Tech Mahindra SEZ work to begin tomorrow
TECH Mahindra, the IT arm of Mahindra & Mahindra, will begin construction of its 15-acre sub-anchor site on Wednesday in Phase II of the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP). The Chandigarh Administration added another 5 acres to the previous 10-acre allotment two months ago. The site has also been approved under the SEZ rules and Tech Mahindra has also got a separate SEZ unit approval. Thus, this will also be Tech Mahindra’s first SEZ in the north. The project, which will include IT and BPO operations, is expected to finish within 18 months. Phase II of RGCTP consists of 125 acres for IT companies, comprising about 70 acres of allocable area and large green spaces. Mahindra & Mahindra vice-chairman and managing director Anand Mahindra has already committed an investment of Rs 100 crore in the initial phase for the first campus of the company in the northern region. The investment figure may go up to Rs 200 crore considering that Tech Mahindra will also bring its software development centre here. M&M chairman Keshub Mahindra is expected to arrive to inaugurate the project to be titled as Tech Mahindra North Campus. The project will begin after considerable delay, nearly a year. The administration officials attribute the delay to clarification in the SEZ status of the IT Park and subsequent notifications. However, things are looking up now. Director IT Chandigarh Manjit Brar says, say that the delay has been because “A lot of action is coming up in the IT Park, Infosys is nearing its second phase completion, Tech Mahindra is breaking ground and construction at the hotel site in IT Park is also expected to begin soon. This will generate a lot of momentum as other companies will also join in the development process.” Tech Mahindra had already taken space in DLF and began its domestic BPO in December 2006. The software development also began in February. The 35,000-sq feet area in DLF premises houses close to 600 people for the BPO. The number will increase eventually as the company has plans of recruiting near about 5,000 people from the region. With Tech Mahindra lying the foundation stone day after, it becomes the second IT biggie in Chandigarh after Infosys. The latter has 30 acres of land in Phase I of RGCTP where it has erected two state of the art structures to house more than 8,000 people and has committed an investment of more than Rs 500 crore to strengthen its operations here. ET has also learnt that Infosys also plans to increase its area of operations in Chandigarh, by adding another 100 acres to its existing land corpus. Chief financial officer Infosys MD Pai, in his capacity of human resource director, had told ET in December that they had requested the Governor of Chandigarh that if there is any other large area of land SEZ they would like to expand. On June 30 this year, the company completed its first phase of construction. The third biggie, Wipro, is also set to come up in Phase II of RGCTP, being the anchor site in Phase II with 30 acres. Taking the base estimate of Infosys, Wipro Technologies had told ET that an investment of Rs 500 crore would entail the company’s foray into Chandigarh. Building plans for the company are being scrutinised and the construction is also slated to begin soon. Bharti Airtel and eSys Technologies are among the bigger players in Phase II that have 5 and 6 acres of land respectively. The IT Park has also become the global headquarters for eSys, which also plans to increase operations area and bring it up to 11 acres. In addition to the big IT companies in the country, regional and city-based companies are also among many who would begin construction soon. Thirteen companies including RT Outsourcing, IDS Infotech, Bebo Technologies, Alchemist Limited, Amadeus, FCS Software Solutions Ltd, Karin Informatics Services Ltd., KMG Infotech, Microtek, Net Smartz, Second Foundation Inc, Net Solutions, which have been waiting for clarification on SEZ guidelines, have now chosen affiliation to STPI however remaining in the RGCTP. This way, the IT Park has a combination of SEZ and non-SEZ area to suit demands of large and smaller IT industry players.