Why was Goa’s ‘IT’ dream never realized?


Back in 2004, Goa government realized the potential for IT (Information and Technology) in Goa. They even released an IT policy for Goa in 2005, armed with land allocated for an IT park (Rajiv Gandhi IT habitat at Dona Paula) but all efforts soon bit the dust. As it’s been a decade since then, yet Goa still looks like where it had started from. Whatever progress was done, it was very minimal. Let alone cause major changes and make IT one of the major sectors of the Goan economy.

Over the years Goa has failed to attract big companies like Wipro, TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) or any other Indian IT giant to set shop here.

Due to lack of dedication and direction, IT sector in Goa has suffered immensely, leading to many Goan IT professionals to leave Goa for better prospects to cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi (or areas around it e.g. Noida and Gurgaon) and Pune etc.

These Goans would have immensely benefitted Goa not only in economical but also environmental perspective. As IT sector is usually considered to be very environment friendly. Some critics argue effect on environment may increase as housing will have to be developed for the work force that may arrive in Goa from outside (non-Goans), but if Goan locals themselves are taking up these IT jobs here, than the impact will be greatly decreased.

There are many issues that the government of Goa has to solve in regards to the IT sector. Even though a sound IT policy is the need of the hour, the government has been unable to come up with one that may actually attract companies to invest.

The IT Policies, one released in 2005 and another in 2015 have never been fully accepted. The 2015 policy was the Government’s second attempt to attract large investment in Goa, which apparently has failed to gather any steam.
Many stake-holders have suggested that changes need to be made in the current policy, which prompted the Government to recently announce (12th October 2015) to re-draft it.

The state also lacks the basic needs like roads, which are too narrow to accommodate commute of a large work force. E.g. let’s take the capacity of Rajiv Gandhi IT Park at Dona- Paula which is around 10,000 employees, if it was developed. Under the circumstances there will be 10,000 people coming in at 9 AM and leaving at 6 PM. Traffic jams will be an everyday sight as there are no roads large enough for such a traffic inflow. Even in current times there are traffic jams while getting in and out of city during these timings.

Public transport in the state is also in a very poor condition. Most of the buses carry passengers over their set capacity, making the bus journey very arduous.

Internet connection may prove to be hurdle as well, “although high speed internet is available, the charges are high compared to others cities” says Ashvek Asnodkar, an IT professional working in Goa.
Also, there are issues with constant supply. As many a times the connection is unavailable for hours, causing the loss of valuable time.

Although there are small companies that have made Goa their home, it is still difficult to hold the local talent. As they eventually move to big cities due to stability and scope for growth they provide, treating Goa like a training ground.
Unless, the Goa government does a serious retrospection and work towards upgrading the infrastructure to accommodate the needs of this sector. There is no point in even trying. More and more Goan IT professionals will leave Goa for other cities and states.

Image – Infosys Media Centre in Electronic City, Bangalore.

Image courtesy -Amit AKA proxygeek

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