The plans for smart cities and bank accounts for all adult Indians are opening up major investment opportunities for IT giants like IBM.
Vanitha Narayanan, managing director of IBM India and South Asia, told a select press meet that her company has already provided a blueprint for a smart city to the government. “We met Amitabh Kant, (secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) when he was the CEO of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project” she said.
IBM joins the growing league of global IT firms that plan to step up their investments in India to take advantage of the digital plans of the Narendra Modi-led government. Cisco has already signed an agreement to transform Bangalore Electronic City into a smart city in partnership with Electronics City Industries Association.
Similarly SmartCity Dubai plans to tie up with the Madhya Pradesh government for a similar project to be located between Bhopal and Indore. Narayanan said that with the new government in power, the investment environment of the economy has “changed”.
Commenting on the tax notices served by the revenue department on IBM, she said, “We are now talking to the government about it.” The company has been asked to pay a sum of Rs 5,357 crore as outstanding income tax for FY09 , which it has disputed.
IBM has big plans for India as it expands its global cloud footprint. While the number of its data centres in the country will jump to about 40 by the end of this year riding on its private cloud service, Narayanan said the investment in public cloud solutions will especially help small and medium enterprises deliver solutions for their customers .