The Tamilnadu Government has been actively promoting the IT SEZ's in places outside Chennai. One of the IT SEZ's promoted by ELCOT, a TN state government enterprise is at Gangaikondan near Tirunelveli. Tirunelveli is a Municipal Corporation comprising of the twin towns of Tirunelveli and Palayamkottai situated on the banks of the river, Thamirabarani. Tirunelveli boasts of excellent infrastructure like good educational institutions, basic urban infrastructure, medical facilities and is well connected by Rail, Road and Air.
Palayamkottai is hailed as Oxford of South India considering the existence of venerable educational institutions like St. Xaviers College, St.Johns College, Sarada College for Women, Government Engineering College and Government Medical College. In addition to that, there are atleast 25 reputed Engineering colleges churning out of number of graduates year after year in and around Tirunelveli in a radius of 200 kms.
I feel Tirunelveli IT SEZ would be successful due to
1. impetus from the Government in promoting Tier II cities
2. the IT companies need to cut down cost which would happen if they move out of Tier I cities on account of real-estate cost and salaries
3. there are thousands of IT employees from southern districts currently working in other places would be interested in going back.
The person behind the show from the Government side is Mr Umashankar who has a very high reputation of honest and straight-forward officer. He works with missionary zeal in this regard and he has done road-shows across the country. Very unusal of a Government servant, I guess!! Already four companies have committed to set up operations in the Gangaikondan IT SEZ including the likes of Hexaware, Sutherland Technologies etc. ELCOT is offering an acre in IT SEZ for Rs15 lakhs for a 90 years lease.
Does this throw up opportunities in the real estate sector? Yes, it definitely throws up an opportunity. There are various real-estate projects coming up in and around Tirunelveli. Yesterday's The Hindu had a special focus on south based cities like Tirunelveli and Madurai.
Sensing this development around Tirunelveli, the real estate prices in Tirunelveli town area, I know of, has already gone up 2-3 times in the last 1 year. If you have local contacts it definitely helps. One promoter who has many projects closer to IT SEZ is Jenisan Land Promoters. I enquired about the plots they have advertised and got an immediate response with the complete details of the project as well as the legal complete document set. It gave me the confidence on the promoter as he was willing to share the legal documents.
I think I should have a closer look at Tirunelveli on the real estate front!!