Technopark building

Technopark, Kerala

Technopark is a technology park in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala, India dedicated to electronics, software, and other Information Technology (IT) ventures. It is the first and largest technology park in India. Launched in 1990, Technopark currently has 3.2 million square feet (310,000 square meters) of built-up space. Technopark is home to over 140 companies, which employ more than 22,000 professionals. They include one CMMI level 5 and PCMM level 5 company, four CMM Level 5, two CMM Level 3 and several ISO 9001 certified companies. Technopark is promoted by the Government of Kerala, with a mandate to promote entrepreneurship and employment in the region. The policy of economic liberalisation initiated by the government of India in 1991 and the rapid growth of the global software industry during the 1990s has substantially contributed to the growth of Technopark. Over 70% of Kerala's IT exports are from Technopark.

The units in Technopark include domestic firms, joint ventures and subsidiaries of foreign companies engaged in a wide variety of activities, which include embedded software development, smart card technology, enterprise resource planning (ERP), process control software design, engineering and computer-aided design software development, IT Enabled Services (ITES), process re-engineering, animation and e-business.

Technopark is owned and administered by the Government of Kerala and is headed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In addition to this, it has a Governing Council and a Program Implementation Board, both of which include top officials of the Government. The administration of the campus is carried out from the Park Centre that houses the administrative offices including that of the CEO. Technopark also hosts a Technology Business Incubation Cell and Software Competency Centre, situated in the Park Centre. The entire campus is Wi-Fi enabled.

History and mission

In July 1990, the Government of Kerala conceptualized Technopark as a facility to foster the development of high-technology industries in the state. Technopark was set up under the auspices of Electronics Technology Park, Kerala — an autonomous body under the Department of Information Technology of the government of Kerala.

Technopark's aim was to create infrastructure and provide support required for the development of high-technology companies. Its stated mission is to "Provide, Viably, Superior Environment and Services with Assured Quality of Service to Make Technology Businesses Intrinsically Competitive And Successful, and Promote Regional Development through Synergistic Linkages Between Industry, Government and Academia, based on Continuous Improvement and Innovation"

The foundation stone for the first building in Technopark was laid on March 31, 1991 by then Kerala Chief Minister, E.K. Nayanar. Noted industrialist K.P.P. Nambiar was Technopark's first Chairman. Technopark was formally dedicated to the nation by then Prime Minister, P.V. Narasimha Rao in 1992.

Since then, Technopark has been growing steadily both in size and employee strength. Park Centre, Pamba and Periyar were the only buildings in the beginning. Since then, Technopark has periodically added new buildings such as Nila, Gayathri and Bhavani. With the inauguration of the . (85,000 sq m.) Thejaswini on February 22, 2007, Technopark became the largest IT Park in India.

Infrastructure

Technopark aims to provide all the infrastructure and support facilities needed for IT/ITES and electronics companies to function. In addition to built-up office space, it also provides all utilities as well as the connectivity. This is done either directly or through private partners. In addition, Technopark provides business incubation facilities for start-up firms as well as some social infrastructure for the personnel working in the park.

Buildings

There are currently about a dozen buildings inside the Technopark campus intended for software development. Seven of the buildings in Technopark are named after rivers in Kerala—the Pamba, the Periyar, the Nila, the Chandragiri, the Gayathri, Bhavani and the Thejaswini. The seventh building is named Thejaswini and was commissioned in February 2007, with over . (60,000 sq m.) of carpet area. There are also independent buildings of private enterprises such as TCS, M-Square, IVL, NEST, IBS, Leela Group and others inside the Phase I campus. These buildings aggregate to a total of about . (350,000 sq m.) of space, either complete or under construction.

Key parameters of buildings in Technopark
Name Number of floors Total area
(in thousand sq ft)
Number of elevators Generator backup
Pamba 4 60 None 50%
Periyar 4 60 None 50%
Chandragiri 4 57 2 100%
Gayathri 3 129 4 100%
Nila 7 400 6 50%
Bhavani 6 500 6 100%
Thejaswini 12 850 8 100%
TCS Peepul Park 4 to 5 400 N/A 100%
IBS Campus 4 to 10 450 N/A 100%
Leela Info Park 12 500 N/A 100%
N/A indicates no information available
10 sq ft.=~1 m².

Other buildings in the campus include:

  • Park Centre: The administrative headquarters of Technopark.
  • Technopark Club: Includes a gym, swimming pool, restaurant and sporting facilities.
  • Techno-Mall: A multi purpose shopping complex.
  • Ginger: A 100 room business class hotel set up by the Taj Group of hotels as part of its Ginger brand.
  • Technopark guesthouse.
  • Other privately constructed buildings, including those of firms like M-Square and Amstor.

Utilities and support facilities

Technopark offers electricity through a 110 KV, 30 MVA dedicated internal power distribution system with built-in redundancies at all levels. Technopark is a licensee for distribution of power in the campus. Water supply is distributed by Technopark through a dedicated distribution system.

