Vol.1 Issue 5 September 2010
Newsletter from Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation 2 Unprecedented rush for Kerala Travel Mart
4 DMRC to help Kerala travel fast
6 Growth areas: Infrastructure, infotainment
It’s not just the backwaters, beaches and houseboats that Kerala offers a discerning traveller. The State is a treasure trove of experiences. Update has sourced notes that ‘alert independent travellers’ from abroad wrote, indicating what they liked about Kerala, and what they would want more. Check them out and you will get an idea of the investment opportunities that await tourism entrepreneurs in the State.
Photo Courtesy: New Indian Voyages, Kochi
Farmer for a day By Kim Brenneman
e had come as a group of students and faculty from the Eastern Mennonite University, Virginia, United States. The main aim of our study tour to Kerala was to enjoy the State in its natural form. We had decided on learning
about the cultivation of any major crop of Kerala. The learning coupled with a holiday experience was what we were looking for. Heart-warming is the word for our experience. We were given accommodation with various local families in the paddy district of Palakkad. It was fun getting the feel of an agriculturist right
from the hearth. For students, this experience through the eyes of a regular farmer was exciting. We were shown demonstrations of the farming techniques, requirements and the factors affecting the growth of rice saplings. We were involved right from stage one of the cultivation process. We had never imagined paddy cultivation to be such a hard work. We tilled the land with buffaloes (that was real exciting), planted the rice seeds and even used the waterwheel to irrigate the land. The handson experience and the home-made Turn to page 4
It’s tourism season, now
Unprecedented rush for KTM
The Bolghatty Palace will host the sixth edition of Kerala Travel Mart
he biennial Kerala travel Mart (KTM) is scheduled to be held at Bolghatty Palace, Kochi from September 23 to 26, 2010. As many as 551 international and 1621 domestic buyers have registered for KTM 2010; a sharp increase from the 307 international and 590 domestic buyers who attended KTM 2008. Buyers will have access to
Kerala’s diverse tourism products and the opportunity to interact with a range of sellers and entrepreneurs. People from sectors as diverse as airlines, event management, media, tour operators, travel agents and writers are expected to grace the event.
Kerala is Asia’s top travel destination
Kerala has been chosen as the best holiday destination in Asia by readers of independent online travel magazine
Largest IT training centre in Technocity
India’s top software exporter TCS is setting up a modern training centre, on 82 acres of land, slated to be the country’s biggest, in Thiruvananthapuram. On completion it would accommodate over 15,000 professionals at a time. The campus infrastructure will include classrooms, auditoriums, computer laboratories, a library, cafeterias, accommodation facilities as well as recreational and shopping areas. It will be connected with all other satellite training facilities across the globe. TCS is an anchor investor for IT Kerala and has played a major role in the sector’s growth here. 2
Maritime Board for minor ports
The Kerala Cabinet has cleared the legislation for setting up the Kerala State Maritime Board by merging the port, hydrographic survey wing and the State Maritime Development Corporation. The main objective is to coordinate the work carried out by various coastal departments and monitor the state’s maritime activities .The maritime board will administer, control, regulate and manage all major and minor ports. It will also carry out various maintenance activities related to ships. Apart from intensifying security measures across the coastline, the board will also take up steps for the
Smart Travel Asia. The destination beat other favourites such as Bali, Phuket and Maldives. The poll was based on readers’ personal travel experiences in each destination, and organised into 12 categories – including best business hotels, best business cities, luxury resorts, spa hotels and shopping spots. Respondents to the Smart Travel Asia poll took an average of 13.56 flights over the last 12 months, and 60 per cent are based in Asia, particularly Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore and Thailand. 20 per cent of readers reside in Europe and the UK, with another 20 per cent located in North America.
Nabard support for rural tourism
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) plans to promote rural tourism in Kerala. Nabard is especially interested in supporting rural home stays through the banking sector. It is also tracking natural resource management with a project in Wayanad with an outlay of Rs 9 crore. In tune with the changing patterns of rural living, Nabard has also started looking at IT parks and rural markets as prospective areas of activity.
conservation of interior ports.
Wayanad milk for Gulf
Wayanad, the hill district of Kerala, has begun marketing itself in a new way. From tourism to milk products. The high-tech ‘Wayanad dairy’ plant in Kalpetta has begun exporting of milk products of the Milma brand. The first shipment of 8 tonnes of ghee was exported to Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. The dairy is in the process of getting license for exporting to European nations. The plant has a production capacity of 1, 30,000 litres and a processing capacity of 50,000 litres of milk a day.
