Nissan Push for Kerala IT’s Great Run

Thiruvananthapuram/Kochi: The month of June was dotted with mega deals for the IT sector in Kerala. The bumper among them was auto major Nissan’s entry. Touted as the next big thing in the IT sector of God’s Own Country, the State Government inked a deal with Nissan Motor Corporation to set up Nissan Digital Innovation Hub at Technocity, Pallippuram in Thiruvananthapuram.

The State Government will allot 30 acres of land in the first phase and another 40 acres in the second phase to the Japanese carmaker

The ambitious deal was signed on June 29 at a meeting chaired by Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala Chief Minister. Chief Secretary Paul Antony IAS and Tony Thomas, Chief Information Officer, Nissan signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) before exchanging the documents in the presence of the Chief Minister, M Sivasankar IAS, Secretary, Department of Electronics and IT; K M Abraham, Chairman, Kerala State Innovation Council and Hrishikesh Nair, CEO, IT Parks Kerala.

The Digital Innovation Hub will be a research and development facility and will function as the nerve centre of the company’s research in electric and automated vehicles. The company will soon begin operations in a 25,000 sq. ft. space in Yamuna building at Technopark Phase III campus.

Nissan will parallelly commence operations in the new building in Technocity which is nearing completion. The State Government will allot 30 acres of land in the first phase and another 40 acres in the second phase to the Japanese carmaker. “The Government’s vision of creating a hub of emerging technologies at Thiruvananthapuram is being realized at Knowledge City. With Nissan’s strategic engagement, we are confident that we will be able to attract a host of other IT companies also to our state,” said Hrishikesh Nair.

Nissan chose Kerala to set up the facility owing to multiple factors like talent pool in IT and engineering; airport connectivity; cost effectiveness; quality of life; social amenities; lack of traffic problems; and based on the positive feedback from the successful IT companies at Technopark.

Nissan’s Digital Innovation Hub will host a team of engineers and scientists working to create innovations in automated and electronic vehicles space. The company will be initiating research & development work in artificial intelligence, cognitive analytics, machine learning and other digital technologies. On setting up operations, the company is expected to generate 3000 direct and multi-times indirect employment opportunities. This campus will be named as ‘Nissan Knowledge City’.


Engineers & Scientists Leading R&D in
Artificial Intelligence
Cognitive Analytics
Machine Learning
Digital Technologies

To create Innovations in Automated, Electronic and Smart Vehicles

3000 Direct Employment Opportunities
2 X 3000 Indirect Employments

UST Global Inks Pact with Temasek

UST Global has achieved a major milestone in expanding its global reach as the company has received its first institutional global investor. Temasek, the Singapore-based investment company, has acquired a minority stake in UST Global for $250 million, making UST Global a unicorn.

“As the physical and the digital worlds converge, the current leaders of the physical world seek to adjust to the new digital realities and to new emerging competition. UST Global is perfectly positioned to provide this digital bridge,” said Sajan Pillai, CEO, UST Global.

“The partnership with Temasek will allow us to further our reach so that we can partner with our clients in designing their digital impact strategies. The portfolio of Temasek – Singapore Airlines and Standard Chartered Bank, minority stake in Alibaba and a significant number of global companies – allows us to be positioned very well in these companies,” he added.

The technologies and solutions of UST Global, founded in 1999, have helped drive rapid digital progression for its clients including Fortune 500 companies in various sectors like banking and financial services, healthcare, insurance, retail, technology, manufacturing, shipping and telecom. With regional headquarters in California, Singapore and London, and over 35 offices across the world, UST Global uses its global presence to partner closely with its multinational clients. Currently, it employs 18,000 people in India alone.

Truecaller Acquires Chillr
The Stockholm-based integrated caller ID service, Truecaller, with over 150 million users in India, has further strengthened its base in the country by acquiring Mumbai-based multi-bank payments app Chillr. Launched in 2004 and owned by Backwater Technologies, Chillr is an offshoot of Kochi-based technology conglomerate, MobME. It is the first mobile multi-bank platform which enables secured and fast digital payments across various sectors, including individuals, businesses and enterprises. Chillr co-founder Sony Joy will be the VP of Truecaller Pay 2.0, based in Bengaluru. Mohamed Galib and Lishoy Bhaskaran are the other co-founders of Chillr. Sony Joy was also the co-founder of MobMe and Startup Village (a technology incubator) in Kochi.

KSUM, Yes Bank Ink MoU
Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and YES Bank have joined hands to provide a host of startup-focused corporate and commercial banking services. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed by Dr. Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM and Sanil Chorinchath, VP, Transaction Banking, YES Bank, in Thiruvananthapuram recently. Under the MoU, YES Bank will provide and render the platforms/services to the startups, subject to the relevant contractual arrangements. It will offer Special Current Account Proposition to all the associated startups of KSUM, including a ‘no minimum balance commitment’ for one year after starting a current account with the bank. It will look at structured financial solutions for startups recommended by KSUM on a case-to-case basis.