Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Apr 04, 2006
Info-Tech - Trends
States - Karnataka
Infosys unhappy over `Karnataka's treatment'
MR T.V. MOHANDAS PAI
Bangalore , April 3
"Hell hath no fury like an IT company scorned."
Mr Narayana Murthy's Infosys Technologies Ltd, Karnataka's greatest pride after Sir M. Visveswariah, today publicly declared unhappiness over the `treatment' meted out to it by its home State and its consequent decision to expand outside the State wherever people `wanted them.'
Mr T.V. Mohandas Pai, CFO and board member of Infosys, said "The morale of IT industry in Bangalore is low. You can't bash up people in public. People's sentiments are bad. I guess it will take sometime for people to feel wanted."
Mr Pai was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by the AP Government to attract investments from Bangalore-based companies to Hyderabad. Asked if he thought Bangalore was losing out, Mr Pai said he does not want to think that way, but felt it was India that was gaining.
"However," Mr Pai said, "it is good for us to feel wanted because we have gone through very torrid times in Bangalore as people told us that we are not wanted and they see us as alien creatures here. It is good that we are wanted (in Hyderabad). Hyderabad wants the IT industry and I guess people will go where they are wanted."
`AP best for IT now'
Recently, Infosys declared major expansion plans in Hyderabad after its consistent efforts for several years to secure land in Bangalore failed. The company had said it would invest Rs 1,200 crore in Hyderabad, where the AP Government has promised about 450 acres of land for the company.
Overwhelmed by the ``proactive'' Government and infrastructure that are in place in Hyderabad, Mr Pai said "It's good that Andhra Pradesh is doing what it's doing. Because frankly, Hyderabad has possibly the best infrastructure for IT in India today"
"Roads are very good. There is a very proactive Chief Minister. Lot of investors are coming in. If you go to Hyderabad today, you see a sense of newness as if the city is new. There is a great drive to improve the IT industry. So, we are excited," Mr Pai said.
Infosys decided to look outside Bangalore to expand after its land acquisition strategy was questioned by the former Prime Minister Mr H.D Deve Gowda. The company had sought about 845 acres of land on Sarjapur Road for setting up software development centres and also residential complexes for its employees.
However, ironically, the new Government in Karnataka headed by Mr Deve Gowda's son recently cleared the company's land acquisition proposal. But, sources said, it may take a while before the company gets the land.
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