Australian white-box assembler Pentaq Technology has just returned from a successful industry trade mission to India led by the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Richard Alston.
Alston skippered a side of Australian IT companies on a mission to establish export and trade agreements with corporate and government bodies of the subcontinent. It follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), designed to foster IT trade ventures between the two countries, which was signed by Trade Minister Mark Vaile last year.
In India Pentaq signed a joint venture agreement with KPR Informatics initially worth $13.6 million. The agreement will see Pentaq export re-configured PCs - under its OEM agreements with manufacturers such as Compaq and Hewlett Packard - to KPR.
But the alliance has much greater potential, according to Pentaq managing director Raj Sharma. Using KPR as Pentaq's "eyes and ears" on the ground, Pentaq is in active negotiations with the State Government of Dehradun, India, to establish a technology park.
Sharma claims the proposed technology park is expected to be backed to the tune of $20 million by the State Government. It will enable Pentaq to set up a PC configuration manufacturing facility together with a software applications development unit, software distribution arm, training centre and a systems integration business unit.
The park will service the planned IT upgrade of around 20,000 schools in the state over the next 10 years, including a wireless network linking every campus to a centralised LAN, says an optimistic Sharma.