Coimbatore, which has well-developed infrastructure for the Information Technology (IT) industry, is yet to see growth gaining momentum in the IT and IT Enabled Services (ITES) sector.
The city, which is known for its strengths in the manufacturing units, has sector-specific special economic zones for IT and ITES.
The Tidel Park, which was developed with an investment of Rs. 400 crore and inaugurated in 2012, has 16 clients now. About 70 per cent of the IT space is occupied, say sources at the park.
Spread over 9.5 acre on the 56-acre special economic zone, it has nine lakh sq.ft of IT space. Most of the IT and ITES firms in India are dependent on the U.S. and European markets.
Slowdown in these countries has affected the sector’s growth here and not many are looking at expansion, says the official. Tidel Park is expected to offer incubation facility soon.
Ashok Bakthavatsalam, former chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry, Coimbatore, says one major factor that seems to be a matter of concern for the growth of the IT and ITES sector here is lack of better international air connectivity.
Clients of IT and ITES companies prefer cities that have air connectivity.
Further, large-scale IT companies look at cities that have huge pockets of land at lower cost.
They want to expand to new cities only after executing projects in places that they have already identified. So, Coimbatore is not in the map of some of the big firms for immediate expansion plans. The option for Coimbatore is to attract smaller IT/ITES product companies that are well-known international brands.
One or two success stories in this segment will attract more firms. The Government should promote Coimbatore as an IT destination and this is the right time to do so, he says.