Kerala’s first cooperative society for IT professionals

A silent revolution is taking place in the idyllic village of Kakkoor near Piravom where the State’s first cooperative society for IT entrepreneurs and employees has been formed.

Kakkoor-based Technolodge has formed the Ernakulam District IT Entrepreneurs and Employees Cooperative Society with the support of the district cooperative bank.

IT entrepreneurs and employees anywhere in the district can become members by buying a share with a face value of Rs. 1,000 and paying entry fee of Rs. 100. Voting rights would be restricted to one, irrespective of number of shares bought.

The society aims at enabling entrepreneurs to avoid the cumbersome formalities of banks, including security, to secure loan. Instead, an expert committee would vet a project and extend loan under the Central Credit Guarantee Scheme.

“The society will avail of funds from the district cooperative bank for 12 per cent interest to provide loans without security, but at a slightly increased interest rate to cover the society’s establishment costs,” Baiju Nedumkery, Technolodge managing partner and chief promoter of the society told The Hindu.

Members can also avail of loans for personal issues like marriage or buying a home. The society in association with the State government plans to formulate a monthly pension scheme for middle and low level IT employees.

Winning over IT-related projects and computerisation of government and quasi-government departments, universities and other autonomous bodies for the members is another stated objective of the society.

“Private players are benefitting from these projects now. Government can directly allot these works to us without going for tenders since we come under the cooperative department,” Mr. Nedumkery said.

The society also aims at bulk buying of computer and accessories to buy which entrepreneurs would be given loan repayable in equal monthly instalments.

The registration formalities of the society are underway and approval from the joint registrar is being awaited.

The first meeting of the society had been conducted and a seven-member promoting committee has also been formed.

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