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Kochi project offers NRI investment opportunities Chance to partner with MNCs

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 5: The first solitary IT Park in Kerala offers NRI investors an opportunity for join partnerships with MNCs. M. Rassal, Managing Director of Forefront Solutions and Consultancies Private Ltd, Cochin Special Economic Zone, Kochi, was in Kuwait recently to promote the project and link up with potential investors.  He is the Governing Board Director of Cyber Park, fully owned by Government of Kerala, and Regional Governing Council Member of Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZs, Under the Ministry of Industries and Commerce, Government of India. Talking about the upcoming project in an exclusive to the Arab Times, Rassal said Ezra Technopolis will be a world-class innovation center, and a totally privately owned IT center.

The IT complex is situated close to the Info Park and Smart City in the much sought after Kochi’s IT cluster. Rassal is confident the project will attract some of the big international brands in the field, courtesy of its tie-up with a US-based IT center.  “The complex will be much sought after by technology companies for IT development and product innovation activities.” That project contains 140,000 sq ft of built-up space. The main builders are Synergy Group, one of the IT park pioneers in Asia. “This is the first IT venture in Kerala to give priority to NRI investors.” There is a big demand for IT office space in Kochi. Only 70 % of the total demand is met, Rassal noted. The cosmopolitan culture in Kochi and the low cost of human resource are two important reasons why MNCs prefer Kochi for their offices. Many big players have been moving to Kochi as part of infrastructural cost cutting. Moreover, Kochi has some unique advantages for IT companies such as high bandwidth under-sea cables that ensure high speed uninterrupted connectivity.

VSNL’s primary international gateway in India is in Kochi. 100% digital telephone exchanges, highest telephone density of 7 per 100, a large number of educated and skilled labor, and a large number of engineering colleges within the district are some of the other advantages. Also, the metro rail will be extended to Kakkanadu where the project is located. Rassal said that NRI investors in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have shown interest in the project. He will also be visiting Bahrain as part of the promotional tour. The rising rental and labor costs in Bangalore, which holds the distinction of being India’s Silicon Valley, is driving IT companies to other lucrative locations. Kochi has been making the most of this opportunity. Kerala’s polarized political spectrum with alternating governments between the left and the center-right has often put IT projects in a quandary, with some getting delayed to the point of hopelessness. Labor unions are another bogeyman that scares away investors.  However, the IT sector has surmounted these challenges and established successful projects that are growing. The investor confidence has not diminished. The new ventures cropping up in the IT cluster are a testimony to that fact.

By Valiya S. Sajjad
Arab Times Staff

By: Valiya S. Sajjad

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