Kris Gopalakrishnan, executive co-chairman and co-founder of Infosys, believes the development initiatives of the information technology (IT) sector will penetrate Tier 3 and 4 towns in Kerala in the next few years.

“It may take time to materialise, but given the semi-urban setting of Kerala, it will be a natural evolution,” Mr. Gopalakrishnan told The Hindu on the sidelines of the inauguration of Startup Village, the country's first telecom innovation hub and technology business incubator under a public-private partnership, at Kalamassery over the weekend.

Mr. Gopalakrishnan termed the incubator, which envisions setting up at least 1,000 student start-ups, as a landmark in the State's growth. “Many a time it is through a start-up that obscure towns get known,” he said, citing the growth of Seattle. Any place in Kerala, he said, is not very far from an airport and almost all Tier 3 and 4 towns have hospitals and other general infrastructure, which is the primary requirement for business. “In hindsight, Bangalore has also taken time to become what it is today. As you create success stories out of Kerala, businesses will come here, too,” he said, expressing happiness over the building of infrastructure in the State. “It will generate investments, opportunities, and jobs,” he added.

Mr. Gopalakrishnan said Kerala had already made a head-start in IT as evident from the fact that Technopark and Infopark were fully utilised. Technocity is on the anvil and Infosys is setting up its second campus there. Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram are already well known and Kozhikode is jumping on the bandwagon. Citing the unqualified success attained by start-up companies such as MobMe in Technopark, Mr. Gopalakrishnan said many students are coming forward now to try their hands at entrepreneurship.

Talking about business incubators, he said the coming together of businesses — management, banking, telecom and so on — provided the aspiring entrepreneur a whole ecosystem, which boosted his confidence.

“When you work together, you get energised. It reinforces each other's belief in the team and helps you tide over challenges as you are not alone. You have successful role models before you. At low costs, it supports you with infrastructure, banking, accounting, and legal services and offers mentoring as well. This increases your probability of success manifold,” he said.