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Executive Vice President,
Tata Consultancy Service
Managing Director,
Satyam Infoway Ltd.
Director,
Temenos Systems[India] Pvt. Ltd.
CD,
Pentafour Software & Exports Ltd.

Managing Director,
Hexaware
.

Mahalingam,
Executive Vice President,
Tata Consultancy Service

Chennai is already well-known for 'availability of quality software professionals'. Now the state government's initiative to set up large scale information technology park will make the city as a destination for software houses.

It is so critical that without this, it will be very difficult to attract multinationals and Indian software giants, which have evinced interest in setting up their development centers here. As the city is already a international gateway, the proposed park will almost complete the the basic infrastructural requirements for software industry.

Availability of ready made office space will also be helpful for the software industry to expand further. With high class communication network and uninterrupted power supply, it [TIDEL] is a great facility and comparable to the world standards.

The rate per sq.ft is also very attractive. It is less than what is being quoted by other parks in the country. The major advantage of the project is that the location is going to be within the city limits.

The project, which is expected to be completed in a year's time, will enjoy demand primarily from two sources large Indian software companies and MNCs. Particularly the MNCs which have shown lot of interests in entering TN.

On the other hand, with the park in place Chennai will be more competitive among Hyderabad and Bangalore in attracting software projects coming to Indian continent.

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R. Ramaraj,
Managing Director,
Satyam Infoway Ltd.

Today there are lot of software development agencies in the city which are operating out of suboptimal conditions or are paying a huge cost for the services. With such a government supported project, one gets a ready-made infrastructure to Chaos, there is bound to be a great demand for the project. Specialty taking into account the fact the industry is witnessing a 50 per cent plus growth.

With whatever is been heard about the project, it will no doubt compare with the most advanced software parks in the world.

TIDEL park will become a key catalyst to change, with the advent of more software companies and more software export houses. It will also provide employment to the local software professionals and help in retaining the local talents within the state.

The superior infrastructure and the ambience that the park provides will bestow the confidence to success in many of its members. For Satyam Infoway Ltd, definitely the TIDEL park will be one of the prime options while expanding further in the future.

The deterioration of infrastructure facilities and overcrowding of the city has affected the progress of Bangalore as a business center. And compared to an evolving market like Hyderabad, with TIDEL park Chennai has all that to make it a superior IT city.

Besides, the state boasts of a good telecom infrastructure, uninterrupted power supply, efficient transportation system, linkage to the external world-by air, rail and sea.

The new policies of the state government, as reflected in the budget, has seen cuts in excise duties on specified software and reflects an investor-friendly attitude. This very move by the government to establish the state as an important point for software development should be seen as a step in the right direction.

The cost of space which much lower compared to some of the other metros coupled with good living conditions is another attractive incentive for companies looking to set up shop in the state.

With top class educational institutes like IIT and Anna University, TN also has a rich professional talent base which can appropriate.

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S.P. Jayanthan,
Director,
Temenos Systems[India] Pvt. Ltd.

For the first generation entrepreneurs into the software industry, TIDEL park will be helpful as it will drastically reduce their initial set up cost. Particularly, availability of state system with exclusive VSNL and STPI link-up, E-mail, Data Transmission and Video Conferencing for a reasonable price, is a great opportunity for the entrepreneurs.

The proposal of having a code of conduct among the members, is an important factor in TIDEL Park, as the smaller firms will be facing risk of losing their professionals to the bigger entities in these kind of parks.

To further encourage the smaller firms, the state government may consider the option of leasing out space to them government may consider the option of leasing out space to them for a period of 3 years initially. In this period they could be able to generate enough to buy own space.

The project seems to have all the infrastructural facilities for operating software businesses. More importantly, the idea of providing other facilities like Gymnasium, Cyber Cafe, Food, Court, Restaurant, rest rooms and movies, will really make the life style of the software professionals comparable to the world standards.

Currently in India, there are very few software destinations. Among them, while Bangalore is on its way down because of various reasons including poor infrastructure, Hyderabad is promising a lot.

In this context, Chennai is a preferred place for software exporters as well as preferred as it has all the embassies among others infrastructural facilities. With the proposed information technology park, the city will definitely emerge as a top software destination in India.

If the park also provides services in the areas of obtaining export licenses and hotel room facilities [for visiting foreigners], the software companies will be totally free to focus on their jobs, which will in turn increase the software exports from TN.

