Kerala woos IT sector investors
to generate employment
Oct 20 (IANS) Even as the world is grappling with a financial
crisis, Kerala has opened up investment in its IT industry
with the target of generating over 200,000 jobs in the next
these tumultuous times, there is a chance for smaller players
to go up and we want to move up to the leader's spot,"
Ajay Kumar, Kerala information technology secretary, told
IANS during a visit here.
is leading a high level delegation from Kerala at the ongoing
Gitex 2008 show here, which is the Middle East's largest technology
fair, to promote the south Indian state as an IT hub among
prospective investors here.
said that the Kerala government was in the process of scaling
up its operations in the IT sector multi-fold and is seeking
investors for this.
are three types of investment opportunities. One is investment
in IT townships and SEZs (special economic zones). Second
is investment in standalone IT parks and the third is investment
by IT companies and carrying out their operations from Kerala,"
we have two IT parks - Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram and
Infopark in Kochi. We are scaling up (the number of parks
in the state) from two to 10 over the next 10 years."
said as these parks take shape, employment opportunities in
the state's IT sector will grow immensely.
we have 40,000-45,000 employees in the IT sector. Our plan
is to multiply this several fold, at least fivefold in the
next five years or so," he said.
that Kerala's IT department was showcasing the state as a
premier IT destination for the first time ever through its
participation in GITEX, he said Malayalis in the Gulf are
being targeted as potential investors.
now, our focus was on Technopark and Infopark in Kerala. But
now, for the first time, we are opening up investment opportunities.
The standalone IT parks offer a unique opportunity.
are basically targeting Malayalis in the Gulf who may be interested
in making safe investments back home," he said.
large number of the over 4.8 million expatriate Indians in
the Gulf hail from Kerala.
explained that creating standalone parks required far lower
investment than facilities like Technopark and Infopark.
said the idea was to spread the IT sector from Thiruvananthpuram
and Kochi to other parts of the state.
a standalone park can come up on one or two acres of land
and will require investment of Rs.5-20 crore (Rs.50-200 million).
The land will be given on lease to investors who can run the
park on BOT (build, operate and transfer) basis," he
said, adding that the government has already identified around
10 places for this.
other investment opportunity of creating IT companies or BPOs,
he said, was aimed at generating investment in the sector
in interior and rural areas.
said that though the global financial crisis has affected
Kerala like everyone else, it also offered the state a chance
to catapult itself to the top league of the IT sector.
is insulated these days, so, if anything global happens, it
affects everyone. But Kerala has not been badly affected for
two reasons. One is, a large part of Kerala's industries is
homegrown, so they are not affected.
is, we are relatively small. So in crises like this, big players
fall more heavily than smaller players," he said.
added that Kerala, with its good connectivity - 85 percent
of its villages have broadband connection - and quality human
resources offered an ideal investment climate in the IT sector.
said the current crisis has only slightly affected Kerala's
growth path and so it now has an opportunity to capitalise
on the scene.
several surveys, we have been put in challenger category -
the number two category - and not the number one category
as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai and Pune. In such
tumultuous times, which offer smaller players a chance to
grow, we want to jump from the challenger category to the
leader category," he said.