The IT Roadmap

  • Abhishek Behl / FG
  • India
  • Nov 07, 2014

Photo: Prakhar Pandey

Thousands of commuters who face great difficulty in crossing Shanker Chowk can now take a breather, as Gurgaon Police and NASSCOM have come together to find a workable solution at this crucial intersection. A large number of office goers and industrial workers cross Shanker Chowk every day, to reach their offices and factories on both sides of the national highway. Gurgaon Police Commissioner Alok Mittal, who visited the Shanker Chowk crossing to accept a petition from NASSCOM - signed by almost 2,500 pedestrians - said that the Police department officials will meet with all the stakeholders in the coming days and find out a good way forward. Mittal said that a number of suggestions have been received, and the traffic officials will look into all the aspects. For starters, the Gurgaon Police will ensure that the ‘walkways’ on this intersection, on both the sides, are built and maintained properly, and are manned at all times (especially peak hours).

Nitin Seth, Chair, NASSCOM Regional Council and MD, Fidelity Worldwide Investments, told Friday Gurgaon that for those using public transport, a last mile walk is almost a given. If busy crossings like Shanker Chowk can be ‘organised’ & made safer for these people, and all pedestrians in general, it will also help to increase the number of people who would like to use the Metro as a primary means of transport. Given Gurgaon’s importance as a business hub, the authorities must improve the physical infrastructure and ensure the development of a sustainable transport system. It is crucial to implement the comprehensive ‘mobility plan’, which calls for an integrated approach  - for both the planning and the modes of transport. Seth confirmed that IT companies in Gurgaon would like to continue to work with the government and the administration to help make the City a better and more livable space. The 2,500 petitioners are mainly employees of various IT-BPM companies located in Cybercity & Udyog Vihar - such as Accenture, Aegis, Aricent, , Axtria, Datawind, Effort BPO,  E-Mediatech, Ericsson, GE capital, Guavus, Hero BPO, IBM Daksh, Indiabulls, Istrat, , Lepton Software, Maakan dotcom Mynd Solutions, Myntra, Nokia, Polaris, Quytech, Rolta, Serco, SGS, Siemens, Spicejet, Summit Information Technology, TCS, Wipro, WNS and Yebhi dotcom.  “We have also received signatures from employees of companies such as Audi Gurgaon, Bauch & Lomb, CII, Gati, HSIIDC, India Times, IndusInd Bank, JWT, Lanco, Maruti, Maxlife Insurance, MTS, Oberoi Hotels, Pearl Global Limited and Videocon. Many of them cross Shanker Chowk almost every day, ” said Prabhat Aggarwal, Member, NASSCOM Regional Council Haryana & Founder, Aravali Scholars. “Road safety is a very crucial component of the daily commute by the public. If pedestrian movement is made convenient and safe, many of our employees could be motivated to use public transport such as the Rapid Metro. This will also help to reduce the number of private cars on the roads, and lead to lesser traffic jams in areas like Udyog Vihar,” said Rakesh Kapoor, Co-chair, NASSCOM Regional Council Haryana and MD, Summit Information Technology. In addition to the petition by commuters, CEOs of companies such as Appster, Make My Trip, Blackrock, Hughes Systique, Hero BPO, Sapient, Annik Technology, Nagarro, Summit Information Technology, Concentrix and Teleperformance have also written to the Police Commissioner, requesting the authorities to help make the Shanker Chowk crossing safe, so that their employees can peacefully reach their workplaces and homes. 

Earlier, under the banner of ‘Active Commuting’, NASSCOM had conducted various sensitisation programs, promoting the use of public transport, cycling and walking. Almost 10,000 pedestrians cross Shankar Chowk everyday, either to go to Udyog Vihar or to Cybercity. This public event, supported by Rapid Metro, witnessed the participation of over 100 employees from various IT-BPM companies . They crossed Shankar Chowk collectively and handed over the (signed by 2,500) petition letters to Police Commissioner Alok Mittal on the Udyog Vihar side.



Poor civic infrastructure, lack of power, a water crisis and indifferent governance, combined with high living and operational costs, is starting to now impact industry and commerce – and the IT sector in particular - in the Millennium City. IT companies have started to make a move to tier II cites, and have capped their hiring of manpower and space in Gurgaon. It is the first dent in the image of this City as an IT hub. The IT and ITES (IT Enabled Services) sector is one of the largest employers in the City, with almost 3 lakh people working in call centres and offices.  The silver lining is that many IT leaders of Gurgaon, like many in industry nationally, believe that people have voted for development, growth, jobs and infrastructure, and want an end to corruption, crony capitalism and the lack of transparency and accountability in government functioning, which was allegedly the hallmark of the previous State regime. Nitin Seth, CEO, Fidelity, believes that the new mandate is a great opportunity for the BJP to rewrite the script and help end the endemic corruption that today plagues the State and country. Seth, who has great faith in Gurgaon as an IT hub, wants the new BJP government to expeditiously develop a plan for the overhaul of the City, and then execute it effectively. In his opinion, there is an urgent need to build infrastructure, create more green space, and to transform the higher education system - which at present is not capable of reshaping talent. Seth strongly feels that the focus should be on the quality of education, and on building relevant skills. He opines that the government must focus on becoming an enabler and a facilitator for industry and services. The industry also feels that there is need to build a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in Gurgaon, and across the country, which is centred on technology. There is need to build ecosystems and policies that support young startups and companies that have great ideas. Rakesh Kapoor, Co-chair, NASSCOM Regional Council, Haryana and MD, Summit Information Technology opines that that there is need to fix this city on priority. "Gurgaon needs to ‘function’. Just look at the status on the road: there is clearly a need for better roads and public transport facilities, as well as road discipline and safety," says Kapoor. In his opinion, the new government in Haryana should promote a more supportive industrial and IT policy, fix the basic problems in the City, and ensure that there is an end to the red tape and bureaucratic inertia in governance. Prabhat Agarwal, a former IT CEO who is now a social activist, believes that the City administration must be empowered, and its priority should be to ‘deliver’ on the different ‘yojnas’ for the weaker sections of society. He also wants all local citizens to get Voter ID cards, Aadhaar cards and basic amenities – like healthcare, education, water and power. Siddharth S. Dahiya, Director, Peregrine opines that there is need to have a government that functions, and is efficient and responsive. "Gurgaon is the financial capital of Haryana. It is also a big manufacturing hub. However, industry is suffering because of the poor state of industrial relations across this belt," says Dahiya. The IT industry in Gurgaon also wants the Centre and State governments to optimally harness the potential of this city and its people, and focus on building Gurgaon as an IT and financial powerhouse. For this to happen, the key stakeholders of the City – including politicians, bureaucrats, RWAs, NGOS, civil society - need to build a collective vision for Gurgaon and then work together on key plans and projects. Sumeet Kapur, CEO, EmployWise, opines, "The focus of the politicians and bureaucrats must shift to Gurgaon. It is the goose that is (still) laying the golden eggs." And the outcomes have to be more substantial than Raahgiri (though it has merit of its own, and has been a success). 



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