The information technology and consulting companies Cognizant, and Ernst and Young Global Shared Services will set up their units at Infopark in Kochi shortly. Ernst and Young will also set up a unit in Technopark near here.

Agreements to this effect were signed by representatives of the companies and the Infopark in the presence of Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan here on Saturday. Binu Pazhoor signed the agreements on behalf of the infoparks Kerala, Binu Koshy on behalf of Ernst and Young Global Shared Services and Vishnu Potty on behalf of Cognizant. Cognizant is signing up for approximately one lakh square feet of space at newly constructed building Athulya at the Inforpark while Ernst and Young is taking up about 25000 square feet. Exports from infopark are expected to go up as the companies start operations from there shortly.

The Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan told the media that the government had been able to take effective steps in attracting investments to Kerala during the past five years. Companies had come forward to invest in the State despite global recession.

Mr. Potty, vice president of Cognizant, said that the company was building capacity across India to realise its growth plans. “We are expanding by constructing fully owned techno-campuses and also leasing facilities like this one in Kochi in SEZ-notified areas. We have over 1100 associates working from our existing facility in Kochi. The additional space at Infopark, when fully occupied, can accommodate 1100 associates," he said.

Global Vice Chair of Ernst and Young Global Services, Tim Eddy, said that the expansion was aligned to Ernst & Young's strategy. "Kochi is an ideal location for Ernst & Young. Access to skilled talent is key for our growing organisation. We need to ensure that we have access to a reliable supply of abundant and skilled talent, which Kochi is able to provide. As a cosmopolitan city, Kochi is also able to attract pan lndia talent."

Mr. Pazhoor said that the agreement was a major milestone for Inforpark. “We hope to see a large number of opportunities open up for young professionals when these companies are operational.”