IT boom that Kerala can cash in on

In the last few months,deep-tech companies like Visteon and Blue Binaries also opened new centres at Technopark, while TCS expanded its operations.

Published: 11th June 2022 06:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th June 2022 06:34 AM   |  A+A-

Computer, Mouse, Online

Image used for representational purpose. (File Photo)

The Information Technology sector that forms the backbone of Kerala’s economy, along with tourism, is witnessing a boom with new companies opening shops and the existing ones expanding facilities. This week, IBM launched an Automation Innovation Centre at Infopark in Kochi and announced collaborations with TCS and Wipro. Design and technology services major Tata Elxsi opened a new centre at UL Cyber Park in Kozhikode on Wednesday, after expanding its centre at Kinfra Park, near Thiruvananthapuram’s Technopark, in April.

In the last few months,deep-tech companies like Visteon and Blue Binaries also opened new centres at Technopark, while TCS expanded its operations. About 50% of space in Niagara, the 1.5 million sq ft office building that will open in November at Technopark Phase-3, has already been booked. What these indicate is the IT companies’ renewed interest in Kerala while they are planning to expand and look towards tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

The IT industry in Kerala employs 1.22 lakh professionals across 1,046 companies. The value of total exports in 2020–21 was Rs 15,000 crore, and it grew at 14.5% compared to the previous year. A complementing startup ecosystem also exists here. In 2021, Kerala’s startup companies raised a funding of $226 million (Rs 1,718 crore). Earlier this year, fintech start-up Open Financial Technologies became Kerala’s first unicorn startup. This seems to be the right moment for the state to seize the lost opportunity. Though Kerala realised the potential of the sector and launched the country’s first IT facility, Technopark, in the early ’90s itself, it lost out to Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad as the state governments there competed with each other and provided better business environments.

Even now, industry professionals complain about the lethargic attitude of Kerala’s IT authorities. There are long queues of companies waiting for space at all three major IT parks and no serious efforts are being taken to address the issue. The shortage of industry-ready talent is another hitch. If the government picks up the cues, addresses concerns and goes for an aggressive marketing drive, it can cash in on the boom. That can provide the much-needed booster dose for the state’s ailing economy.



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