STPI Mysuru was setup by the then NDA Government headed by PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1998. Mysuru was the first non capital city to have this prized IT facility. Many home grown IT companies got associated with STPI with time and flourished big.
However, the dream to make IT the next big sector in Mysuru did not get through due to the negligence of subsequent State Governments in supporting home grown IT ventures. The reason being the lack of dedicated incubation space and necessary IT infrastructure. Hence, many Mysuru startups migrated to Bengaluru and flourished there. Mysuru’s subpar ecosystem for tech startups is attributed largely to the constrained space and infra at SJCE – STEP campus, Manasagangotri.
Union Government in 2015 came up with the mission of having state of the art STPI centres across the nation to bring in technology revolution across niche areas.
This Union government mission came as a breather to Mysuru and many other Tier 2 cities . In 2016 the State Government made available the land owned by KEONICS for a dedicated STPI centre which was to become the new address of STPI. The land is located in Hootagalli Industrial area next to Infosys.
This centre was to be built with Central and State Government funding. Cost of the project was estimated to be 30 crore with 23 crore coming from Central Government. Though the construction started in 2017, the centre is still not fully operationalised and the Government is incurring heavy losses by keeping it vacant and idle.
Introduction to STPI
Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) is an autonomous society under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. Contribution of STPI to India’s Telecom and IT revolution is unmatched since its inception in 1990.
In fact, Bengaluru became what it is today because of the timely establishment of STPI park in 1991 by the then Narasimha Rao’s Government. STPI then boasted the latest infrastructure of the time that was on par with what developed countries had in that era.
The government through STPI stood solidly behind the rise of Bengaluru from a laid back city and pensioner’s paradise to the most-happening silicon valley of India and one of the top 10 startup capitals of the world. So far, this has been the fastest evolution of any city from nothing to everything within the span of 2 decades flat.
Need to Fast track the STPI Centre
Inspite of being the first non capital to host an STPI in the country, Mysuru failed to capitalise on the IT boom. We have wasted 2 decades of opportunities. Had STPI Mysuru been equipped with a large facility and all necessary infrastructure with government’s backing, like Bengaluru, Mysuru too would have had a massive local IT industry by now, exporting software in billions of USD, and EMPLOYING YOUTH IN LAKHS. The irony is, even after 20 years of wait, the job still remains UNFINISHED and STPI center is UNUSED, thus exposing the government’s APATHY towards the development of TIER 2 cities.
New dedicated Centre – the beginning
Work on the ground began in 2017 and by 2018 it picked up the speed. In fact, in 2018 and in 2019 Shri Pratap Simha, MP Mysuru-Kodagu even visited the site to see the progress of the project and gather information first hand about its completion.
According to STPI officials then, the project was set to be ready in all aspects by late 2018.
The new center of STPI is supposed to have a building with two structures one with a built-up area of 40,000 sqft to accommodate around 200 workstations equipped with an incubation center, 24×7 high-speed Internet, redundant UPS power, telecom and other modern amenities. The center would charge Rs. 4000 per month per workstation that would immensely help individuals who have startup dreams.
The other structure with an open space of 6,000 sq ft could be used by companies interested in taking up the entire space by investing on their own tailor made infrastructure.
Thanx to our beloved PM @narendramodi ji, STPI-Software Technology Park of India with 200 seats Incubation Centre envisaged by Late PM Atalji in 1998, will be completed by coming September. Small step towards creating an IT hub in Mysuru. pic.twitter.com/PPzx0UJfkc— Pratap Simha (@mepratap) July 5, 2019
Delay, delay and more delay
Alas, despite all the tall promises made by STPI authorities, the work on the ground is not fully finished yet even in 2020. Now they can easily put the blame on Coronavirus and wash their hands-off. That’s not an excuse for INCOMPETENCY of the authorities.
The question to ask is, why was the entire 2019 wasted?. How long should one wait? – quarter century?
The way forward
As the adage goes “Proof of the pudding is in eating” the proof of the success of STPI campus is when it is fully occupied and the facility is used 100%. The STPI authorities have to work towards that.
Following steps need to be taken immediately
- At the earliest, complete the work 100% – even 95% is NOT ACCEPTABLE
- Aggressively get into promotional activities to bring in customers.
- Use social media for marketing.
- Approach some STPI Bangaluru companies to use the facility at Mysuru.
- Make sure the facility is used up 100% at the shortest possible time.
STPI can support centre of excellence (CoE)
Following CoE needs to be established in Mysuru under the guidance of Ministry of Electronics IT (MeITy) through STPI
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Machine Learning (ML)
- Cloud Computing (CC)
- Blockchain Technology (BT)
- Crypto Technology (CT)