The Blue Print and The Visionary
Way back in 1928, the State Peoples Conference passed a resolution for the early formation of Kerala as a separate province. The 'Aikya Kerala' gathered momentum. But it wasn't until 1956 when the Indian States Re-organisation Act came into force that the State of Kerala came into being, on 1st November.
Technopark didn't happen because of any such movement. There had to be a visionary who could see much beyond the ordinary, someone with foresight, and someone with a deep understanding of technology. When on 15th April, 1929 a child was born in Kalliasseri village, Kannur District, Malabar, the then Madras Presidency, none knew that this toddler would grow up and one day play a major role in the transformation of electronics in India. His were humble beginnings. KPP Nambiar would walk 8kms each day from his village to the High School in Thaliparamba. This graduate in Physics from the University of Madras found himself in London in 1951 for higher studies in the field of electronics. In October 1954, he joined The Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London. He trained himself in Transistors and Semi-conductors at a time, "when nobody was interested in this area", he says.
In the early 60s, KPP Nambiar returned to India under a Scientist pool scheme initiated by Late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to bring back talented Indians working abroad. The next ten years he taught modern semiconductor electronics at the IIT in New Delhi and set up India's first applied Electronic Research and Development Laboratory under the umbrella of Tata Electric Companies. In 1973 he founded KELTRON, headquartered in Trivandrum. It was the first autonomous electronic corporation in the State government and in its heydays, manufactured electronic assembly products.
He retired from Indian Government service in 1989 and served as Honorary Special Advisor to the Government of Kerala. That's when the blue print for Technopark was first drawn up. He knew which way the world was heading. He'd been part of that drift for years and had seen dramatic increases taking place in technology. And he knew his onions in technology. Operating out of a small room in the Secretariat, KPP Nambiar and his small group had a job on hand. To build a world-class infrastructure, meeting global standards. "I've seen major technology parks across the world, "says KPP Nambiar, when we spoke to him over the phone. He was in Calicut, recuperating, having suffered a stroke recently. But despite this setback, the Founder of Technopark sounded ever enthusiastic and reminiscences, "It was very clear to me that the Technopark had to be a most modern facility."
And so it came to be. On March 31st, 1991 the foundation stone was laid and as one enters the Park Centre, the main building and from where Technopark is administered, the foundation stone on the left stands testimony to KPP Nambiar's vision and creation.