Indian IT pins hopes on SmartCity Kochi

Work on a Dubai-owned IT park in Kerala in south India is ploughing ahead, despite the severe uncertainty and challenges that India’s IT sector is facing, according to a top executive behind the project.

Development of the next phase of SmartCity Kochi, one year after its opening, is under way, with new offices due to launch by the end of next year and a Gems school, operated by the Dubai-based education company, set to open in June.

“The starting problem was there and we had issues, but once it started it’s like an Indian elephant: once it starts moving then it’s unstoppable,” said Baju George, the chief operating officer at SmartCity Dubai, which is part of Dubai Holding.

SmartCity Kochi faced setbacks after it was first proposed more than a decade ago, including land disputes and red tape.

This comes at a time when India’s IT sector is struggling amid slow growth in the countries in the West that it services, increasing competition from other developing nations, and concerns about the US president Donald Trump’s protectionist approach and proposed plans to keep more jobs with America and curb immigration, which could hit India’s IT sector hard.

Kerala is pushing to establish itself as an IT destination. Mr George said that he was not worried by the political rhetoric in the US and noted that SmartCity Kochi was “Kerala’s IT game changer”.


Read more: TheNational