DMRC to help fast-track Kerala
Signs MoU with KSIDC for feasibility study for a high-speed rail corridor
KSIDC Managing Director Alkesh Sharma and DMRC Director (Works) Mangu Singh hand over the Memorandum of Understanding they signed on conducting a pre-feasibility study for the high-speed rail corridor. Additional Chief Secretary (Industries and Commerce) T Balakrishnan and DMRC chief E Sreedharan are also seen.
he government has taken a major step towards setting up a fast track rail corridor in the State by enlisting the services of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. DMRC will provide consultancy services and conduct a pre-feasibility study for the proposed 550-km high-speed rail corridor linking Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod. Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) Managing Director Alkesh Sharma and DMRC Director (Works) Mangu Singh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard on August 24 in New Delhi in the presence of Additional Chief Secretary (Industries and Commerce) T Balakrishnan and DMRC chief E Sreedharan. As per
Gas project for capital
AIL (India) Limited and Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation Limited (KSIDC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Natural Gas Infrastructure and City Gas Distribution in Thiruvananthpuram. The MoU was signed by Alkesh Sharma, Managing Director, KSIDC
and J Wason, Executive Director (Marketing), GAIL in the presence of Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan. GAIL Chairman and Managing Director B. C. Tripathi said the MoU aims to develop the natural gas distribution and city gas infrastructure, to develop the use of eco-friendly fuels,
From MD’s Desk
Let’s think out of the box
ourism is a super brand Kerala has produced. Some smart marketing, backed by sound strategies, over a period of time has made Kerala a top global tourism destination. We did not invent anything new in Kerala while asking people from all over the world to come and see what’s here. All that we did was to properly package what Nature has graciously granted us. Tourism is today one of the top revenue earners of the State, and generates employment across layers. It is one example of inclusive growth where the fruits of development are
distributed across the sections of society. Having established ourselves on the global tourism map, it is time for us to move ahead and introduce new concepts and products and attract new sections of people. This would require some out of the box thinking. This issue of Update tries to capture a glimpse of the sectors which holds promise for the future of Kerala: responsible tourism, farm tourism and adventure tourism. I am sure that entrepreneurs will find the right clues from the suggestions made, not by planners or the government, but by travellers themselves.
the MoU, while the traffic study report should be submitted within three months from the date of the agreement, the draft pre-feasibility report can take five months and the final report will be submitted in six months from the date of the signing of the agreement. Trains are expected to run at a speed of about 275-300 km per hour on this standard gauge (1,435 mm) high-speed corridor. This is DMRC’s first ever consultancy project for a high speed rail corridor and it plans to engage Japanese experts, who have been associated with bullet trains, for this project. Initially, eight stations have been planned with plans for three more in the future. The average distance between the stations will be 70 to 80 km. especially Natural Gas/CNG/PNG/ R-LNG and to promote a joint venture for domestic, industrial and transport sectors in Kerala. The two organisations would initiate a joint exercise for immediate assessment of the demand potential of natural gas and allied products in the State. Continuing with the coverage on the thrust sectors KSIDC has chosen to support in Kerala, this issue has detailed reports on the infotainment and infrastructure sectors. Infotainment is a fast-developing sector, making use of the advent of technology. Kerala, an emerging knowledge society, will welcome new initiatives in the sector. The infrastructure sector should make use of the unique topography of Kerala which defies the conventional segregation of cities and villages. I assure all support to the investors who plan to invest in Kerala in these growth sectors. I solicit your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org Alkesh Sharma 3
food provided to us at the field were the most memorable moments of the trip. It was wonderful to witness the smile on the face of every villager who went out of their way to make us feel at home. In the evenings, we interacted with the village womenfolk and played football with the young lads in the fields. Towards late evening we would try our hand at the local cuisines and even managed to cook quite a few traditional dishes. There would also be a slew of cultural programmes to keep us entertained.
