Saturday, July 31, 2010

Technopark @ Kerala - A Visual Sojourn

Birthday time for India's first technology park, the TECHNOPARK, which is also one of the biggest of its kind in India. Twenty years has passed since its foundation stone was laid in 1990. Ever since, Technopark saw a phenomenal rise with more and more multinationals opening its shop, providing employement to the ever growing number of IT professionals.

Implementations of great visionaries seldom go wrong. The story of Technopark is no different as it was the brainchild of the founder chairman, Mr. K P P Nambiar, who also has been instrumental in development of many other establishments.

Geographically, Technopark is strategically positioned as it is away from the busy city life of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of God's own country, Kerala. Its proximity to the International airport and the National highway adds to its investment potential.

Let us travel together to the beautiful Technopark campus, enjoying the architecture of the buildings. To reach here let us first get to Kazhakkoottam and then take the Bypass route. As is the typical Kerala roads, the bypass also is blessed with lots greenery on its sides.

A little into the bypass, the big sign board pointing to left leads us to the this gate of Technopark.

A quick glance from here reveals no sky scrapers or those big buildings housing the IT Giants. Where are all those. Let us get inside and take a look.

Well here is the first round about and there is a sign board listing all the building names and the route map. 

Towards the left there are two major buildings. The NILA and Leela Infopark.

Nila is one of the oldest buildings in Technopark, and just like the magnanimous Nila river, is really big and signs of oldness is very well visible from the external appearance.

From this point it seems that this road will end up in NILA building, but it is not so. On the side of this building another big one has sprung up which has got a perplexing design. This is the Leela Inforpark.

The architect seems to have got a confusion on the theme of external appearance. The traditional Kerala style wood work extends to 6 floors after which it suddenly ends. Neverthless those 6 floors are quite exquisite to glance at.

Watch it closely and we can see its perfection.

Now its time to move back to the first round about and take the upward route. This campus has got a hilly terrain. All the roads are well maintained and the tree cover on both sides gives it a greeny touch as well as providing much relief for the techies to walk around in the neat pavements keeping the Sun out of picture.

One of the most innovative architecture is on display as we move up. Watch this beautiful building which belongs to the man who told that " I don't want India to be an economic super power, but I want to see more and more Indians living a happy life".

This building eventhough huge gives an illusion of a well built home and I wisht that the techies working there also feels at home.

Keep looking at it again and again and enjoy the lovely piece of artistic architecture.

This also is one of the oldest buildings and is the first one owned by a single company. The design for sure has stood the test of time.

Right opposite to this magnificient creation another rounded biggie is coming up and for the first time a Govt major R&D centre is going to set up its shop in Technopark.

Wonder how it will look like upon completion.

We are still going upward and soon too superlative structures are awaiting us. The one on the right is the "Thejaswini" meaning the "Beautiful lady". This is a very latest addition to Technopark, and easily the one with most square feet under its belt. The multistoreyed parking facility feature is first implemented in Thejaswini, which also house the one and only food court in Technopark. 

What you see here are the floors above ground level and there some below ground level too.

Just opposite to Thejawsini is the building which Thejaswini defeated for acheiving the numero uno spot for most built up area - The Bhavani, the meaning of which is "source of creative energy". Quite an apt name for the souls whose creative talents are critical for the betterment of their company and the industry in general.

We are now in the top most part of the whole area and cool breeze are flowing across even in the middle of a hot day. A huge guy is sitting adjacent to Bhavani gazing the sky, holding his head high, but his face seems to have a story to tell.

Is he a symbolic representation of the people who has been stripped of their homelands for the construction of the huge park complex or is he representing the techies who are striving day in and out achieving a lot in terms of monetary gains, but sadly missing out on something.

Adjacent to Bhavani, there are two more buildings with the names of two more major rivers of Kerala, the "Pampa" and "Periyar". Seems like the earlier buildings of Technopark were christening the buildings with the beautiful and glorious rivers of Kerala.

Well who ever has been to Technopark will never forget this huge structure which seems spitting fumes to the sky in the form of cloud.

This is innovation at its level best, and when we finds that this is a simple water tank, we should salute the creativity of the guy who thought of constructing this utility structure in this form. It is quite an engineering feet with all the mathematical calculations on weight distribution being worked out correctly to enable this one to be up in a single pillar. It is a treat to watch this one touch the clear blue skies.

The "Park Center" building is adjacent to the beautiful water tank tower and is aptly names because it has been the centre of all activities related to this park, with the brains behind creating this into a major IT destination being stationed here. The park center houses the technopark management group.

As already mentioned the founder chairman was a visionary, those followed suite were not bad either. Mr. Vijayraghavan, Mr. Satheesh Kumar and co form an elite panel of CEOs who were true brand ambassadors of IT development initiatives of Kerala and were successful in bringing many top IT firms to Technopark viz TCS, Infosys, UST Global, Alliance Cornhill, Toonz Animation etc and a host of others currently getting ready to step in.

The park centre also houses a Business incubation centre, an incubator for facilitating start ups to take up all business challenges without having much to worry about the infrastructure development cost. Once the start ups are ready to stand in their own feet, they can move to other buildings around. A really nice gesture to promote technopreneurs in a state were professional education is completely focused on building followers or obedient workers rather than developing entrepreneurs or promoting creativity. Only the IITs seem to break this monotony and tries to create entrepreneurs. Nevertheless these kind of incentives added with attractive loan schemes for brilliant ideas may form the perfect launching pad for those with an entrepreneurship potential.

A little ahead of Park center, there is an open air theater, where the techies are given a chance to polish their art skills during the annual technopark festival.

One look at the theatre and we feel like this is another place nicely blended with nature and all the big structures around seems to be long away.

