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GITIC: Making businessmen

The Goa IT innovation Centre aims to handhold entrepreneurs

Ahva Dsouzaa I The Goan | AUGUST 16, 2012, 07:44 AM IST
GITIC: Making businessmen

Having completed his education in 2011 from the GoaEngineering College (GEC), Shaikh Mohsim Ali decided that becoming anentrepreneur was the way ahead. In January 2012, along with his partner RohitJalmi they approached the Goa IT Innovation Centre (GITIC) at Verna and startedKaavay.

With an initial investment of Rs.70,000, Kaavay focused on creatingadvertising on social networking sites and later moved into web-basedapplications and search engine optimization. Recently they started developingmobile applications. Shaikh said, “In the past eight months we have grown froma one man show to a seven member team.”

Atul Pai Kane, Shekhar Sardessai, Champs brothers are some ofGoa’s great entrepreneurial stories.  

According to information from the department of industries in2010-11, 655 industries were given provisional registration. However in 2011-12this figure dropped by 8 percent to 602.

In the first quarter of 2012-13, the industry department issuedprovisional registrations to 147 industries. These figures indicate a fear ofrisk taking amongst the young in the state. Sources attributed this to the highcosts and the general aversion to taking risk.

The IT sector however has seen an increase in entrepreneurship.According to data from Goa IT Innovation Centre (GITIC) at Verna, the centrereceived 25 proposals since November 201. Ofthese, four were selected. Ashton Souza, director of GITIC said, “GITIC mentorsand incubates young entrepreneur’s ideas. It also gives entrepreneurs aplatform to pitch their products with big industrialists in the state.”

GITIC was initiated by the Goa Chamber of Commerce andIndustry (GCCI) in 2011. GITIC offers IT entrepreneur’s space and mentoring ata price of Rs 4,000 per month. Entrepreneurs are allowed to use the space onlyfor two years, after which they have to move out.

But critics said, “GITIC is not functioning to its maximumcapacity. GITIC has the capacity to mentor 10 to 12 entrepreneur’s at a time.”Gautam Verlekar, founder member Posiview Consulting Partners said, “Theprojects brought before the screening committee cannot even sustain for twomonths. If one wants to be an entrepreneur one has to go all the way and dobusiness. We come across people who want to keep their government jobs and dobusiness. This is not possible.”

Anil Kher, chairman Confederation of India Industries (CII),Goa chapter said, “Goa needs to create brands that can be passed down fromgeneration to generation.” The CII will be shortly launching an entrepreneurshipcampaign. “We will go to colleges and speak on entrepreneurship and itsimportance,” shared Anil. 

But entrepreneur’s in the state are of the opinion that theGoan society has been an isolated society for long with no success stories toexcite entrepreneurship. “In Goa one does not see any rags to riches story. Tohear these stories, Goans will have to wait a long time. The commerce in thestate has no depth. If everyone is able to buy a Ferrari or a Beamer then onlycan we say that we are entrepreneurial in nature,” said an industrialist whorefused to be named. 

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