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`Chennai bests China'

Our Bureau

Chennai , Sept 8

WHY did Nokia choose Chennai for its manufacturing plant with an investment of $150 million? Government sops? Or the lovely Chennai heat? Maybe. Maybe not.

But you could leave the realms of conjecture if you read a recent report that Nokia itself has brought out. It states that it is 12 per cent cheaper to manufacture out of Chennai than anywhere else in the world, according to Dr C. Chandramouli, IT Secretary, Tamil Nadu.

He said, "This report talks not only about lower costs of manpower but about the entire costs involved in manufacturing out of Chennai. This means that we are competitive even compared to China."

Dr Chandramouli was addressing a gathering at Connect 2005, CII's annual conference on IT and ITES.

Earlier, at the same venue, Mr Lakshmi Narayanan, CEO, Cognizant Technology Solutions, said that the IT industry would find a `finishing school' - meant for candidates that it draws from colleges across the country - valuable.

"The country has focused only on engineering capability but not on building business capability (in candidates graduating out of engineering colleges). We have had reasonable success in hiring candidates with MBA degrees and building managers and leaders. If the industry could do it internally, then could that not be done commercially?"

He also said that though availability of bandwidth had increased significantly in India in the recent past, "it is not enough.

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