Coimbatore emerges as IT destination

By agencies   |   Thursday, 31 March 2005, 08:00 Hrs
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COIMBATORE: With top IT destinations like Bangalore and Mumbai facing infrastructure problems, Coimbatore is slowly emerging as a preferred destination for leading information technology firms among second-rung cities.

A host of top-rung IT firms such as Cognizant Technology Solutions, Wiper BPO, 24/7 Customer have already announced investments in Coimbatore for their expansion plans in the recent days.

A big advantage of Coimbatore is the presence of 19 engineering colleges in and around the city that churn out over 6000 engineers every year; 20,000 graduates pass every year from three universities. The city also has over 70 arts and science colleges and 14 polytechnics, said Lakshmi Narayanan, president and CEO of Cognizant, which is setting up a development center in Coimbatore, employing 400 people in the first year of operations.

"The Coimbatore facility can also attract good talents from Kerala and Tamil Nadu within 200 kms radius," he said.

The Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (Elcot), the nodal agency under the Tamil Nadu IT Department, to coordinate IT investments in the State, is developing 40 acres of land in Coimbatore for setting up a IT Park.

The park would have a built up area of 2.50 lakh

"We don’t want Chennai to get overcrowded and face infrastructure problems like Bangalore," said K S Lakshminarayanan, chief technical officer, Elcot, explaining the Corporations initiative to promote second tier cities such as Coimbatore, Hosur, Tiruchirapalli and Madurai.

Already, Tata Consultancy Service (TCS), e-Brahma, KG Infotech, Pricol Instruments and some smaller IT firms operate in Coimbatore. "The city has excellent infrastructure including power, roads and good public transportation," said Cognizant’s Narayanan.

Though Karnataka was also promoting second-rung cities such as Mangalore and Mysore, they are no match compared to natural advantages offered by Coimbatore, he added.

With a moderate climate of 20-35 degree celsius and its proximity to hill stations such as Ooty, Coonoor and Kothagiri, Coimbatore could outsmart all other second-tier cities like Nagpur, Pune, Kochi, Mysore, Mangalore etc in attracting IT investments.

During 2004-05 fiscal, the software exports from Tamil Nadu is expected to cross Rs 10,000 crore mark, with almost all contributed from Chennai. Officials said this would change in the coming years with Coimbatore contributing a significant portion to the overall IT exports from the State.

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