BUSINESS

MBT to set up software campus

Staff Correspondent

MUMBAI: Mahindra-British Telecom (MBT), one of the largest solution providers to telecom companies globally, on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Maharashtra for the development of an integrated software development and residential complex at Hinjewadi, Pune.

Spread over 25 acres, the campus will be capable of housing more than 18,000 software engineers and will include training centres, food courts and a sports complex.

Additional space

An additional one million sq. ft. residential space has been allotted which will have a self-contained residential park, consisting of over 300 apartments and 100 row houses.

"As we embark on this expansion, we intend to hire over 4,000 people,'' said Vineet Nayyar, CEO and MD, MBT.

"He said the project would be financed through internal resources and that MBT was considering an Initial Public Offering (IPO) at a later date. The company is looking at a Rs. 350-400 crore investment in the office area and the total investment including the housing would be around Rs. 450 crore, said Mr. Nayyar.

"We hope to generate income of Rs. 1,000 crore from the operations, here.'' MBT is jointly owned by Mahindra & Mahindra and British Telecom Group Plc. `MBT Technology Centre West' is planned to be completed by December 2006.

Township model

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said his Government was keen to promote Pune as the `knowledge capital of Maharashtra.' "We are trying to create a township model at Hinjewadi.

There is a request to convert Hinjewadi into a special economic zone (SEZ) and that will be cleared soon.''

He said the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation would work closely with MBT to make the complex a showcase campus.

The MBT project is coming up at Phase 3 of Hinjewadi with Phase 1 and Phase 2 covering 96 hectares and 220 hectares respectively.

While Phase 3 covers 350 hectares and houses 290 plots, there is demand for around 2,000 plots.