TN Gears Up To Become IT, BPO Hotspot

Bangalore | Updated: Aug 6 2004, 05:30am hrs
At a time when information technology (IT) majors in Bangalore have been criticising the state of infrastructure in the city, the Tamil Nadu (TN) government is taking advantage of it to woo the IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies to Chennai, by offering good infrastructure and availability of quality workforce with low attrition.

Addressing the media at a roadshow for the states annual ICT event, Connect 2004, Tamil Nadu IT secretary Vivek Harinarain said that the city ranked far ahead of other cities in terms of support to the IT and BPO industry.

Chennai has abundant land resources available for the IT and BPO industry. About 50 lakh sq ft of land suited for the industry would be available this year, besides the governments initiative to build the IT corridor.

Mr Harinarain said that the TN government was consciously developing the IT and BPO industry in the suburbs, outside the central business district.

Wipro To Spread Wings In Chennai

Wipro has sought 85 acres of land for expansion near its facility in Chennai and about 25 acres more for setting up a new facility in Coimbatore, said Mr Harinarain.
He said that in a meeting with him, Wipro chairman Azim Premji had indicated that Wipro would expand its workforce in Chennai from the existing 5,000 to 25,000 over a period of time.
Mr Premji had earlier said in Bangalore that Wipro would expand its operations out of Bangalore due to high wages, attrition and lack of infrastructure in the city.

Coimbatore was being developed as the second IT and BPO destination due to its reputation as an engineering and textiles centre in the country.

He said that Chennai had the lowest attrition rate in the BPO industry at seven to 13 per cent, compared to cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai, where it ranged from 50 per cent to 100 per cent.

Mr Harinarain said that the stamp duty for the knowledge industry in Tamil Nadu was the lowest in the country, after the state government had slashed the duty by half at four per cent.

The state also had good bandwidth connectivity with availability of 13.5 terabytes per second, he said.

Chennai currently has 925 IT firms, of which 100 were added last year.

The four-day Connect 2004, which will focus on the domestic IT industry and manufacturing, will see 250 firms participating in it, apart from about 25,000 business viitors.