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May 15, 2004

Indian election results dominates TiECon talk: Mercury News

The election results in India, which had surprised most people (including so-called expert pollsters), dominated the chatter among the 3,000 attendees at TiECon, the annual global Indian entrepreneurs event held in Santa Clara, reports San Jose Mercury News.

While Houston-based entrepreneur Ashok Rao said he was "shocked, disappointed and nervous'' about the results, Vinod Dham of NewPath Ventures was more positive about the new left-of-center Congress Party-led coalition that is set to take power (replacing the BJP-led coalition).

Dham hopes the new government would focus on improving infrastructure and putting up manufacturing facilities in rural areas. "They (India's rural folk) don't have water, power, electricity or roads connecting to rural areas. They didn't see any benefit trickling down from the growth in IT,'' he said. "The existing government was all drunk with its success,'' Dham added for good measure.

Harish Mehta, founder of Indian IT services company Onward Technologies, said he did not foresee the new government doing any "major tinkering'' with respect to taxation of tech companies. With half of India's 1 billion population aged 25 or lower, the country needs to generate 10 million new jobs a year. "Those jobs have to come from innovation-driven entrepreneurs,'' Mehta said.

Click Here to read the full Mercury News report.