Abdullatif Almulla appointed Vice Chairman of Kochi SmartCity

Abdullatif Almulla, CEO of TECOM Investments, has been appointed as Chairman of SmartCity Kochi, a self sustained knowledge-based industry township being developed in Cochin, the commercial capital of Kerala. The project, which is jointly promoted by TECOM Investments and the government of Kerala, was recently inaugurated by Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan.

The announcement of Almulla's appointment came at SmartCity Kochi's first board meeting, which took place in Cochin and was attended by representatives of the Kerala Government; Minister for Fisheries S. Sharma, who is also the Chairman of SmartCity Kochi; Fareed Abdulrahman, Executive Director of SmartCity; Deepak S. Padmanabhan and Jamal Abdulsalam, Executive Director of Dubai Internet City.

The pilot meeting focused on the future course of action in the implementation of SmartCity Kochi, the budget and marketing plans for 2008, and the synergy between the government of Kerala and TECOM in promoting Kerala and SmartCity Kochi as an IT destination. A team to handle initial on ground operations was also approved by the Board members.

Fareed Abdulrahman, Executive Director - SmartCity, said: "We are happy to convene our first Board of Directors meeting. The decisions taken by the Board have set the path for the project to be rolled out in the required direction. We are fully confident about the success of SmartCity Kochi and delighted to play a part in opening up new avenues of growth in the Indian state, specifically in the IT and IT-enabled services (ITES) sectors."

SmartCity Kochi will be one of India's largest business parks with an employment generation potential of over 90,000 jobs. Apart from drawing strong foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, the project's multiplier effects are expected to bring several other benefits to the economy.

SmartCity Kochi will include a state of the art business-community infrastructure, and a dynamic range of retail, hospitality, residential and recreational facilities that drive productive business as well as a quality lifestyle.

Source : arabianbusiness.com

Cabinet nod for separate IT firm

The Kerala government has sought to decentralise the booming information technology industry by setting up a separate company to develop infrastructure for IT companies across the state.

The state cabinet that met here yesterday has given the go-ahead for establishing the company with private participation. The government will have 51 per cent stake in the company called IT Infrastructure Kerala (ITIK), Chief Minister V.S Achuthanandan told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

He said that a sum of Rs500 million will be set apart for the new venture in the coming financial year. The move is on the basis of the government’s IT policy, envisaging development of small towns with basic infrastructure for the IT industry in a hub-and-spoke model.

The government has identified 12 such towns. Work has already started for setting up IT parks in Palghat, Calicut, Aleppey and Quilon in addition to massive expansion of infrastructure in Trivandrum and Cochin, which have already emerged as major IT hubs.

While the government has joined hands with Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority (TECOM) to set up a Smart City in Cochin, a Technocity is being built in Trivandrum as part of the Technopark to attract more IT companies into the state.

The IT industry now employs over 30,000 professionals. The government expects to create another 170,000 new jobs through the expansion of infrastructure at Cochin and Trivandrum. The number of IT jobs in the state could go up to one million with the development of infrastructure in small towns, according to experts.

The cabinet has also given approval for signing the agreement with the Pathi Bell for resuming the suspended road development works as part of the World Bank-aided Kerala State Transport Project.

The chief minister said that the government had succeeded in bringing down the arbitration claim made by the Malaysian company from Rs960 million to Rs35 million.

He said that the government would sign a fresh contract with the company and commence the work.


TECOM Investments wins acclaim from globalbusiness leaders

TECOM Investments’ unprecedented success in its concept of industry clusters won the operator of knowledge-based free zones further international acclaim at the recently held annual forum of the European Foundation for Quality Management in Athens.

The EFQM Athens Forum saw 800 global business leaders coming together to discuss “Building high performing organisations in Europe”. Key parameters to establish quality excellence in a competitive and global environment were identified.

EFQM, a not-for-profit membership foundation, is the driving force for sustainable excellence in organisations across Europe. It is the creator of the EFQM Excellence Model that provides organisations with a guideline to achieve and measure their success.

TECOM Investments’ industry clusters, including the Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Knowledge Village, have registered remarkable annual growth over the years, resulting in new overseas ventures such as SmartCity Malta and SmartCity Kerala. Its business models have been commended by high-ranking delegations from countries such as France, South Korea, Malta and El Salvador that recently visited TECOM Investments to review its offerings.

Most of the new industry clusters including DuBiotech, Dubai Studio City and the International Media Production Zone were also showcased at the forum, drawing heightened interest from some of the world’s leading organisations. The visitors were provided with an insight into the EFQM model of global best practices that is deployed at TECOM Investments’ free zones.

TECOM Investments’ free zones – Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City – host nearly 80 per cent of Fortune 500 companies. In addition, Knowledge Village, Dubai International Academic City, DuBiotech and Dubai Studio City have generated phenomenal global interest. Several academic, media, IT and biotechnology brands have located their regional headquarters at the TECOM clusters that is set to become the global destination for top of the range knowledge-based institutions.


The SmartCity