Media ignores Kerala VC Summit
By Anil Philip
The media has ignored the ongoing Kerala Venture Capital Summit 2008 in Trivandrum on 10th and 11th November. The visual media, including local and national channels, was conspicuous by their absence on the opening day of the Summit yesterday. The attendance from the print media was also abysmally low. This was unexpected as Kerala is considered one of the best tech hubs.
The Group of Technopark Companies (GTECH), a strategic grouping of IT companies in Technopark, is organising this Summit christened the ‘Kerala Venture Capital Summit 2008: Financing the Knowledge Economy in Kerala’. “The objective of the two-day summit was to bring together the leading Venture Capitalists for Entrepreneurs on a common platform”, said Binu Sankar, CEO, GTECH. “This event will help the Kerala IT and ITES industry to establish national and international networks with the leading Venture Capital firms”. NEA Indo-US Ventures, Helion Advisors, Ernst & Young, Accel India Venture Fund, Mentor Partners and Greater Pacific Capital are some of the VCs participating in this Summit.
There are about 300 IT companies in Technopark, Trivandrum and Infopark, Kochi. More than 80% of them are small and medium side companies started by entrepreneurs. According to Dr. Ajay Kumar IAS, IT Secretary, Govt. of Kerala, in the present economic slowdown scenario, it’s a good time to look for VC funding and this is the time when entrepreneurs need some handholding.
The organisers and the participants, comprising of mostly CEOs and COOs of companies in Technopark and Infopark were puzzled at the media absence. Most CEOs were very critical of the media. They were of the view that the media here is not supporting the local IT industry. Only scams and issues are of interest to them. Only two newspapers covered morning/day sessions while two (including Techgoss) attended the evening session. On a lighter vein, someone said, “Probably they don’t understand what VC is all about!!”
The Kerala VC Summit has concluded and the media response was same today also. But this did not dampen the spirits of the organisers or the participants in any way. The quality of presentations and talk were of very high standards. There were talks and discussions on opportunities for Kerala in the Global Venture Capital Market and on the road map ahead for Kerala to emerge as an ideal IT & ITES destination. The organisers hope to follow up this summit with interactive mentoring programmes for entrepreneurs in the coming months.