The concept master plan for the entire 246 acres earmarked for the proposed SmartCity Kochi project will be ready in three weeks, Baju George, managing director of SmartCity (India) has said.

Talking to The Hindu on Tuesday, Mr. George said that preparations are on to unveil the master plan and launch the roadshow in Bangalore to attract investments to the Kochi project by February end or the first week of March. He said that plans are afoot to organise a mega event to be attended by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to mark the occasion.

Mr. George said consultants have been appointed in the U.S. to facilitate contacts between SmartCity and prospective investors. He said that a team is likely to visit Silicon Valley to showcase the SmartCity Kochi project.

The roadshow to be launched in Bangalore will be held at least in Hyderabad, Gurgaon, and Mumbai within the country in addition to destinations outside India. The proposed road shows constitute only a small part of the larger promotional campaign, which will be a continuous process.

“The roadshows, at best, help to establish the brand. The deciding factor is one-on-one interactions with prospective investors, IT companies, and co-developers as the case may be. It's the rapport created during such interactions and then sustained on a long-term basis that get converted into investments for the project. When you talk with 20 such prospective clients, four or five may prove beneficial to the project but the intensity of interaction with all 20 of them should be the same,” said Mr. George.

Realising this, the promoters of the project have made it a point to do the groundwork well in advance to facilitate such interactions before the promotional campaign is taken to each destination. Apart from campaigns on its own, SmartCity Kochi will associate with events to be organised by professional bodies like NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies) CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) etc.

“We will associate with Emerging Kerala, the proposed investors' meet to be organised by the State government,” Mr. George said.

He said that construction of the pavilion, which is to serve as a marketing-cum-sales facility on 6,000 sq.ft. will be ready in the month of February itself.

Mr. George is hopeful of conducting the next meeting of the board of directors, which needs to be held before the end of March, in the new pavilion.

He said that the construction of the first phase of the project will be launched in April and completed in 20 months. It will feature a building spread over 3.5 lakh sq.ft generating 5,500 jobs.

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