The IT community in Technopark is all set to exercise their franchise for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. They also have a wish list for the candidate who will go to Parliament.
On top of the list is the demand for more trains to stop at at Kazhakuttam railway station. For seven years, many in the IT hub have been campaigning in vain for more trains to halt at the station. “If our MP can do something to this effect that will benefit techies from other districts and outside the state. Now only a few trains halt at Kazhakuttam,” says Jayapal Dharmamani, founder and CEO of LabGlo, a mobile and web application development start-up. The railway station ought to be given a major facelift as well with necessary amenities, he adds.
Shagin TV, director of Infospica Consultancy Services, seconds Jayapal’s views and adds that the MP should also look into improving road connectivity to Kochuveli railway station. “Many long-distance trains start from Kochuveli station now. But since there aren’t any buses to the station along the bypass, we often find it difficult to reach the station on time,” Shagin explains.
With the Trivandrum International Airport mired in controversy, techies expect their MP to take it up as a matter of utmost importance. “The airport is a lifeline for the IT hub and with many flights cutting down their services to the capital city, businesses will be hit in a big way,” says Renjit Darwin, global head-delivery, Gemini Software Solutions. Tina James, president of Revyrie Global Pvt. Ltd, a “technology accelerator and digital services agency”, agrees and points out that there should be increased direct flight connectivity from the capital city to other major cities.
Tina adds, “With more than 350 companies and 70,000 employees, Technopark already hosts one of the largest workforce in the state. To sustain this growth, we need policy interventions and infrastructure planning that will make Technopark an attractive destination for new investors, as well as a competitive location for home-grown companies to expand. Infrastructure projects executed by the government in the areas surrounding Technopark have to be planned with foresight and the intent to sustain a growing workforce of who travel to the park every day,” Tina elaborates.
Meanwhile some techies feel that, if possible, the MP should look into the rental policies at the IT park. Besides Tina, Bijoy Mohamed, CMO, Techrista systems, says that there is a dire need to improve the policy. “Small as well as medium-level companies have been dealing with high rentals,” says Bijoy.
While Tigy Thankachan, founder and CEO of iTraitz IT Solutions Pvt Ltd want the MP to take a proactive approach to develop the capital city as a major IT hub, alongside promoting it as an important tourist destination, Jayapal suggests that the government should look into extending the road widening till Technocity. “The stretch is going to be an IT corridor and if there are proper roads, that should bring in global players to the capital city,” Jayapal says.
Welcoming the world
The opening of Nissan Digital Hub was a shot in the arm for the state and now techies want more big names to touch down in the city, such as Google and Microsoft. “The entry of Nissan has given us hope. But it is a fact that Technopark is still not a name to reckon with in north India. In fact, people from those states don’t want to come here, whereas our employees want to move out of the state. We need to have a conducive atmosphere for running business ventures,” Shagin says.
That is possible only if we reign in hartals and strikes, says Renjit. “An MP alone can’t change everything overnight. But being a people’s representative he should look at the bigger picture. It is embarrassing when we have to postpone an important business appointment with a visiting delegation because of a hartal,” says Renjit.
Safety of employees, especially women, is another area that the MP should be looking into, avers Bijoy. Tigy even suggests that the MP should have interactions with the employees, at least twice a year, to understand their problems.
Meanwhile, Prathidhwani, the employees’ forum, besides raising several demands, has called upon the MP to push for an IT Employee Welfare Board and Security Board for IT employees in the Parliament and amend gratuity rules.
A fortnightly column on life in tech street