The technology upgradation fund scheme (TUFS), an initiative of the Ministry of Textiles which aims at making funds available to the domestic textile industry for technology upgradation is also expected to see some fresh IT investments especially in southern and eastern regions of India.
Another big opportunity in this sector is the Central government's proposal to implement mass rapid transit systems (rail) in cities with populations of 20 lakh and above. Projects of such magnitude require huge IT infrastructure which will necessitate the backing of solution providers like Delhi-based Emarson Computers. The main thrust of Emarson's business is city-based infrastructure projects. "We are bullish about government and PPP infrastructure projects this fiscal," says Sumeet Prakash, CEO, Emarson Computers. Emarson has a specialized team for a up-and-coming vertical like transportation. Last fiscal (2012-13), the company garnered 20 percent of its revenues from the government/PSU sector. This year it hopes to double that number.
But, there are some restrictions when it comes to the kind of adoption the government sector is open to. Virtualization, BI, and the cloud may not happen immediately, believe partners. "Channel partners should not be pitching the cloud, or big data solutions, etcetera. They should stick to catering to the basic technology needs of various departments," says Gogia.
Catering to a large set up like the government will require partners to build and expand their employee capacity to deliver quality service. CCS Computers has already factored this in. It has employed 45 people in sales--pan-India--which includes 35 focused on the government sector in Delhi alone. "We recruited 10 last fiscal and will add nearly 15 more in sales to help us cover more ground," says Bhatia. Further, CCS has expanded operations to different locations across India to address government and defence sectors.
Additionally, CCS has also added a new service called information security solution which has been registered with the Department of IT, Government of India, to extend information security services to various departments, according to Bhatia.
For smaller solution providers, PPPs are a conduit to growth. They can look towards the substantial IT needs of the government sector to elevate the scale of their business. "We would like to be part of the consortium of tech players executing PPP projects, which is presently dominated by large tier-1 SIs," says Prakash from Emarson. "Government sector is a continuous process as the sales and payments are aligned across projects," he says. With many government initiatives going online in the future to improve transparency, solution providers can bet on making it big in this sector.
The Opportunities: The mobile workforce is estimated to reach 1.3 billion in 2015. That's 37 percent of the workforce and a cash cow for partners.
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