Persistent efforts to attract information technology (IT) and information technology enabled services (ITES) companies to the Information Technology (IT) Park in Hubli, which became functional in 2002, seem to be showing results with more companies evincing interest in starting their operations here.
The IT Park in Hubli was inaugurated by the then Union Minister for Information Technology Pramod Mahajan on September 19, 2002 amid much hype. However, the park was a showpiece for a few years with major companies remaining reluctant to start their operations here.
In the first four years, only Tata Teleservices and RMS Technologies set up their units at the park apart from the branch of Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), and 1.6 lakh sq.-ft space remained unutilised. The only silver lining at that time was that the STPI branch had received good returns and was expanding its operations to other cities in north Karnataka.
In its attempt to attract investors, the State Government organised “Destination Hubli” in Bangalore in 2004 to showcase the city as an IT destination. This was followed by IT Investors' Meet in 2006 here, during which the Government announced reduced rent at the park to attract more companies.
“Ever since the IT Investors' Meet was held, we tried to keep in touch with the companies that had evinced in starting their operations here. In the subsequent years our follow up yielded results,” H. Devanand, Manager of Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (KEONICS) at Hubli and in-charge of the park, told The Hindu.
Now, of the total 1.72 lakh-sq.-ft space available in the four-storey park, only 82,000 sq. ft is vacant.
An area of 16,000 sq. ft was recently allotted to the STPI for expansion of its existing set up at the park.
Meanwhile, Hubli Electricity Supply Company (Hescom) has proposed to take around 30,000-sq.-ft area on rent for its proposed Data Entry Centre and a private firm has evinced interest in taking 20,000 sq. ft on rent in the park.
“Of the 16,000-sq.-ft space allotted to the STPI, 6,000 sq. ft will be utilised immediately. The rest will be utilised in a phased manner,” Mr. Devanand said.
Another significant issue is that after remaining inactive for four-and-a-half years, the International Institute of Information Technology Hubli-Dharwad (IIIT-HD) became functional in 2008 with the launch of two finishing school programmes by IIIT-Bangalore. Now, IIIT-HD is successfully running the programmes and is also conducting other IT-related activities.