Trivandrum: After creating a foothold in information technology sector by the establishment of Technopark and Infopark which are largely restricted to the big cities, Kerala is all set to usher in a new wave of IT revolution by taking hi-tech aspirations to its far-flung rural hamlets and smaller towns.
The state government will showcase a slew of IT-related projects, including rural IT parks in Kollam, Alappuzha and Thrissur districts, at the forthcoming Emerging Kerala Global Connect in September, looking for private participation from high-profile entrepreneurs gathering at the three-day summit.
New IT parks have been proposed at Kundara on the banks of Ashtamudi Kayal East of Kollam, Pallippuram near Cherthala, Alappuzha, which is 25 kms South-East of Kochi; and Koratty in Thrissur district which is 12 kms from Kochi international airport, by the side of the National Highway.
The rural IT park concept will set up a new benchmark for the next-generation IT revolution in the country at a time when giants in the field who set up bases in big cities are looking for greener pastures in smaller towns, aiming to shed extra costs while maintaining skilled manpower.
“Kerala is going to be the ideal platform to experiment this third wave of IT revolution in the country,” says P.H. Kurian, Principal Secretary, IT, Government of Kerala. “The first wave was confined to big metros like Bangalore and Hyderabad, while the second was expanded to smaller metros like Kochi and Pune. Connectivity, skilled manpower and better logistics in smaller Kerala towns can set the pace for the new wave of IT revolution. As much as 53 per cent of Kerala’s techies hail from rural pockets.”
Kerala, which pioneered the IT revolution with Technopark in 1992, has had a chequered growth in the sector. After a lull, it is now bubbling with the vibrancy of Smart City, the construction of which had begun in Kochi in October last year. Now, the proposed rural IT parks are expected to take this momentum forward in a big way, given the advantages the state’s rural pockets have when it comes to availability of skilled manpower and better logistics.
“The rural IT park is going to be a pioneering model as big companies in IT, ITeS (IT-enabled services) and BPO (business process outsourcing) are driven by the cost advantage factors,” notes Kurian.
“IT is still one of the rising sectors for Kerala, contributing more than Rs 3,500 crores in export revenue. It is growing at a rapid pace.”