What should be the qualification for the CEO of Technopark Thiruvananthapuram or Infopark Kochi, the two leading state-run IT parks?
The Kerala government thinks the new CEO must be a programmer with a minimum five years’ experience in an IT/electronics company! At least, that is what the government’s advertisement inviting applicants for the posts specifies. The irony is that the job of the two CEOs has nothing to do with coding or engineering, and everything to do is with marketing and promoting the destination and highlighting its advantages to lure global IT majors.
“It’s like mentioning experience as a KSRTC bus driver as a prerequisite for the post of its new CMD,” said Kochi-based think tank Centre for Public Policy and Research’s (CPPR) chairman D Dhanuraj. “It highlights the problems plaguing almost all government departments,” he said.
A consultant told TNIE that the government’s myopic attitude is reflected in the advertisement for the post of CEO for one of the IT parks. “The IT park is not an IT company but a real estate project and the incumbent requires the expertise of marketing and real estate sector, which also involves promoting the destination and ensuring consistent visibility for the state and its advantages,” he said.
He added the government should focus on marketing the state as a destination for the global IT majors which will not only create jobs and bring investment, but also gets the state counted in the big league among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and the NCR. He said IT in Kerala should take a leaf out of its tourism department, which has promoted the state as a destination for people across the world.
“Kerala has successfully showcased its tourism not just in India but across the world. However, when it comes to IT, the learning has been ignored blindly,” the consultant, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “Despite having the major prerequisites in every parameter to attract the knowledge and tech industry, Kerala has lagged behind,” he added.
The state government focused, and spent resources, only on building infrastructure, that too without any policies for attracting private investment or developers. “Today most tech parks are facing space constraints. Compared to our neighbouring states, we have not attracted any big global IT brand to our shores,” he said.
Dhanuraj said what Kerala needs is visionary heads like G Vijayaraghavan, who as the Technopark’s founding CEO, gave the state the first-mover advantage in the concept of IT parks in India.
“The IT parks’ CEOs should be marketing persons and not a computer coder,” added an IT observer.
CPPR Chairman Dr D Dhanuraj comments in a article published in the The New Indian Express on 21 July 2022, Click here to read