibition planned on October 18-22 in Dubai.

· issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com



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