Farm tourism in this manner is sure to be a big success in Kerala. Though the experience was one of a kind, it would be helpful if a few things are taken care of. The sensitivity of the foreign tourists and their requirements should be met to an extent. Provision should be made to provide potable water for tourists, who are not used to this heat and its high levels of dehydration. Also it would be preferable if we could get guided tours of the neighbouring towns. Regular weather updates would help tourists select the period of the
year and the type of terrain to experience hands on farm practices - be it the cool climes of the spices and plantation districts or the warm humid climate of the paddy regions. The State has immense potential in farm tourism, which is the most economical tourist experience and should look to open all its farmlands and plantations to tourists wanting to know more about the crops grown here. The writer is professor of psychology at the university
I feel like Eve By Maria Plutz
ometimes a walk into nature’s lap is all that is needed to make one realise the extravagant life that one leads. Mom and me have just had such a walk in the village roads of Mararikkulam. For the last three days we have been having a new experience: getting a slice of true Kerala, in its ethnic and original form. We landed in Kerala with no plans for accommodation or itinerary. All we wanted was a place that would make us comfortable, sans technology overdose and resource wastage. Something that makes me accountable for the holiday experience, that ensures the wholehearted cooperation of the local community. Call it responsible tourism, if you will. Our stay here was true to this description. We found energy efficiency and energy conservation at work here. So much so that we are taking back to Germany pictures of even our laundry
bags made from reusable material. It will be a novel idea there. I loved the idea of making my holiday productive by being part of the region’s culture and being responsible for my actions during my holidays. We were so involved with the activities here in the resort that we did not even visit the nearest town. The butterfly garden, bird and insect watching and farming of local produce such as pineapple and rice make me a part of my holiday instead of being a mere onlooker. Cultivating my own farm produce or cleaning and cooking some on my own were very exciting ideas indeed. So were the cookery classes. I’m definitely waiting to show off my culinary skills when I go back to Germany. Tasting the fresh catch of the day to strolling along the beach and riding bicycle into the nearby villages are some things worth looking out for. The active cooperation from the local people made us feel a lot safer than we could feel anywhere else in India. A complaint that tourists like me usually have is the inability to wear the dresses of our choice due to the intense heat
Photo courtesy: Marari Beach Resorts, Allepey
in this part of the world. Being a part of responsible tourism helps wash away these complaints. We have had an experience which I suspect the people and the government were trying to hide from us tourists! The holiday was education, too, for us. We now realise that we are too dependent on so many unnatural resources and live an extravagant life. It’s an automatic sense of moral realisation. The writer, a German national, was cooling off in Kerala after her MBA exams.
Make Munnar more daring By Katrin Linse
he journey towards Munnar from Kochi is filled with interesting views of various plantations like rubber, coffee, cocoa etc and forests and waterfalls. These views filled me with hopes of what I had expected 4
from Kerala’s premier hill station: adventure. All enjoyed sightseeing trip organised by the District Tourism Promotion Council. The tea plantations, lakes and the panoramic views... Munnar with its incredible beauty seems like an extended football ground we have
back home in Europe. Lush greenery and huge meadows with cows chewing their cud greeted us along the way. The drive towards Top Station was very beautiful with shops selling ethnic and local produce. I was looking forward to some adventure, as Munnar with its hilly and rocky terrains should easily provide some. I had to be content with the regular cycling and trekking along a few
areas of land. Though the trekking was exciting, it was surprising to know that Munnar with its unending hills and forest areas couldn’t offer more choices for adventure enthusiasts. Having been to various parts of the world and experiencing adventure in its true blue form, I can vouch for the fact that Munnar has what it takes to be the pinnacle of adventure tourism in the world. The authorities and the local people need to tap into this huge potential, lest it becomes a case of so near, yet so far. Even though Munnar is a paradise on earth, there are many areas worth improving on. First and foremost is proper infrastructure. From more areas for car parking to spaces for adventure sports, the hill should be utilised to attract more tourists. Adventure travel-
lers prefer spending less on accommodation and more on outdoor fun. The town could easily do with more medium budget rooms for them. Munnar with its rivers and dams has immense potential for water sports. Paragliding, another major adventure sport, too looks promising and needs only half an acre of open area for practice. Cable car or rope way would almost certainly triple any hill station’s present tourist inflow. Tourists would do anything to enjoy such great heights. White water rafting, wind surfing, bungee jumping and river crossing are the other sports that can water the mouth of any adventure enthusiast on witnessing Munnar’s landscape. Trekking into forest areas and spotting of wild-