Two more oldies of the park are stationed here.First the Chandragiri, which also is showing signs of its age.

The Leela is the last building on a deserted corner of the park.

This building normally figures in the horror stories of the creative techies who has framed many stories of ghosts prowling around this building and is prominently known as the haunted house of the park. The building in flesh does not look haunted at all and it houses one of the success stories of Technopark, a company with lot of values and is constantly in news because of the social causes it initiates.

Now we have covered almost the entire park. So it is time to venture out and see a lot of expansion happening outside the park premises. Very near to the gate there is a technopark club, which offers all the basic games facilities, which unfortunately are never fully used up, thanks to the virtual grills of the IT domain.

Well a beautiful vehicle is coming towards us, gliding through the beautiful roads, under the shade of the greenery. 

These low floor buses gives excellent comfort for travel and is a right step ahead in promoting the usage of public transport for daily travel. 

Taj Ginger is just outside the technopark campus, a truly budget hotel which offers best value for money and the compromise is lesser number of support staff.

A Taj is a Taj, be it Ginger or chilly.

We are now out in the bypass road traveling southwards.

A lot of area are getting ready to be developed for big structures and lot of construction activity is going on.

Well what is that, A giant boat or is it ship parked on land. Just watch this

A marvelous piece of work, let me stop here for sometime and enjoy its beauty. Entrance is prohbited, but who cares, it is brilliant to watch this work of art from the road side. The clouds are moving in the backdrop gives a perspective of the boat moving ahead.

Afterall this one belongs to the Bill Gates of India, one of the most successful home grown software set up, the Infosys, the design of the structure has the stamp of innovation, one of the reason whey they are different from others and the simple reason why they succeed, just put that extra effort and thought, apply right brain oriented thinking, and create extraordinary outputs when others think of ordinary outputs.

New schools have sprang up in this bypass route, thanks to the large number of techie families living nearby. The MGM public started only recently, but is on a faster growth path thanks to increasing number of enrollment each year.

This school has the potential to be one of the major schools in town, provided the authorities and staff learn to keep their feet firmly grounded amidst the rapid growth and can guard against complacency.

Another one nearby is the Good Sheperd school, which is stationed at the foot of one of the hills around.

The exponent of low cost construction Larry Baker seems to have a great influence in the construction of the International convention center here.

Many more buildings are coming up in and around. Thanks to the free space available around, these building are not crowded together.

The architecture range from most modern to the traditional ones, to the most expensive ones to the most cheap ones, to the most ordinary shape to the most extraordinary shape.

The companies housed in these buildings ranges from the start up to the well established ones, the home grown ones to the multinationals.

For the last twenty years, this park has transformed the IT outlook of the state of Kerala, almost all the IT success stories has been linked to the Technopark, the red tape of the other wise lethargic Government machinery seems to have taken a break from the normal routine when it come to Technopark affairs. 

The park is awake always, thanks to the 24 hour work schedule of the companies, the park has seen the metamorphosis of 10 member company in the incubator to 2000+ strong workforce IT major, the park has seen the happy faces of those who pass the interviews, the dejected face of those who don't qualify, the park has seen the excitement of the new recruits, the park has seen the growth of individuals, the park has seen the tears of those who got the pink slip, the park has seen the unfortunate and untimely demise of techies, the park has got techies from all over India, people who come in bicycles and people who come in limousine, the park now completes twenty glorious years and is already a part of the history of IT Saga of India. In future, if historians coin a term IT age, then this park will surely have its place when it comes to the IT History of India.

Happy Birthday to TECHNOPARK, and wishing many more wonderful years ahead, I am signing off from Technopark sojourn, quietly cherishing the dream of trying out the incubator facility once in my life.


Anonymous said...

nice place.. next time when you go to technopark make sure you go to the top floor of tejaswini.. You can actually see the sea from there. :)

- Manu

lakshman said...

Wow.For de ones who havent seen dis place,this will be a surprise nd for de ones who already been dere,nostalgia will creep up :)

Nalini Hebbar said...

WOW what a place!...loved every building...a Kerala touch to all of them.
The sculpture worked for me...the half-risen-everready-man looking towards his future expectantly! said...

hello Manu
yes u r right, we can see from top of Thejaswini, I have been to the food court many times. said...

hello lakshman ji.
nice to c u here. So did the nostalgia creep upon you? said...

Hello Nalini Hebbar
You seem to be dead right on the sculpture thingy. After reading ur comment when I looked at the photo again, ur description seemed very correct.

Nishant Singh said...

Didn't know about this place! Excellent images there :D

Martina said...

Hi! thanks for visiting me! You've got an interesting blog - feels like being on road trip! Have a nice evening!

JoshiMukard said...

I didn't know Techno Park is 'this' beautiful. After working in Electronic City campus in Bangalore with Infosys, I thought that was the ultimate when it comes to IT campus. But, man, Techno park looks to be a much better place.

I like the pic with the orange bus.

AswathiBabu said...

Liked yr rendering and lot of new information also.thanx to you for sharing those pictures

Anonymous said...

Hi Subu

Good work and picture


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Traci said...

Visionary is right! When I hear the phrase Technopark, I don't automatically envision such a lovely campus. It truly is well designed and appropriate to its surroundings. I concur in the congratulations!

Also, there is some LONG overdue thanks for you on my blog. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Traci said...

hello JoshiMukard, Martina, NishanthSingh, AswathiBabu and Krishna, Thanks a lot for your appreciations :) said...

hello Traci
Thanks for those nice words and for acknowledging the award.
thanks and regards

Shiyas Rehman said...

I have never been inside technopark..It was a marvelous walking through like experience...Thanks Subodh for the wonderful post


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