The Kerala Information Technology Department's efforts to showcase the State as a natural hub for information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services got a boost with Wipro chairman Azim Premji expressing interest to expand his company's footprint in Kochi.
Wipro is a major player in IT landscape of the city with a full-fledged private campus at Infopark in Kakkanad. The 10-hectare campus has a built-up space of 10 lakh sq.ft. It employs 1,900 people and focusses on software development, with domestic and international clients.
Mr. Premji's announcement focussing on business process outsourcing (BPO) ventures in Kochi had only confirmed the speculation to that effect. At the request of Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, during the course of their meeting on Thursday, Mr. Premji agreed to expand the campus with prominence to BPO ventures in the domains of law and finance.
Sources said Wipro had for long harboured massive expansion plans in Kochi focussed on BPO and that could spell good for the job scene in the IT sector recovering from the global recession. The company had plans to find new land for expanding operations here.
The company has room for expanding and accommodating more employees on the present campus. It can easily accommodate another 7,000-8,000 staff there, sources said.
Ajay Kumar, Principal Secretary, IT, told The Hindu over the phone on Friday that the meeting Mr. Premji had with the Chief Minister boded well for the State. “He was happy with the overall investment climate and satisfied with the operation of his Kochi campus. He expressed interest to expand his operations in Kochi and we on our part assured all assistance,” he said.
Sources said the State could attract the company to its smaller IT parks in Koratty, Cherthala, and Ambalappuzha, if it were to go ahead with the plan for launching BPOs.
The State could sell the attraction of cost-effective operations possible for BPO ventures in these parks.
A majority of the companies operating out of the park at Koratty were BPOs, and that was a testimony to this possibility. Proximity to the international airport at Nedumbassery was another selling point of the Koratty park.