The sparkling Arabian Sea, tranquil backwaters, lush green landscape, rich cultural history and welcoming people—Kochi has quite a few feathers on her cap. But there is so much more to this delightful city that is reminiscent of a thriving cosmopolitan.
Kochi,also known as Cochin, is located on the southwest coast of India, and was once known only for its port, pepper and tourism possibilities. However, today the city has evolved into a mercantile giant; reinstating its ‘commercial capital of Kerala’ sobriquet.
Kochi has an urban population of around 2.3 million, its metropolitan populace going up by 3% every year.
Many large and medium scale industries and organizations have made Kochi their home, giving the city a versatile commercial mapping. Cochin Port Trust, Cochin Shipyard, Kochi Refineries Limited, Infopark, Fertilizers and Chemical Travancore Limited, Headquarters of the Southern Naval Command, International Pepper Exchange, and Fishing and Seafood Export are some of the prominent landmarks that define Kochi’s trade profile. With the Kochi Metro Rail project speeding towards its completion, in just a few years, Kochi is set to being promoted from a Tier II city to a Tier I city.
Another inimitable quality of the city is its changing cultural mindset. The residents of the city enjoy a Kathakali performance as much as they love hanging out at India’s largest shopping mall, Lulu, which is incidentally located at Kochi. Religious festivals are celebrated by all, irrespective of the diversity; art, music, and literature are highly regarded; and leisure is considered serious business.
Kochi is one of the few cities in India to be touted as an emerging IT-BPM hotspot. According to a report by NASSCOM and global property consultant Cushman & Wakefield (C&W), Kochi is proven to offer better opportunities in terms of business environment, talent and infrastructure. No doubt, Kochi is a true investor’s paradise.
Kochi enables an IT infrastructure with the presence of submarine communication cables that ensuresseamless high speed internet connectivity.While the SEA-ME-WE 3 has only two dropping zones in India—Mumbai and Kochi,the SAFE submarine, with two cable landings, has only one dropping zone in India, and that is in Kochi. Although the Kochi gateway handles 70% of India’s data traffic, the 15GBps bandwidth support offered by VSNL makes it fail-safe, besides keeping it cost effective.
Kerala’s tele-density is double the national average. However, 100% of the telephone exchanges in Kochi are digital,while 98% of these are linked by OFC to the national internet backbone.
Connectivity is a clear Kochi advantage.
Kerala has a high literacy rate, recorded at 97.5%, which is significantly higher than the national figure of 74%. With a strong academic background, the state has a remarkable talent pool to offer. Kerala has produced 40,000 engineering graduates, which is a clear indication of the availability of talent in the state.
Furthermore, a number of NRKs returning to Kerala, and a large number of expatriates have been bringing in a global work culture to the state, creating a massive resource of disciplined and adaptable manpower. Kerala has also recorded the lowest attrition rate in India of less than 5%.
The Kerala state government is working in tandem with NASSCOM to the employability of fresh IT talent in the state, ensuring that the new HR pool building in the state is geared up for the IT industry.
Kerala offers cost differential with operational cost savings up to 25%. Special tariffs for IT such as low cost of operations and power tariffs offer a definite cost advantage. The responsive Kerala state government facilitates simplified procedures like single window clearances, stamp duty exemptions, and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) benefits. The SEZ benefits are especially important in making Kochi city a grade 1 IT/ITES hub. These benefits significantly reduce the cost per hour in Kerala, when compared to the global average. When costs are cut for operations, rentals and other related paraphernalia, the advantage can be easily passed onto overseas clients.