By invitation/Jose Dominic
a Pilgrimage of the self
GH Earth started out in 1957 as the Casino Restaurant. The big break for us came, when in 1988, Bangaram island in Lakshadweep was offered to us for private development. Having seen Bangaramspectacular, undisturbed nature - our offer was to keep things intact. There was no reason for somebody to come to the island to have an experience other than that of the island. Our direction and strategy was “Less is More”. When we started operating the hotel our advertised facilities were the absence of telephone, newspaper, TV, etc. And yet, it was more expensive than the Oberoi Towers in Mumbai! What is rare and precious is really free. It is nature undisturbed. Going by that experience, we adopted the core values of ecological sensitivity, inclusion of the community and adoption of local ethos. Kerala has the beaches and backwaters and the mountains, but more importantly, it has a social community. We wanted inter-
national tourists wanting to experience the local values, and the way of life to stay with us. So we employed locals and served food that was as local as possible. We decided a holiday is a “Pilgrimage of the Self ”. This defined us as experiential holidays – both Experiences and Holidays and culminated in changing our name from Casino group to CGH Earth. Location was considered to be the most important ingredient for the success of a hotel. Location means a room with a good view. With responsible tourism, it is not enough to be at a good location. The bigger question is “How does the room look from the view?” When Spice Village was built, we brought these ideas here. It is in essence a Mannan village. I am happy that KSIDC appraised the project and supported us. Coconut Lagoon, the first hotel in the backwaters, offers an experience of Kerala, specifically on backwaters. The spectacular successes of these hotels spun off a whole gen-
The KSIDC push
Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) has been in the forefront of developing tourism infrastructure in the State. KSIDC has listed tourism under the ‘priority sector’ and has extended financial assistance of Rs 182 crore to 71 units, which include some of the most popular
life needs to be introduced on a larger, more daring scale. It can get very disappointing for tourists to go back without enjoying any of these experiences. It would be nice to have more cultural centres, offering the local experience and interactive sessions for tourists. It would be exciting to watch and learn the local traditions and cultures through such events in the evenings. The writer is a social worker in Germany. Taking the road less travelled has made all the difference for Jose Dominic, managing director, CGH Earth. Jose, the pioneer of experiential tourism in the State, was the first to identify the business of serving the Alert Independent Traveller. Jose writes about the trends in travel and tourism. eration of clones, triggering Kerala’s tourism growth. In the 80s, Peter Aderhold, tourism consultant of UNESCO, classified travellers into two groups– SSS- Sun, Sand, Surf – and the AIT – Alert Indepentent Traveller, accounting for 95 and 5 per cent of the travelers, respectively. But the future lay with the AIT because people become much more demanding when they gain knowledge and confidence. They are beginning to travel independently using information available on the internet. In 2004, the share of the AIT had risen to about 35 per cent. We bet on them. So also can Kerala.
tourism brands in Kerala such as CGH Earth, Banyan Tree, Crown Plaza, Abad Hotels, Bharat Hotels and Kadavu Resorts. It has also committed about Rs 128 crore to the sector. It has been a good business, too, for KSIDC as 29 units have already closed their accounts with KSIDC after paying back the loan! It also reflects the health of the tourism sector. 5
GROWTH AREAS: INFrastructure
Kerala is thinking BIG - Buoyant Infrastructure Growth. Building a growing economy requires infrastructure that can keep pace and go beyond. Sensing the need to maintain the high growth rate of the State, Kerala has started encouraging infrastructure developments in a big way.
Oberon Mall, which announced the arrival of a new shopping experience in Kerala in 2008, was an instant hit.
f you thought the Kerala landscape would continue to be dotted by residential buildings and marshy lands, think again. 54 years since its formation, the State is witnessing infrastructure growth like never before. The Central government has proposed investments worth $514 billion in the infrastructure sector for the 11th Five-year plan. It is expected to be 5 times more in the 12th Five-Year plan in order to touch the magical two digit GDP growth figures. Realising the need to synchronise the country’s growing economy with its own, investments in infrastructure to the tune of more than Rs 20,000 crore have been outlined for the next 5 years in Kerala. Kerala is ranked 2nd by the World 6
IT infrastructure in Kerala requires a further investment of Rs. 800010000 crore over the next 4-5 years to bridge the gap between supply and demand.
