Kerala IT cos meet Achuthanandan to tackle slowdown

November 13th, 2008 - 4:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 13 (IANS) If the current downturn finally hits the state’s information technology (IT) companies, the Kerala government should offer sops to help them cut operational costs, chiefs of top IT companies told Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan in a meeting here Thursday. At the moment, they were fine, the companies said.”As things stand now, things are fine here, but if the slowdown hits them, the state government should give them sops like decrease in technology park lease rentals and electricity charges so that they can go ahead without problems,” Achuthanandan told reporters after the meeting.

The meeting, the first of its kind in the state, took place after the media here went to town following reports that some IT companies in the state had retrenched employees on grounds of “incompetence”.

“The outcome of this meeting is very positive as both sides shared what they had in mind and it has been decided to set up a committee consisting of representatives of the IT sector and government officials to prepare a report on how to deal with all issues,” the chief minister said.

Similar meetings will henceforth be held regularly, he added.

There are more than 25,000 IT professionals working in 150 companies in the Technopark here and at the Infopark campus in Kochi.

Sathish Babu, secretary of the G-Tech group of Technopark Companies said that on account of the slowdown that has hit the West, Kerala is likely to feel it in three to six months.

“In that case we have to cut down on operational costs and we have requested the government to help us in areas like rentals and electricity, the only raw materials that we IT firms consume. Bangalore and Chennai have already cut rentals,” Babu said.

The average salary levels in big IT firms in the state is around Rs.50,000 per month. When asked whether IT firms will resort to salary cuts, K. Nandakumar, chief of SunTec, a leading IT firm here, said that there were various ways of cutting down operational costs and salary cut was one such way.

“The companies that have business interests in the Western world are the ones that are going to be affected, while those who deal with other parts of the world would not be affected that much,” Nandakumar added.

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