Tourism Plus IT Equals Kerala

by Sohini Bagchi    Feb 06, 2006

Taking a cue from the success of Bangalore, Gurgaon and Hyderabad as some of the hot IT destinations in India, the green state of Kerala is all set to follow suit.

Recently, at the major IT event, IT Kerala 2006, nearly a hundred IT and IteS sector companies converged to display their products and services, and to discuss business and investment plans to bring about this progress.

These included TCS, Intel, Infosys, L&T, Tulip IT Services, NeST, IBS, Oracle, Intel, Microsoft, Bharati, Reliance, Sutherland, HP, Dell, 24/7 Customer Care, Rittal India and many more companies.

IT Secretary, P H. Kurien spoke to CXOtoday about Kerala’s game plan. “The State has made rapid strides in the IT sector. Today, all the IT majors are looking at Kerala as a destination and this participation shows their genuine interest. It is important that we build up a strong private-pubic partnership.”

He further informed that the Kerala government would position Kottayam, Thrissur, Kannur and Kozhikode as satellite IT destinations in the state, since present IT activities were presently concentrated around Thiruvananthapuram - the state capital, and Kochi.

Major business plans, expansions and investments were also announced at the four-day event. Bangalore-based Infosys announced its intention to invest Rs1.5 billion in three phases and raise the headcount in Kerala by 3750 people. In its first phase, it will invest Rs500 million to set up a campus in Thiruvananthapuram with a capacity for 1250 people, which would be raise by another 2500 seats through a further investment of Rs1 billion, according to D. Padmanabhan, a senior official at Infosys.

“Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), will be investing Rs2.5 billion to set up a software development center at the Technopark campus to upgrade its existing training facility there and provide jobs for 5,000 software professionals,” informed M. Vasudevan, Senior Director, TCS. “We already have a corporate training center here that will be upgraded to a global training unit by fresh investment.”

In tandem with the various eGovernance initiatives and best practices, the Kerala government further announced that it would implement projects worth Rs13,495 crore under ”Kerala Vision 2010”, a new development initiative focusing on the state’s growth and development.

“The government had taken significant steps through projects such as
”Kudumbasree”, ”Ashraya” and ”Prathyasha” projects had have empowered the citizens to leverage the power of information technology,” informed Kurien. Farmer-friendly policies and programs such as AGRISNET have also been initiated to sustain the developmental thrust in the farm sector through IT.

The event also attracted a lot of foreign firms keen to set up base in the state. The U.S. based BPO firm Sutherland Global Services has plans to invest over Rs120 crore to create service delivery center and training infrastructure on 20 acres of land in Kochi. “The company expects to hire 3,000 professionals over the next three years in the first phase for its Kerala operations,” said Dilip Vellodi, Chairman & CEO, Sutherland Global Services.

Kurien said that the government would enthusiastically continue to play the role of a facilitator in developing new destinations for IT.

Tags: Kerala, IT, hub, Infosys, TCS