Bank Study, 2009 in Investment Climate Index and is ranked among the ‘high middle’ on the Infrastructure Index in India by the 12th Finance Commission. The ICTT, various SEZs and industrial parks, the Kozhikode Cyber Park and the Cochin LULU Hypermarket are all cases of growth in industrial, IT and retail infrastructure sectors. A look at these emerging sectors will show why Kerala requires more investments in infrastructure development to sustain its growth and should not rest on its laurels. The ICTT, India’s first transshipment terminal is set to project Kerala as the next commercial hub of South India. The setting up of an integrated coastal system connecting the minor ports of the state with the ICTT is expected to further help reduce transportation costs. These advantages can be exploited to create infrastructure for industrial and manufacturing plants around the ICTT. IT, one of the fastest growing sectors in Kerala, has grown by 80 per cent in the last 5 years; a dream run that surpasses even that of Karnataka. The ready availability of skilled manpower, seamless connectivity of towns and cities and availability of bandwidth and auxiliary resources, is prompting more firms to invest here. The IT sector in Kerala requires a further investment of Rs. 8000-10000 crore in infrastructure over the next 4-5 years to bridge the gap between supply and demand. As K G Girish Babu, CEO of ULCC Cyber Park puts it, “The long queue of companies awaiting office space in Technopark, Trivandrum and Infopark, Kochi is enough proof of the State’s urgent requirement for further IT infrastructure projects.” These governmentrun IT parks are going in for major
expansion plans and new ones like the Cyber Park at Kozhikode and other IT parks across the State are in various stages of construction. Another major infrastructure growth sector is malls and shopping complexes. The retail sector constitutes 20 per cent of the State’s GDP, of which the organised sector is a minority. The growth of the IT sector, SEZs and the launch of the ICTT will lead to an influx of people from various parts of the country into the State in the coming years. This will eventually cause an expansion of the organised retail sector. Huge retail infrastructure - new malls and shopping complexes - is needed to cater to this demand. Currently Kerala has only 18 lakh sq. ft mall space. The Cochin LULU Hypermarket spread over an area of 20 lakh sq.ft and the Satra Galleria in Kozhikode is set to change this scenario, with their launch in 2011. The first investor advantage remains open in small towns for new and existing retail infrastructure developers to start operations there. Unorganised retailers are currently flourishing in such towns due to lack of organised retail infrastructure in these markets. With such immense possibilities existing in the State, it is no wonder that investing in infrastructure is considered lucrative. Realising the urgency to keep in tandem with the growing
economy, the government has allowed 100 per cent FDI, made special provision of viability gap funding and has encouraged the PPP approach. These measures are meant to increase the quality and quantity of infrastructure projects being implemented. But it would do well for an investor to consider the challenges of this industry before investing in it. Infrastructure investments require huge initial capital and a far sighted commitment. Says Girish, “A minimum gestation period of 6-7 years should be considered to breakeven in the infrastructure sector. But once the profits start raining, it literally pours.”
A minimum gestation period of 6-7 years should be considered to break even in the infrastructure sector. But once the profits start raining, it literally pours
Infrastructure: dos and don’ts •
Sustained marketing of prime office space and transparency in dealings have been instrumental in the success of various government-backed infrastructure development projects, something which the private sector needs to follow strictly to accomplish success on its own in Kerala. Constructing auxiliary purpose infrastructure for e.g. a residential or business complex within an IT park will help in quicker returns on investment. Look to invest in innovative and growing fields like sports
infrastructure, R&D sectors and renewable energy; fields that have government support and wider global interest. A proper understanding of govt. laid policies will also negate any future hassles. Infrastructure developers should never underestimate the awareness of foreign firms or other high level investors. The huge pressure expected on cities and major towns across the state, due to migration of workers from other places should not be an excuse for building low grade structures for urban housing.
Advantages: • • •
High investor satisfaction index. High level of awareness and presence of skilled manpower Favourable climate and good transportation and communication network
GROWTH AREAS: INFOTAINMENT
Ride information highway Kerala is witnessing a silent revolution: broadband Internet has reached 989 out of 999 panchayats in the State. With the arrival of 3G mobile services and convergence technologies, Kerala is ready for the smart entrepreneur to design and roll out new products.
