There's More to 'IT' Than Just Rivers
Technopark was formally dedicated to the nation on 15th November 1995. There was much fanfare but the initially response to Technopark was, let's say, lukewarm. Here was a facility offering world-class infrastructure, laid out on a plate and with an extremely cost-effective proposition at that. The State Government was sending smoke signals to the world that Kerala isn't the same anymore and announced an IT policy, which in itself was a trendsetter. A dedicated Technopark staff was knocking on doors of the Biggies in the IT world and working their socks off to woo investors, what with international road shows, ad campaigns and whatever. But for a handful and most from within the country, there weren't many takers. Trade Unionism to Tourism was fine, but permeating to Technology? That seemed like a big ask. It was evident; the 'Techopark' brand had still a long way to go.
Nothing epoch making happened. But then, things changed. By mid-2000, the first three buildings – Periyar, Pamba and Nila were fully occupied. Work was in progress with the construction of Chandragiri and blue prints were already drawn up for Gayatri and Bhavani. Clearly, there was a plan.
What's it like today? Dramatic. Look at it this way, from green to now lush green. That's the scenario. In early 2002, Gayatri was up and going. Bhavani, the flagship building has just been inaugurated and when this is fully occupied, Technopark will be quite 'choc-a-block.'
Some 60-odd companies that include 4 with CMM Level 5 accreditation, 2 with Level 3 accreditation and several ISO-9001 certified organizations are occupants of these 6 buildings. Then, there are three companies operating out of their own buildings within the Technopark campus. Significantly, many start-ups who 'incubated' at Technopark grew to become larger companies. A testimony to the excellent support services Technopark provides these companies on the campus. And proving yet another point that, infrastructure can be the catalyst in growth and development, be it the company or in an economy.
There were two profound effects. Firstly, Technopark and along with it, Kerala got its due share of recognition, though one must admit, there are many more bridges to cross. Secondly, companies already operating out of Technopark aren't complaining. In fact, some of them are in the process of expanding their workspace by picking up additional real estate on the campus.