Big Firms Keep Away from SmartCity

When announced finally, the list missed the names of even Indian IT majors like Infosys, Wipro and TCS, let alone MNCs like Microsoft, Google or IBM.

Published: 21st February 2016 05:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2016 05:31 AM   |  A+A-

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KOCHI: Names of the companies that have occupied space at SmartCity-Kochi were a kept secret, to be announced as ‘surprise’ on the launch day on Saturday. When announced finally, however, the list missed the names of even Indian IT majors like Infosys, Wipro and TCS, let alone MNCs like Microsoft, Google or IBM.

Thiruvananthapuram-based IBS Software is the only recognisable IT firm in the list of 22 companies that have leased space in phase-I of SmartCity-Kochi.

The recognisable non-IT firms in the list are Idea Cellular, Aster Medcity and State Bank of Travancore, which have leased out space for their core activities - telecom, healthcare and banking services.

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“Had the SmartCity project taken off as per the initial plan of 2004-06, we would have attracted bigger companies. What Malayalis must realise is that time won’t wait for us,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

He said he feared that SmartCity might be transformed into a real estate structure with shopping Malls and cinemas. “That would be a real tragedy”. Dubai-based consulting company Musthafa & Almana is the only company at SmartCity that is based outside the country. Most of the companies are local players like 7Nodes Technology Solutions, Alappuzha; Exza Software Services, Kottayam, and Logiticks Techno Labs, Thodupuzha.

In comparison, Infopark, which is situated next to the much-hyped SmartCity, has a better profile, with big names like TCS, Wipro and Nasdaq-listed Cognizant.

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SmartCity Launch a Farce: LDF

Kochi: The LDF on Saturday alleged that the Oommen Chandy Government had failed to implement SmartCity-Kochi in its original form, and termed inauguration of the IT hub as a farce.   “Our protest is not against SmartCity, but against the agents of corruption and complacency who failed to complete the project as per the agreement entered into by the previous LDF Government and the SmartCity promoters,” said CPM district secretary P Rajeev who inaugurated the meeting convened by the LDF district committee. Rajeev alleged that the UDF was trying to transform the SmartCity project into a real estate deal, which according to him would destroy the State’s IT sector. “While the UDF is rhetoric about creating 5,000 jobs at SmartCity, the truth is that they missed the opportunity to create 90,000 jobs,” Rajeev said.  

Co-developers Honoured

Kochi: The co-developers of SmartCity-Kochi whose projects will be coming up in phase-II of the project were honoured by Oommen Chandy and Mohammed Al Gergaw. GEMS Education senior executive director C N Radhakrishnan; Holiday Group chairman C C Thampy; Sands Infrabuild MD Mohammed Sharoon; Prestige Group-Kerala senior vice-president Thankachan Thomas; Maratt Group chairman M K Marattukalam; and Elton Technologies chairman B R Ajith received mementos. Ministers V K Ebrahimkunju and K Babu; Dubai Properties CEO and SCK former vice-chairman  Abdul Latif Al Mulla; K V Thomas, MP; MLAs  Benny Behnan, V P Sajeendran, Dominic Presentation and Hibi Eden; Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson; and Cochin Special Economic Zone development commissioner A N Safeena, among others, attended function.

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