TechnoparkToday(Sept, 2023): Kerala’s technology landscape is witnessing a significant transformation as Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi, two Tier-2 cities, secure their positions on the list of India’s emerging startup hubs. In a collaborative survey report by NASSCOM and Deloitte, these cities have been recognized as key destinations for future IT development, citing their abundant pool of science, technology, and management graduates, superior infrastructure, and thriving startup ecosystem.
The report, which evaluated 26 cities termed the ‘next wave of technology hubs,’ sheds light on the burgeoning tech hubs in various Tier-2 cities, indicating the direction of the technology industry’s expansion. Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi stood out due to their substantial presence of skilled graduates and higher startup density. Thiruvananthapuram, in particular, distinguishes itself with its lower susceptibility to natural disasters, superior social infrastructure, and the availability of a talented workforce.
Vijay Kumar, Chairman of the Kerala Regional Council at NASSCOM, revealed that several Tier-I cities’ companies are eyeing operations in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. He emphasized that the talent pool in Kerala, coupled with its safety and security record, was a significant factor in their inclusion. Kumar noted that smaller cities are becoming attractive alternatives to overcrowded Tier-1 cities. He cited the recent interest of an MNC based in Hyderabad in launching operations in either of the two cities.
The report also lauded both Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram for their real estate attractiveness and robust inter- and intra-city connectivity. Kochi, in particular, excels in real estate availability, while Thiruvananthapuram maintains a “good” rating in this category. In terms of real estate costs, both cities are favorably rated. Thiruvananthapuram takes a slight lead in the development of various technologies, including edtech, health tech, and fintech, as well as emerging areas like artificial intelligence, IoT, and robotics. However, in terms of ease of doing business, both cities are classified as moderate compared to their counterparts.
Anoop Ambika, CEO of Kerala Start-Up Mission, attributed the prominence of these two cities to Kerala’s exceptional talent pool, particularly in the science and technology sector. “Our startup ecosystem is largely moving into the science and technology sector. It is our excellent human resources and affordable pricing that put us at the top of the list,” said Anoop, emphasizing the state’s strengths in sectors such as space technology, healthcare, and agriculture.
Sanjeev Nair, CEO of Technopark, applauded the emergence of Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram as technology hubs and highlighted Kerala’s dedication to fostering innovation and technology-driven growth. He noted that this transformation not only benefits local startups and companies but also solidifies Kerala’s position as a technologically advanced destination on the global stage. Nair expressed optimism about the opportunities ahead for the state’s tech ecosystem, citing the pivotal role played by Technopark and Infopark in contributing to this progress.