Andhra Pradesh

Uncertainty dogs Franklin Templeton project in Vizag

There is not much progress with regard to establishing Franklin Templeton Investments’s full-fledged development centre with own campus in Visakhapatnam even as two years will elapse on March 29 after launching its facility in the city.

Uncertainty clouds the project as there is no clarity with regard to allotment of 40 acres of developed plot near Panorama Hills. Incidentally, Industries and IT Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy immediately after swearing in of the new government flew in to the city to hold talks with the top brass of the leading asset management company and its India partner Innova Solutions.

At the time of launching the facility at Tech Hub (new building of Tech Mahindra), Jenny Johnson, president and COO, Franklin Templeton Investments, along with key officials of the State, had announced that their facility in the city would serve as Centre of Innovation and one of the key tech hubs globally.

It was supposed to focus on building core competencies in investment management data science with a view to gain information advantage and drive investment out-performance. The firm promised to leverage its strategic investment pool to invest in disruptive companies and launch vertical disruptors through a rapid development process where ‘concept to prototype to design/development’ by hiring high-end talent pool from the State.

“Once fully operational, our Vizag centre, set up in collaboration with Innova Solutions, will play a key role in the firm’s technology plans,” a senior official of the company had said during the inauguration of its facility in the city.

Principal Secretary, IT, Electronics and Communication, Kona Sasidhar, during his recent visit to the city, told The Hindu that they had not taken any decision yet on the project.

Land row

The company, founded in 1947 and considered one among five capital markets companies in the world with over 10,000 employees, had promised an investment of $73 million in the State, employment of 2,500 and developed land of 40 acres.

The land was supposed to be allotted in two phases. The project was sanctioned on a fast-track mode by the previous TDP government on January 11, 2018. As per GO, the land was promised at ₹32.5 lakh per acre.

However, a section of YSR Congress Party leaders, including MP Mithun Reddy, had been making allegations that the land allotment was a ‘fraud’ as the previous government wanted to give the valuable land in the city on a golden platter to the company with an ulterior motive.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 3:15:32 AM |

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