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Construction to start at Infocity-II by January

Jayajit Dash  |  Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar 

The Orissa information department (IT) expects the construction work of the approach road for the proposed Infocity-II project to kick off by January next year. Infocity-II is being developed on an area of over 600 acres at Janla, on the outskirts of the city by January next year.

“The state government is committed to provide external infrastructure like approach road, electricity and power for the proposed Infocity-II project. This external infrastructure will be developed at an investment of about Rs 150 crore and a provision has already been made in the state government’s budget for this investment”, Pradipta K Mohapatra, the state IT secretary told Business Standard.

He said that the state IT department was now on the look-out for anchor tenants for the Infocity-II project and software major Wipro Technologies had evinced interest in taking possession of 100 acres of land at the site. Official sources, however said that the Orissa Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) may delay the process of floating advertisements for the Infocity-II project in the wake of economic downturn.

“Due to the global financial meltdown, IT majors like MindTree and Genpact are likely to defer construction work of their proposed development centres in Orissa by at least three months. The state government is also unlikely to receive fresh investment proposals from the IT and ITes (information services) players in the remaining months of this fiscal”, sources added.

MindTree Consulting Limited, a global IT and R&D services company had announced to resume construction of its proposed software development centre, over an area of 30 acres at Infocity in Bhubaneswar by September this year.

The company, co-headquartered in Bangalore and Somerset in New Jersey (US), is investing around Rs 200 crore for the development centre. MindTree was planning to recruit about 1,000 software professionals for the centre and eventually ramp up its headcount to 5,000.

On the other hand, the proposed global delivery centre of Genpact, the BPO (business process outsourcing) arm of US-based General Electric was scheduled to be operational by the third or fourth quarter of 2009. The BPO firm had plans to hire around 500 professionals initially for this centre and later scale up its headcount to 3,000 in the long run.

The IT industry leaders in the state however sounded positive on areas like job creation and exports in the IT sector despite the prevailing financial turmoil. The software exports from the state stood at about Rs 850 crore in 2007-08 and the state IT department had set a target of software exports worth Rs 5,000 crore by the end of 2011-12.

“None of the employees at the Infosys centre in the city have been given pink slips. Moreover, we expect to meet our targeted software exports for 2008-09 despite the economic slowdown”, said Abhijit Sen, centre head, Infosys Technologies (Bhubaneswar).With a headcount of around 3,000 in its Bhubaneswar centre, Infosys has targeted software exports of around Rs 800 crore from the city.

Surjya Kanta Mohanty, technical manager, Wipro Technologies said, “The prevailing slowdown is unlikely to have an adverse impact on employment generation in the IT sector in Orissa. It is also unlikely to dent software exports from the state.”

While Infosys recruited 700 people from Orissa in 2007-08, Wipro Technologies added 400 to its workforce from the state in the same period. Both firms said that recruitments for 2008-09 were yet to be decided.

First Published: Thu, November 27 2008. 00:00 IST