Technopark has support facilities such as a satellite earth station, a 200-seater convention center, a club and guest house, a shopping complex (Techno-Mall), banks, ATMs, restaurants and conference rooms on campus. Furthermore, setting up of new units is accelerated by exemption from State level clearances as well as through ready-to-use incubation facilities.

Connectivity

Trivandrum is connected to the National Internet Backbone and Technopark is serviced by a variety of bandwidth providers, including Reliance Infocomm, Bharti Airtel, Videsh Sanchar Nigam and Asianet Dataline, through fibre optic lines in the campus. There is a satellite earth station inside the Phase I campus as well.

Recently, FLAG Telecom—a subsidiary of Reliance Infocomm—has landed its FALCON global cable system at Trivandrum. This provides up to 2.56 Terabits of connectivity with the Middle East, South East Asia, Far East, Europe and North America (in conjunction with the rest of the FLAG network). Trivandrum will also have direct connectivity to the Maldives and Sri Lanka within the FLAG network. The direct access to the international cable network provides lower bandwidth rates to companies operating at Technopark, compared to elsewhere in the country.

Technopark Business Incubation Centre (T-BIC)

The Technopark Business Incubation Centre (T-BIC) aims to provide economically plug and play facilities to start-ups in the IT/ITES fields. This facility has given rise to over 30 successful ventures, many of whom have expanded by taking up space elsewhere in Technopark. T-BIC currently has . (800 sq m.) at Park Centre, and this is being expanded with another . (1000 sq m.) in the newest Technopark building, Thejaswini. One of the latest companies started at T-BIC is Torque, which specialises in mobile solutions.

Institutions

Technopark hosts two prominent educational and research institutes. The Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management–Kerala (IIITM–K) is a premier institution of Higher Education and Research and Development in applied Information Technology and Management. In addition to providing post graduate courses in Information Technology, IIITM–K is a leader in Educational Networking and in setting up web portals which benefit the community. Portals for Computational chemistry and agricultural information dissemination are among its focus areas. IIITM–K is located at present in Park Centre.

The Asian School of Business (ASB) is an institution of post graduate management education. ASB was started in 2005. It is currently located inside Technopark and plans to move to a nearby campus in 2007. ASB offers the full-time Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM). The Asian School of Business is managed by a Board of Governors which includes stalwarts of the Indian IT industry like Tata Consultancy Services CEO S. Ramadorai and Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan.

Expansion of Technopark and New Projects

Phase II

Technopark has acquired 86 acres (0.35 km².) of land, for its Phase II expansion.

  • Out of this, 50 acres (0.2 km².) has been earmarked for Infosys and 36 acres (0.15 km².) for UST Global.
    • Infosys is planning to create up to . (233,000 sq m.) of space to accommodate up to 15,000 professionals in the end. It plans to set up . (56,000 sq m.) in the first phase.
    • UST Global is setting up a . campus to be complete by 2011. . of space will be complete by January 2009. Work on the campus was launched on October 24, 2007.
  • Tata Consultancy Services has been allotted 25 acres (0.1 km².) within the campus for their software development centre. This is in addition to the 14 acres of land allotted to them for setting up their new training centre—Peepul Park.
  • IBS Software is constructing a . (42,000 sq m.) office on 5 acres (0.02 km².) of land. The first phase of the campus was inaugurated on October 23, 2007.
  • Tata Elxsi Limited which is the product design arm of the US$14 billion Tata Group, has also taken 3.5 acres (0.01 km².) to build its state of the art design and development Centre. The first phase of the campus has been commissioned on September 7, 2007.
  • The NEST group has also been allocated land to build a Development Centre, on which work has started.

Phase III

Technopark has almost completed acquisition of 100 acres (0.4 km².) of land for Phase III expansion. Firms like Larsen & Toubro and the Rahejas are planning major developments within and around Technopark as well. L&T has already announced its plans to set up a 35 acre (0.15 km².) hybrid IT-and-residential park as part of Technopark Phase III. Patni Computer Systems has already announced that it will set up a Rs 150 Crore ($US 32 Million) Development Centre in Phase III.

The IInd and IIIrd phase of expansion of Technopark along with the ramping up of operations of the existing IT units are expected to see an investment of around Rs. 1000 Crore ($US 218 Million) and an additional employment creation of 35,000.

Phase IV expansion - Technocity

The Phase IV of Technopark is also referred to as the Technocity project. It involves a mixed use—IT, biotechnology, nanotechnology, commercial and residential development spread over 500 acres (2 km².) of land, about 5 km (1.6 miles) from the present campus. This land is currently being acquired. It will be a self contained IT township with the potential to employ a hundred thousand professionals. The expected investment in the project is around Rs 6,000 Crores (Over US$ 1.5 Billion), as per latest estimates.

