News and Updates
Infosys to start work on Kolkata centre
Over the last few years the entire OrangeTree Global team has been following the events associated with Infosys’s movement and setting up shop in Bengal. More so because of the wide scale impact it will have on Analytics opportunities and jobs in the State. Over the next year or so, our team will keep you updated on the Growth Story of Infosys in Bengal. Needless to say this is the beginning of a new chapter in Analytics and IT in Kolkata and West Bengal.
What is the biggest takeaway from the arrival of Infosys in Kolkata? Techies from Bengal working in the city or outside the state see a ray of hope. Infosys’ foray will either convince them to stay on, or maybe even persuade them to come back, home.
Agniva Mookherjee, who works with Cognizant as a senior business consultant in Manchester, told TOI that he got to know about Infosys’ massive investment plans on Wednesday. “This is a major milestone in the IT ecosystem prospering in Bengal. It gives a chance for ex-Infosys employees like me to head back to my base and continue working in the IT Industry while enjoying the benefits of living in Kolkata and pursuing dreams of a flourishing career all the way till retirement,” he added.
Rupam Das, who is with PwC, London, agrees. “This will now give us immense opportunities to come back home as openings in middle management will increase,” he said.
Another IT professional, Arpan Majumdar, who works in a leading IT multi-national company in Bengaluru, said Infosys’ arrival in Kolkata was great news for those who want to stay and work in Kolkata. “Now, they have a solid option like Infosys. It is a big name and we believe that this way, other MNCs could follow suit,” he added.
Dipankar Mazumdar, who works for Tech Mahindra in Kolkata, was happy that Infosys had finally come to Bengal. He believes other big companies would follow suit and he would be able to reunite with some of his friends who stay in Pune or Bengaluru.
Madhurima Roy, who works Honeywell, sounded excited. “I read it in the newspapers today. It is a really good development. We were discussing this during lunch hour,” she said.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday claimed Infosys Ltd had agreed to start construction of its proposed development centre in Kolkata, even without the state granting the company permission to turn it into a special economic zone (SEZ).
“Infosys has agreed to start construction of its development center in Kolkata, West Bengal, which will have a capacity to seat around 1000 people,” said the IT firm in a statement.
“We will submit the plan for the proposed center to the West Bengal government as soon as the land registration process is complete.”
Back in 2010, the West Bengal government had allotted 50 acres in Rajarhat township near Kolkata to Infosys after several failed attempts by the state to get the company to invest in West Bengal. The firm paid Rs75 crore to acquire the land, but didn’t start construction.
After Banerjee took office as chief minister in 2011, she said she would not allow the development centre to be turned into an SEZ in line with her party Trinamool Congress’s stand on such enclaves with special trade laws. This hobbled the project, but Banerjee claimed on Tuesday that the company had changed its mind and was now looking to invest at least Rs100 crore.
A key official in the state government said that during recent discussions with the management of Infosys, the administration had assured the company of compensating in “other ways”. Following this commitment, the company has agreed to start construction of its development centre in Kolkata, this official said, asking not to be named.
Kolkata has been on Infosys’s radar from 2004. But its first attempt to acquire land in Rajarhat township failed because of prohibitive land prices. The state, at that time ruled by the Left Front, did not agree to allot land at prices acceptable to Infosys.
Finally, in April 2008, the company announced that it would set up a development centre in Kolkata, spending at least Rs500 crore and that the unit would employ 5,000 people when scaled up. It led to the company acquiring a 50 acre plot but not much beyond because the political regime changed.