India to initiate innovative breakthroughs: Gates

By : |December 8, 2005 0

NEW DELHI: Many innovative breakthroughs will take place in India and every company should have its R&D centres in India, according to Bill Gates, Microsoft Corp., chairman and chief architect.

“It has been fantastic three years for India as far as innovation is concerned. India is the place where innovative breakthroughs will take place in the coming years. Keeping this in mind, Microsoft has set up its fourth R&D center in the country, which is working towards low cost computing,” Gates said while acknowledging India’s technological prowess.



Addressing the CII-CEOs forum here, Gates stressed on literacy, productivity, digital inclusion and innovation that would help bridge the digital divide and facilitate future growth.

Speaking on increasing the literacy level in India, he opined that pervasive literacy is an achievable goal if companies and government can work together. He maintained that traditional literacy is not enough, as people are now required to have a broad set of skills.

“I think that part of India’s success in IT comes from the investment that the government made in educational institutions like IITs. Computer is not just a tool for IT but for all activities, be it connectivity, sharing ideas, product design, etc. and new and lower cost technology is needed to penetrate rural India,” he said.

World economy is moving very rapidly and expectation from productivity is greater than ever before. “India is a leader in the worldwide IT services market. India’s learning curve is getting better and better. Job creation will continue to be strong in this sector and demand for skilled workforce would outstrip supply for the next few years. The salaries will not be based on the country that they work in, but on the education level,” stated Gates.

“As an employer, Microsoft is hiring as rapidly as we can in India. We will be from about 4,000 today to about 7,000 in the next three-four years excluding the large number of people who work indirectly with us on projects with our partners here,” he added.

He also pointed out the lack of investment in other sectors of the Indian economy like SMBs, particularly those engaged in domestic manufacturing.

“If we look at the use of IT in the country, there is far more that can be done. In industry sectors, there need to be increased investment in IT. Again, this is an area where government through education initiatives and investment has a role to play,” he added.

According to Gates, open computer approach would drive a cycle of innovation and drive the growth of software industry. “Thirty years ago when we started Microsoft it was with the belief that we can take PC and make it a tool for every home and every desk. PC is a magical tool and someone who has a PC connected to the Internet has something that he can learn from, far better than before.”

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