Once Technocity's land acquisition is complete, Technopark will have an extent of close to 850 acres (3.5 km².), making it one of India's largest IT satellite townships, in geographic area, comparable to that of projects like the Mahindra World City in Chennai.

The Government of Kerala has decided to partner with multiple private developers for Technocity and has formed a special company - Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITIL) - to take up the work. 204 acres (0.8 km².) out of the project area has already been acquired. A Request for Qualification was issued on 1st June, 2008 and nine major developers including international majors Emaar and Forest City Enterprises have applied for qualification.

Special Economic Zones in Technopark

There are three Special Economic Zones (SEZs) inside Technopark encompassing Phases I, II and III. Phase IV will also become an SEZ once land acquisition is completed. This provides a range of attractive economic benefits to the companies operating within Technopark

Culture

Technopark's motto is Harmony at Work. The culture in Technopark is cosmopolitan and diverse. Often acclaimed as one of the greenest IT parks in the world, Technopark's campus is lush green. The presence of balconies and expansive terraces on almost all its buildings ensures that the professionals working inside can enjoy the greenery and the fresh air.

Technopark has companies and people from across India and the world. Other than domestic firms, there are IT and ITES companies from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Canada, Italy and other countries operating here. This makes for a diverse multi cultural community, working in harmony. To promote this harmony in diversity, Technopark has set up a range of facilities and organises an annual set of events, ranging from technical conferences to trekking expeditions to the annual fiesta, Tech-a-break.

Technopark Club

Located inside the Technopark Phase I campus, the Club provides a diverse set of facilities for the professionals to unwind. These include a gym, a swimming pool and courts for badminton and table tennis and beach volley ball. The Club also has a massage parlour, Vaisakha—a multi cuisine restaurant and provides tour operators for organising recreational travel of employees and their families.

The Club often organises multi cuisine food festivals to cater to the tastes of the diverse mix of people in Technopark. Other events organised by the Club include discos, cultural competitions, and other events. Performers include well known rock groups, DJs and dance performers.

Technopark Adventure Club

The Technopark Adventure Club aims at providing adventure activities to employees of Technopark and their families. It plans and conducts activities like parasailing, rock climbing, rappelling, trekking and camping, paragliding camps at Munnar and corporate training camps.

The Club aims to take advantage of the diverse environs of Trivandrum to engage in adventure activities along with enjoying their idyllic beauty and solitude. With an ideal combination of hills, backwaters, beaches and forests close to Trivandrum, employees don't have to travel far to indulge in their favorite activities.

Tech-A-Break

Tech-A-Break is Technopark's annual cultural extravaganza. Typically held over the course of a week, it kicks off with a Carnival parade and ends with performance by top-notch professional bands, dance groups and musicians. In between, there is a whole string of cultural competitions where teams and groups from different companies square off against each other. These include dance and musical contests, informal events, quiz and a personality contest—Mr. and Miss Technopark. While the parade winds across Technopark, most of the events are held at the 2000 seat Amphitheatre near Park Centre.

Socio-economic impact

Technopark has come to be the single largest source of employment in Kerala, with over fifteen thousand people working directly in the facility itself. Thus its impact on the city of Trivandrum has been very significant.

Its cosmopolitan workforce has helped bring diversity to the city's population, along with other national entities like the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Southern Command HQ of the Indian Air Force, Government of India offices and major educational institutions.

The Government has plans to set up an IT Corridor along the National Highway-47 (NH 47), starting from Technopark towards Kollam. Plans are underway to convert the NH 47 into a four lane, high speed corridor. The need for providing high speed connectivity to the neighbouring city of Kochi has also been emphasised to catalyse the spread of IT, by experts like Kiran Karnik — president of NASSCOM, India's apex organisation of IT firms.

The influx of high-income IT professionals has also resulted in the arrival of high-end apartment complexes, retail chains, top class hotels, multiplexes and all the other facilities of a modern city. Other facilities like an improved road network and a high speed transportation avenue along the alignment of the IT Corridor are also in process or being planned. A massive International Convention Center is also coming up nearby, at Akkulam. Being built at a cost of Rs 150 Crores ($US 32 Million) by a joint venture of the Raheja Group and the Government of Kerala, it will further boost the supporting infrastructure of Technopark.

The increase in air travel brought about by the growing IT industry has also prompted the massive expansion in flight services, especially domestic flights, to and from the nearby Trivandrum International Airport. Connectivity with IT hubs like Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad have significantly improved in recent months. This has benefited the general populace as well.

The combined disposable income of Technopark employees has brought an infusion of wealth into the entire region through secondary service activities like retail, hospitality, transportation, financial services and so on. With a potential hundred and fifty thousand IT professionals working in the four Phases of Technopark by 2012, the impact on the economy of the city and its suburbs, with a population of about 2 million, will be significant.

Notes

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