Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan will on Wednesday perform the ground-breaking ceremony for a campus of UST Global, an information-technology firm, in the area earmarked for the next phase of development of Technopark here.

At a press conference here on Monday, Sajan Pillai, president of the company; Arun K. Narayanan, vice-president; and Alexander Verghese, local head, said the campus, with a built-up area of 16-lakh sq.ft, would be rolled out in three phases.

They said the first phase, with a built-up space of six-lakh sq.ft and a capacity to accommodate 5,000 professionals, would be ready within 12 months. Nearly 3,100 IT professionals were already working in the company unit here. With the proposed first phase expansion plan, UST Global would become the single largest hub for an IT company in the State. The investment plan for the first phase was about $ 60 million (about Rs. 240 crore).

The second phase to be completed by 2010 would have a built-up area of four-lakh sq.ft and a seating capacity for 3,000 professionals. The proposed investment plan for the second phase was $ 40 million (about Rs. 160 crore).

They said the third phase had been designed to have a seating capacity for 2,000 professionals and it would have a built-up area of three-lakh square feet. This phase, with an investment plan of $ 30 millions (about Rs. 120 crore), was expected to be completed by 2011. As much as 3,000 sq.ft of the built-up area would be used for recreational facilities and other amenities.

They said the company was planning to start a unit at the Infopark in Kochi by November, with a capacity to employ 300 professionals to begin with. Initially, the company was planning to buy two hectares of land in Kochi and the area would be eventually expanded to 10 hectares. Within two years, the employee strength in Kochi would be increased to 2,000.

The company was also looking at other districts in Kerala as well as tier-2 and -3 cities in Tamil Nadu for locating its campuses. Another plan was to start a UST Academy, which would have a world-class finishing school.

They said the company, earlier known as US Technologies, was rechristened UST Global as part of its strategy to give more emphasis to its operations in Europe and Asia.