erala is fast transforming itself into a knowledge-based society. The high literacy and awareness levels keep Keralites reaching out for more information. No wonder, Kerala keenly watches and welcomes every new development on the information high way and those who ventured into information, communication and en-
tertainment (ICE) industry are doing big in Kerala. Conventional media has always done extremely well in Kerala: the State has nearly 1,140 registered publications with a total circulation of around 60 lakh copies, out of which 40 lakh are daily newspapers. More than 20 TV channels — four of them exclusive
news channels — beam into the State, with around the same number in the offing. Radio stations are also regaining their lost glory, with FM channels sprouting up in the cities. At present, half a dozen FM channels hit the air. The fact that most of them have broken even within a couple of years of launch shows the potential of the sector. 7
While the conventional media thrives on conventional delivery modes, the new media is waiting to explode as the State has created one of the finest infrastructure in the country for it to happen. Kerala’s teledensity is 74.81 per cent (December 2009), the highest in the country. And hold your breath: its broadband reach is close to cover the entire State: 989 of 999 panchayats have broadband access. With the second highest average connection speed of 1,065 kbps, (the national average is 768 kbps), Kerala is the most happening State on the cyberspace. The arrival of 3G mobile services will add momentum to the digitisation of the State. The trend towards digitalisation, along with explosion in bandwidth, is leading to the phenomenon of convergence. Convergence happens at various levels, blurring the boundaries between mobile service, television and Internet. At present, mobile phones double up as TV, and TVs are Internet enabled. Internet Protocol TV allows one to watch channels over the internet instead of relying on cable or DTH. Today, Mobile phones have become an extension of the user’s persona. The increase in bandwidth with the introduction of 3G, and increasing familiarity with mobile phones creates a huge market for investors willing to step in with content and services. The mobile user base in India at 680 million and growing has surpassed the TV viewership. With voice services becoming commoditised, mobile operators depend on the vast spectrum of value added services to differentiate themselves and shore up revenues. Customers play games and music, read news and novels, surf the net, send mails, SMS votes, watch TV, access banks, trade and also talk with their mobiles. Telecom companies are opening app stores to cater to this need. The overall focus of the VAS industry is shifting from entertainment to applications with practical value like location based services, mobile commerce etc. The lack of bandwidth was preventing the development of bandwidth intensive applications till now in India. The new digital media has created a new band of service providers. Content developers, publishers (studios, book
publishers), aggregators (websites) and distributors (cable and satellite channels), Direct-to-Home (DTH) players, telecom companies and theatres are the main players in the digital ecosystem. True, Kerala leads the communication revolution, but it is happening in the background of a robust growth of the industry across the country. The ‘TAM Annual Universe Update –2010’, by Television Audience Measurement Group (TAM) estimates that 80 per cent of the 134 million households with TV in India have a cable and satellite connection, a fifth of it being digital - the highest growing segment. The growth in digital segment is powered by the Direct to Home (DTH) platform. India is set to become the world’s largest DTH market, overtaking the United States by 2012. The industry which had 21 million subscribers in March 2010 hopes to add 12 million customers this year registering a growth rate of over 50 per cent. It is estimated that by 2015, DTH will enjoy a market share of 40 per cent, digital cable 40 per cent and analog cable will follow with the rest. The Growth in media has been supported by resurgence in the advertising sector. The total ad spend in Kerala in 2010 is estimated to be around Rs 650
crore, and is growing by 30-40 per cent a year according to Joseph Chavara, Chief patron of Kerala Advertising Agencies Association, K3A. The retail revolution in Kerala is behind this rise in ad spend. The electronic media gets the lion’s share of this spends, followed closely by the print media. New media like Internet is expected to grow faster than the TV and print media. The State government has been quick to react to this growth. Kinfra has already established the first SEZ catering to the infotainment industry in the country at Kazhakootam in Trivandrum. The Kinfra Film and Video Park already boasts of some of the latest technologies required for film and TV content production. The presence of a creative workforce exposed to global cinema is expected make the park a cost effective centre to provide content to players around the world. The State government is already setting up ‘Techno-lodges’ in rural areas having good infrastructure for IT and ITES companies. The enhanced connectivity will enable players to offer bandwidth intensive applications and allow people to telecommute, using products which support a collaborative work environment.
Education goes online
Digitalisation of communication will revolutionise sectors such as education, medical service and entertainment. Leading institutions such as IIMs have already started e-learning centres where they offer specially designed courses.
IM Kozhikode is already offering Interactive Distance Learning courses for working executives, not in a position to join the residential courses. The instructor takes classes from the studio at IIMK. Participants can attend these live, interactive, two way video, voice and data classes, at about 300 centers located all over the country. India’s first
broadband network on EDUSAT for schools - ViCTERS (Virtual Class Technology on Edusat for Rural Schools) - has revolutionized classrooms through interactive IP-based technology. The state has already started a non-interactive channel in DTH to be brought to all its 12,500 schools wherein 50 lakh children stand to benefit.
For private circulation only. Prepared by Independent Media (+91 484 2423331) for Alkesh Sharma, Managing Director, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd, Keston Road, Kowdiar, Thiruvanathapuram-695 003. Executive Editor: K G Ajith Kumar. The opinions expressed in these columns need not necessarily reflect those of KSIDC.
Published on Jan 3, 2011