Margao is a busiest hub of trade and commerce and IT industry has marked a significant growth here in recent years. However, despite of several favorable factors, Margao is waiting for a great kick start to join the group of IT hubs in India.
Margao, also called as Madgaon is the second significant city in the state of Goa after Panaji. The commercial capital of the state, Margao is a centre of cultural activities, sports and tourism in South Goa. Margao is a busiest hub of trade and commerce and IT industry has marked a significant growth here in recent years. However, despite of several favorable factors, Margao is waiting for a great kick start to join the group of IT hubs in India.
Margao is the second largest town and a bustling commercial centre in Goa. Because of its proximity to Panaji and Vasco da Gama, Margao serves as a service and transport hub to the areas of south Goa. Margao is well connected with other cities and thus makes commercial activities hassle free. Madgaon railway station is Goa's biggest and busiest railway junction and the city is connected by road to other cities like Mangalore, Udupi, Karwar, Ratnagiri, and Mumbai through the National Highway 17 (NH17). Also, there is a road, which connects Margao to Ponda and other towns of Goa. The nearest airport to Margao is Dabolim Airport which is 23 km away from the town.
Educational Hub and Tourists’ attractions
Margao hosts many reputed schools and colleges. Some of the prestigious schools include: Loyola High School, The Bhatikar Model English High School, Mahila & Nutan High School and Manovikas High School. The Parvatibai Chowgule College is one of the prominent educational institutes. Apart from that there are many government and private institutes which offer higher education in the state. Margao has many sights and destinations. There are a number of churches and temples here. The Margao City Hall is situated in the heart of the city. Apart from that Margao Municipal Garden is one of the tourist attractions.
Margao At a Glance
Number of Resellers: Nearly 70-80
Key Verticals: Tourism, Education, Government
Prominent Brands: Dell, Acer, Lenovo, Asus, Kaspersky, K7, HP, Canon, Epson
Prominent IT Association: Computer Dealers Forum of Goa (CDFG)
Growth of IT industry
IT industry has shown a significant growth in Margao in recent years, however, it lacks behind compared to other developed cities and towns in the country. Hardware industry has seen a remarkable growth but the software industry is still searching for its place here. Aiming to boost the IT industry and pulled the investors in the state, the state government recently announced the IT policy draft with a slew of incentives for the companies to set up their business in Goa.
Under the policy, the government has proposed to set up two IT parks in the state in the next three to five years. In an effort to lure the investors, the government has also proposed 100 per cent reimbursement in stamp duty, electricity duty, central sales tax, entry tax along with 10 per cent reimbursement on salaries paid to the local employment up to 80 percent. Many companies have expressed their interest in setting up business in the proposed IT projects. The government hopes that once the final IT policy is announced, the process for investment proposals will begin.
However, IT professionals in Goa opinion that for the successful implementation of the policy, the government needs to address and eradicate the ground level challenges which are the key obstacles in the growth of the industry. There is also an allegation that the lack of political will and competence among the government bureaucracy is barring the state from benefiting from a comprehensive IT policy.
“Lack of infrastructural development and the absence of serious efforts on the part of the authorities are the major reasons for the slow pace of IT growth. The government needs to clean the system first and there should be transparency in the government schemes and projects”, says a reseller on the condition of anonymity.
Yatish Kumar, IT reseller in Margao says that there should be transparency in the government tenders and all the competent dealers should get a fair opportunity to participate in the government tenders. “Common resellers do not get a fair chance to bid on the government tenders. There is very limited opportunity for open tendering and only selected resellers get government orders. It should be fair and open for all the resellers so that anybody can participate in the tendering process”, Kumar says.
Despite of having highly literate English speaking population, Goa has not able to utilize this talent for the growth of the industry. Lack of suitable jobs in the state has compelled the Goans talent to explore better employment opportunities outside the state. Experts say that to avail the local talent and generate employment in the state, the government needs to make the current syllabus industry oriented. The Syllabus should be harmonized and should focus on imparting skills to students as per the industry’s requirement, experts say.
The way ahead
Gifted with un-diluted nature and ample natural resources and skilled manpower, Margoa is a pool of talent. However, it requires proper policy in place. The state government has taken several policy initiatives to facilitate an inclusive growth of the IT industry. It would be interesting to see that how Margao will gear up to be in the list of the most preferred investment destinations in India in the coming days.
Narender, Owner of Sunny Enterprises
How will you analyze the growth of IT industry in Margao?
Narender: The IT industry has been witnessing de-growth year on year. There is shrinking demand, especially in the desktop and laptop segment. The online trade and emergence of Smartphone market are the major reasons for the current sluggish business scenario. The smartphone segment has taken a major share of computing and the majority of computer work has been shifted on mobiles as customers demand mobility and convenience. However, the networking business has picked up in recent years and it is doing well in Goa.
How is the growth in the Networking business? How it is helping the resellers to retain their profit margins?
Narender: Networking segment has not seen de-growth despite of challenges. There is always demand for networking solutions irrespective of devices. There is reasonable demand for networking products in Goa. This is the area which has remained unaffected from the southward trend in the IT industry.
Yatish Kumar, IT Reseller
What are the challenges faced by the resellers in Margao?
Yatish Kumar: The major challenge is that there are many competitors in the market. The local resellers also face tough competition from outsiders. The second challenge is that common resellers do not get a fair chance to bid on the government tenders. There is very limited opportunity for open tendering and only selected resellers get government orders. It should be fair and open for all the resellers so that anybody can participate in the tendering process.
Many resellers are moving towards security and surveillance business. How has been the growth of this segment in Margao?
Yatish Kumar: The security and surveillance business is growing, but it has not yet gained momentum. Like other segments, resellers do face competition from outsiders who enter in Goa, install CCTV solutions and when it comes to service they disappear. Many resellers are dumping Chinese security products in the market, which is not only hampering the genuine brands, but also affecting business of local dealers. Unfortunately, customers prefer cheap brands and overlook durability.