smaller firms prefer towns in Kerala. But for that we have to create a conducive environment

Irish firms make a foray into Mahe

KANNUR: An unassuming building in Mahe is filled with young professionals busy processing data of two Irish companies — one with full-fledged operations in India while the second is gearing up for its inauguration.

Though global firms setting up shop in big Indian towns is nothing new, a small town making its presence felt in the country's IT map is an interesting development. "It all began in 2007 when my brother Pratheesh, a software professional in Ireland, and I decided to established Open Software Solutions (OSS), a small software development company in our hometown Thalasserry," remembers Prabeesh Chambeth, a business consultant who took pains to bring the Irish firms here.

Initially OSS got work from Contracting Plus Ltd, an Irish firm that provides solutions for recruiting and contracting in Europe. Gradually, they took a share in it, rebranding it as Oryx System Solutions. Later, the company took over Oryx, handing over most of its accounting and IT development works.

"Our first plan was to establish the company in Thalassery, but owing to administrative hurdles, we were compelled to move to Mahe, where former minister and current Mahe MLA E Valsaraj provided us all support

," says Prabeesh, who is now an adviser and consultant of Oryx. "If we had received support from Kerala, we would have stayed back in Thalassery."

Within three years OSS helped Contracting Plus save five million euros in manpower cost. This attracted another Irish multinational company, Morgan McKinley, which established a BPO in Mahe for its backend operations. The company is now in the process of recruiting and training staff. In the first stage, 50 young professionals and trainees are being hired and it plans to increase the strength to around 250 by 2015.

The main requirement for a BPO is to be able to maintain seamless workflow, said Prabeesh.

"While in Thalassery there were times when we had to close the office for upto 5-6 days a month, prompting us to move to Mahe," said Prabeesh. Even during hartals, the Puducherry government provides police protection so work is not affected. While major companies opt for metropolitan cities, smaller firms prefer towns in Kerala. But for that we have to create a conducive environment, they said.

When OSS was started in Thalassery, the municipality refused to give us an IT licence, since back then there was no provision for such a licence. The municipality even suggested that they could provide licence for an electronic business, but OSS refused to accept it.

The advantage of a small town is that you get a committed workforce, especially females, who can be groomed into professionals. Nearly 70% of the employees in both organizations are women.

Meanwhile, Irish software development firm CGS IT Ltd, established by Pratheesh will soon open shop in Mahe after it developed Clubapp, an international web-based mobile application that provides live scores of all major sports matches/games.

"Talks are underway to start a dedicated offshore development centre in Mahe for Clubapp," said Prabeesh. The 31-year-old also runs Destination Oryx, a tourist firm.

"Many MNCs are willing to come to this small town but space constraint is a major concern. We hope the Puducherry government will soon set up an IT Park," Prabeesh said.
 comment:- political parties/violent workers and bandhs . The majority people suffer with unemployment ,or forced to migrate due to these selfish politics