Author: Reji Thomas Mathew
Twenty Five years of Technopark- Hopes and concerns of employees.
Kerala is known as God’s own Country in India and even for the world for her rich greenery. Around 25 years ago, Kerala gave birth to India’s first IT park. That too with lots of greenery around. Hence it was named as World’s Greenest Technopolis as well.
As an employee in the IT field and have spent around ten years of my career in technopark, i know most of the developments and growth around this.
In early nineties, place Kazhakuttam was more like a village, with no much happenings. As years went by more companies started coming in like UST, IBS, Nest, TCS, Tata Elxsi, ARS, Infosys, IIIT MK, E&Y, Alliance, Q-Burst, HBS, Oracle etc which gave pace to the development of the IT park as well as surroundings. Not only that, these companies who started with a work force of around ten or fifty people slowly and steadily grew to hundreds and thousands of employees. Technopark became one of the top notch software exporters in India in the form of revenue.
Now we have close to 300 companies, 50000 employees and spread across different phases and buildings with a campus area of over 600 acres. More interesting fact is that it has grown out of campus to place like Pallipuram and also some firms have their own campus and buildings like UST, Infosys, IIIT MK, TCS etc now.
This has helped not only technopark, but this side of the city very well. We see many flats, shops and hotels towards this side now a days. Not only this, there are lot more constructions happening. All these providing lot of job opportunity to otherwise a unemployment struck place. So indirectly at least a lakh people might have benefited from this technology revolution. We should hence thank the authorities and aristocrats beyond parties and religions for this long vision and bold step taken in late eighties.
Especially I personally know Late Mr E K Nayanar, Ex Chief Minister and Er. Vijaya Raghavan sir Ex CEO Technopark. It was these people who stood from front to see this as a reality.
I am sure this will generate more and more revenue, profit and invite more entrepreneurs (that too youngsters) to start new initiatives. It will give job to many more thousands. So the total society upliftment also will happen hand in hand. This is really good. People who lived near this place wouldn’t have expected anything of this sort around thirty years back, I am sure.
Being said all the good part of it, there are few areas of concern, which need to be addressed on priority. I will try to list each one and then explain it in detail with potential solution or recommendations for that
@ Security of the staff (women especially)
@ Availability of commodities
@ Education for children
@ Parking facility
There may be more in the list, but these five prick me a lot and I feel this may be top priority Though there are watch guard and lights all around, there are situations where security of the staff (mainly women) may be at radar. One example I quote from my wife’s experience. She didn’t get a parking place and had put vehicle outside park campus. It was late when she came back (around ten PM), At that time she saw a group of youngsters staring at her (not employees anyway). Luckily for her the beat police jeep came and she could take vehicle without fear. How can we avoid such fear and make sure our employees are secure?
Facility to buy common things: Its good that we have lot of eateries and techno mall. With this around 50% of the day to day needs are addressed. But we need something like a super market or so either inside or en-route this campus, near by so that we can benefit from that.
If we have a good school, at least one for small kids, it would be good. We have one now, but I understand the fees are on higher end. We should consider that not all employees take one lakh + per month. Hence this facility to be made more moderate. This will encourage more women employees to opt for job also.
Either we need to make way for more parking or better commutation facility need to be provided. If techpark express is extending its service I am sure people like us will opt for that against car.
If authorities take care of these things, then I am sure in another 4-5 years, this will be the best IT park in India. Let’s also ensure that, whenever we expand we plant same number or more of plants we cut as otherwise the greenest tehcnolpolis will lose its greenery, which will take out the uniqueness of our techno park “harmony at work”.
Who ever has worked behind this for that last 25 years, I really thank them and wishing this all success in future also.