Kerala protests as Infosys abruptly quits Technocity

Kerala protests as Infosys abruptly quits Technocity

But company blames 'childish' officials

Kerala protests as Infosys abruptly quits Technocity

India’s second-largest IT services company Infosys is playing hide and seek with its infrastructure investment as it has decided to scrap its second campus in Thiruvananthapuram, even as its Kolkata and Bengaluru expansion plans have stalled.

 According to the Thiruvananthapuram Technopark CEO Girish Babu, the company sent a mail last week informing the decision to scrap its expansion plans at Technocity. As the name implies, Technocity is conceived as a complete IT city as part of phase-4 of  Technopark’s expansion.

“We hurriedly allotted  49.84 acres land to Infosys after signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)  in April 2012. While an application for SEZ developer status was submitted in March 2012, the approval was obtained in May that year and Technopark sent the co-developer agreement draft immediately,” he said.

Quoting the MoU signed between Technopark and Infosys in April 2012, Government of Kerala IT Principal Secretary P H Kurien said Infosys should have started construction within a year from the date of lease deed (in this case at least from the date of handing over the possession, along with notified SEZ status).

When contacted by Deccan Herald, Infosys head of infrastructure and facilities Ramadas Kamath denied the charges. “We have suffered a lot after our investment since 2006 onwards. Till now we haven’t got water connection to our existing facility. For the new facility they gave us narrow roads and we do not want to put our employees under trouble. The attitude of officials is very childish and not favourable for further investment in the state,” he said.

But Girish Babu countered the argument saying Technopark has provided all basic infrastructure facilities required for construction. “We haven’t received from Infosys the building plans or any explanation on this delay so far. They all of a sudden gave this letter. This is a clear violation of the terms and conditions mentioned in the MoU,” he said.

Freezes KIADB plans

Infosys recently decided to pull out of its investment for a development centre on 100 acres at the Devanahalli IT Park in Bengaluru. In a recent regulatory filing, it asked the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) to refund the deposit. When contacted, Infosys officials said the company is still expanding in Bengaluru and in fact, has acquired two more parcels of land adjacent to its existing campus in electronic city.

Recently, the company asked the West Bengal government to either give SEZ status to its proposed software development centre at Rajarhat or repay the money it has given in advance. Infosys had 1,76,187 employees as of March 31, 2015, and has been set a $20-billion aspirational revenue target for 2020 by CEO Vishal Sikka. But the company denied that it is going back to the drawing board on its expansion plans because with the arrival of more automation and rejigging, the hiring process would be limited.

According to a leading analyst from Motilal Oswal who did not wish to be named, “To achieve the revenue target of $20 billion by 2020 the company should have at least 2,50,000 employees. But they are expecting to achieve double-digit growth with tools, platforms, and productivity hike, but with less people.”

* Technopark CEO says Infosys sent a mail last week cancelling the expansion plan
* Technopark CEO says it had hurriedly allotted the company 49.8 acres in 2012
* State IT Secretary says Infosys delayed start of construction work
* Infosys facilities head said it suffered due to poor water connection and narrow roads

DH News Service