As for as Temenos Systems is concerned, it just moved into a new office for the on-going expansions. The company has plans of investing US $ 5-10 millions every year for next three years and recruit over 500 professionals. So in two years time, Temenos Systems will try to move into TIDEL park for its further expansions.

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V.Chandrasekhar,
CMD,
Pentafour Software & Exports Ltd.

Q: How TIDEL Park will benefit Tamil Nadu as a whole? And more particularly in attracting software companies? [ Joint Ventures, MNCs, Large Indian Software houses and entrepreneurs ].
A: The TIDEL Park will generate employment and recognition to Tamil Nadu as a major global information player in the global market facilities such as uninterrupted power supply through 110KV substation, exclusive VSNL link-up facilities, E-mail, data transmission, videoconferencing, ISDN and high speed data links all under one roof are a boon to the growing software industry.

Q: With TIDEL Park in place, how do you compare Chennai with its competitors like Bangalore and Hyderabad ?
A: Chennai is well connected by air, sea and road and it is the international hub of South India. Chennai is one of the major metropolitan cities of India. Various International consulates have their embassies in Chennai. Major International players like Ford and Hyundai have already invested in Chennai and the TIDEL Park will be the doorway for major international and domestic IT players to start shop in Chennai. Chennai and its surrounding has about seven engineering colleges, one exclusive engineering university, and the world renowned Indian Institute of Technology to meet the growing demands for IT professionals.

Q: Compare the proposed Tidel Park with similar software international Parks. Does the project have all infrastructural facilities for operating software business?
A: The proposed Tidel Park has all the requirements to meet the international standards of software parks. Major international software parks are situated in major cities with facilities like export processing zone (Madras Export Processing Zone), International air,sea link , support from international embassies for speedy visa processing which helps save time and material for IT players in the export market.

Q: Will your company or your sister companies consider moving into Tidel Park, while expanding in the future?
A: Pentafour was the pioneer to set up a 22-acre software park at Kelambakkam near Chennai as early 1995. Pentafour's Software Technology Park houses the Software Development Park, which caters to the General Software Segment and the Electronic Hardware Technology Park, which caters to the multi-media segment. At appropriate time, we will definitely consider.

Q: Will Tidel Park play a key role in boosting software exports from TN? And also employment?
A: Tidel Park will play major role in boosting software exports from Tamil Nadu. The The technological infrastructure at Tidel Park and the location in Chennai with an international and domestic airport supported by the presence of the Export Processing Zone would be the key factors in boosting the exports from TN.

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G.S.Krishnamurthy,
MD,
Hexaware.

Q: How Tidel Park will benefit Tamil Nadu as a whole? And more particularly in attracting software companies?
A: Setting up the infrastructure for a software company is indeed a tiring and pain - staking process. The expectations of the working ambience by employees are very high and even customers expect world class infrastructure to do business. There are so many challenges involved in setting up software development like STP, VSNL, TNEB, Customs, Sales Tax, Air conditioners, Contractors etc. Coordination between these is indeed a major exercise . Tidel Park is expected to create a facility which would provide world class -infrastructure and this would therefore be very useful for software companies to just move in on a plug in on a play basis.

Q: With Tidel Park in place, how do you compare with its competitors like Hyderabad and Bangalore?
A: Tidel Park is well placed in the city of Chennai and this is a very important consideration in choosing a site for software development as employees- friendly. It should be possible for employees to commute at late hours to their home without any major problem and inconvenience. Video Conferencing on a leased basis for the members of the Tidel Park would be very essential. However , based on other software parks in the country run by the Govt, the house house-keeping and maintenance , leaves much to be desired.So, this one aspect should be taken care of , after Tidel Park is handed over.

Q: How do you foresee the demand for the Park , when it is ready?
A: Tidel Park is providing facilities of International standards and should be possible to lease/sell the area very fast . However, at the same time , our Govt, is also planning 3-4 other software development parks which might create unnecessary competition within.

Q: Is the Quoted rate per sq. ft. reasonable given the facilities? Also compare the cost with other parks?
A: The Real Estates is in a very low ebb and the lease amount is even less than the interest cost of the capital required for acquiring real estate. However , the rates become very crucial for sale ability of the premises. I do not have the details of the rates of the to make any comments on this at present.

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