Monsoon Winds Bring in a Good Season for Kerala IT, Too

Kerala IT

June has been an excellent month for ‘Kerala IT’. I cannot recollect a recent time when so many good developments were reported from a single industry in Kerala in a matter of few weeks.

The Nissan Digital Hub will be the nerve centre of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi strategic partnership’s research in electric and automated vehicles

The Government of Kerala signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nissan Motor Co. to set up the Nissan Digital Hub at Technocity in Thiruvananthapuram. This new investment is a shot in the arm for Kerala as it validates our locational advantage, infrastructure, talent pool and quality of life. Along with Nissan’s partners, who will also set up shop here, this decision is certain to enrich the IT ecosystem in Kerala.

Nissan will be undertaking R&D in AI, Cognitive Analytics, Machine Learning and other digital technologies in Kerala, directly employing about 3000 professionals to start with. The Nissan Digital Hub will be the nerve centre of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi strategic partnership’s research in electric and automated vehicles.

UST Global (US Software when it started) has been one of the earliest tenants at Technopark Thiruvananthapuram. The company founded by the late G A Menon and led by Sajan Pillai as CEO, has in the last two decades, grown by leaps and bounds. By securing an investment of Rs. 1700 crore ($250 mn) from Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, the company has become the first ‘unicorn’ from Kerala. Buzz is that at least a couple of more Kerala startups are also about to get into the ‘unicorn’ club having only 249 members globally.

Truecaller, which all of us rely on to escape from pesky calls, picked up Chillr, India’s first multi-bank payments app, to fuel its digital payments foray Truecaller Pay. Chillr, owned by Backwater Technologies, was founded by four Keralites and is a subsidiary of MobMe Wireless Solutions, one of the earliest startup success stories in Kerala. Truecaller considers India its priority growth market and with Chillr in its kitty will be best positioned to capture Indian users.

A lot of hard work has certainly gone into achieving these successes. ‘Kerala IT’ is a movement. Policy makers, investors, entrepreneurs and over one lakh employees jointly contribute to the successful journey of this ecosystem which has many miles to go and seems to be on the right path. Let the ‘home run’ continue.