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HCLTech joins Meta, IT ministry programme to help India XR start-ups

Programme helps companies working in augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality


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BS Reporter New Delhi

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HCLTech on Thursday announced it has joined the XR Startup Program, an initiative by Meta and the Indian government to promote extended reality (XR) technology companies.

The information technology company’s experts will mentor such start-ups by holding leadership sessions and providing business and industry perspectives. As the programme progresses, start-ups may leverage HCLTech's global infrastructure, engineering technology and innovation labs to develop, test and validate their services.

Extended reality is a broad term to refer to augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality.

HCLTech said it would act as a knowledge partner for the programme and will help foster an ecosystem in which Indian start-ups can develop hardware and software services solutions. The company’s partnership will focus on education, healthcare and agriculture technology.

“We are thrilled to participate in the XR Startup Program to mentor and support startups and innovators in emerging technologies including augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality. Digital engineering is of strategic focus to HCLTech and our involvement in this program reinforces our commitment to nurturing emerging technologies and innovation to drive all-around growth,” said Vijay Guntur, President, Engineering and R&D Services, HCLTech.

The XR Program, which was launched in September 2022, is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and social media giant Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. It offers a grant of up to Rs 20 lakh to selected start-ups working in XR technologies.

“The XR Startup Program is playing a crucial role in supporting start-ups to embrace extended reality technologies. We are delighted to collaborate with HCLTech for this programme. Their leadership and guidance as a trusted partner will greatly benefit the program participants and further Meta's vision of nurturing immersive technologies and innovation in India to make the country a hub for these emerging technologies," said Shivnath Thukral, director and head of public policy, India, Meta.

MeitY’s larger Startup Hub project hosts more than 4,000 companies, 26 centres of entrepreneurship (CoEs), and more than 400 mentors.

“MeitY Startup Hub’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship has made India the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world. The next wave of innovation, transformation and investments is in XR technologies and the metaverse and the ‘XR Accelerator’ program will ensure that Indian start-ups are at the forefront of developing, launching and scaling immersive technology solutions for the global markets,” said Jeet Vijay, chief executive officer of MeitY Startup Hub.

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First Published: Jul 20 2023 | 2:05 PM IST

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