Global firms eyeing Kerala as preferred IT destination amid shift in focus to tier-II cities
Already, IT giant IBM has started recruitment in Kochi for starting a development centre, which would be the first such facility in the state. IBM also has plans to start such a centre in the capital.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Despite its adverse effect on the state's finances, the COVID-19 pandemic has not dimmed Kerala's charm as a preferred destination for global IT firms. As part of their shift in focus to tier-II cities in the country, major IT companies are looking for space in technology parks in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram for their future investment plans. Its abundant talent pool and quality research facilities are why Kerala is the top choice of the firms.
Already, IT giant IBM has started recruitment in Kochi for starting a development centre, which would be the first such facility in the state. IBM also has plans to start such a centre in the capital. US-based AgiliteGroup, a global IT consulting company focusing on Big Data, AI and analytics, too is opening its new development centre in Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram, and planning to hire 500 professionals within a year. The firm, which has centres in Mumbai and Hyderabad, chose Thiruvananthapuram next due to the strategic advantage it offers for scaling up in the post-pandemic work culture.
Existing firms, including Nissan Digital and Ernst and Young (EY), in the capital are also on expansion mode. Earlier, there were rumours Nissan Digital would leave Technopark. However, these companies have started recruitment as part of expanding their facility. Technopark and Infopark are also working to woo more companies to set up operations in the state.
Several big companies are planning to set up offices in the upcoming Taurus Embassy tech zone in Technopark Phase-III as well. The proposed research hub and development centre of TCS at Technocity is also a feather in the cap of the state's IT sector. The positive trend has brought a new lease of life for many graduates and engineers in the state as it will generate employment in their home state.
A report by global consultant firm ANSR said major global firms looking to hire for their captive units in India are ramping up headcounts in tier-II and tier-III towns, including Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. According to ANSR, which helps companies set up offshore units, tier-II locations are attracting companies due to their robust supply chain network, engineering and research facilities. John M Thomas, CEO of IT parks, Kerala, told The New Indian Express that many big firms are looking at Kerala as a future IT investment destination.
“During the pandemic, many techies preferred to work from their home state. Moreover, the talent pool, quality of life and research facilities made the IT biggies select Kerala as their future investment hub. Though the companies still follow the 'work from home' model, it will not affect the investment by IT majors. We too are identifying the companies and taking up formal proposals with them,” he said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who holds the IT portfolio, had earlier said the IT revolution has been in progress in the state for over 30 to 45 years now and the state continues to be at the forefront of modern technological advances.
Robin Alex Panicker, an IT entrepreneur, said, “Migration of talent back to their hometowns due to the pandemic is forcing technology majors to favourably look at tier-II cities like Thiruvananthapuram for expansion. Also, biggies like Nissan Digital, Infosys, TCS, EY and UST, which already have a presence here, are expanding fast. Startups like CareStack and Thoughtline too are expanding. Kerala has much to benefit from the new normal post-pandemic. We hope authorities are already acting on a plan to maximise the benefit.”
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