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Friday, June 6, 2008

Vital Links & Services initiates food court In Technopark

Kerala based food court operator, Vital Links & Services Pvt Ltd, has opened its maiden food court at the Technopark, Trivandrum . Through its subsequent projects, the company plans to promote its own food court brand ‘At Ta’aam Souk’, diversify into malls, and open two food courts by end 2008.Unlike other players in the food court business who promote their own brands, they try to incorporate a mix of various F&B outlets so that every brand gets equal treatment.Vital Links deals in management of F&B outlets at IT parks through the space taken on lease from developers.

Apart from tourism, the IT industry in Kerala has also grown in a significant manner. IT Parks like Technocity and Technopark, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)’s training centre and the upcoming Infosys campus have reinforced the presence of IT industry in Trivandrum.Vital Links will also introduce a concierge service for the corporate and executives at Technopark. Presently, the food court at Technopark is not open to the public, but Poddar asserts that they are trying to acquire permission for public access on Sundays. The company intends to concentrate on Kochi and Kozhikode for future expansion.

Read the related post :

Technopark company IBS signs up with Oman Air

IBS Software, headquartered in Technopark here in Kerala, has signed a deal with Oman Air for fleet management using two of their products. Avient Crew is a sophisticated crew management system which will enhance decision support capability for crew management needs of Oman Air, the software firm said in a statement here on last Tuesday.

The system will assist in automatically generating cost-effective rosters that comply with regulatory requirements, airport restrictions, crew training, licensing and airline-specific requirements, as well as efficiently manage crew changes.

Avient Fleet will enable Oman Air to plan aircraft schedules and maintenance, continuously monitor all flight movements, ensure improved on-time performance for its fleet, and provide touch points to identify and alert controllers to help minimize disruptions to the operating schedule.

Habib Bhacker Habib, head of Information Computing, Oman Air, said: “The move follows the creation of a new corporate identity for the national carrier of Oman, as it transforms itself into a world-class competitor. IBS was preferred by Oman Air since its entire portfolio of products has been fully accepted by the industry.”

IBS is a global provider of new-generation IT solutions to the travel, transportation and logistics industries.

IBS offers a range of products and services that manage mission-critical operations of major airlines, airports, oil and gas companies, seaports, cruise lines and tour operators.

Technopark companies resents govt’s Trivandrum Golf Club takeover

The captains of IT firms in Technopark have clubbed in against the Trivandrum Golf Club takeover in unison, dubbing the move as “taken in haste”. While other State governments were trying to promote golf, the Kerala government was trying to end an existing golf course, they pointed out. There are 120-odd Companies working from Technopark, about 12 kms away from Trivandrum Golf Club.

According to G-TEC, the Group of Technopark Companies, the takeover of Trivandrum Golf Club may give “negative signal to the investor community.” Sunil Gupta, a spokesman of GTEC said, here in a release, that some IT firms which invested in Kerala in 1994 were promised a golf club within Technopark. With the current priority of more buildings, this promise was unlikely to materialise, Gupta argued.

The Kerala High Court, meanwhile, has asked the Kerala government to return the possession of Trivandrum Golf Club to club members on Tuesday. The State revenue officials had effected the acquistion on last Monday.


1) Trivandrum Golf Club Site :
2 ) Snaps of Trivandum Golf Club

An interview with Arun Narayanan - UST Global COO

Arun Narayanan, Joint Chief Operating Officer of USTThe availability of quality manpower talent in India has enabled UST Global to expand on a massive scale in the Asian sub-continent. UST Global is currently the biggest software employer in the ‘God's Own Country’ and has aptly set up its Indian headquarters at Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram.

The California-based IT major provides end-to-end IT services and business process outsourcing solutions for Global 2000 companies. UST, which primarily caters to the US and European markets, plans to set up centres across tier-II and tier-III towns of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. With nearly 5,500 employees, mostly in India, UST Global is keen on increasing its headcount in the country. Last year, UST Global was ranked second in the top 20 Outsourced Software Testing & QA Vendors.

Part of the $6-billion Comcraft group, UST’s goal is to become a $1-billion company by 2010. In an exclusive interview to, Arun Narayanan, Joint Chief Operating Officer of UST, shares the company’s growth plans.

Joining UST Global in 2000, Arun was instrumental in setting up the offshore delivery centres for the company. For Arun, people are assets of the organisation and he has implemented innovative people practices for UST employees. Notable being the 'Colors of UST Global', a concept that enables associates to own organisational goals that are aligned to their personal goals.

With over 18 years experience in the global IT industry, Arun has earlier held key positions in HCL and IMR-Global.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of Indian IT force?

The strengths of the Indian IT force are their technical education, English language skills and the proficiency in IT and outsourcing. The other strength is the scalability of talent. We constantly run training programmes to hone up the business knowledge in various domains.

UST Global's various centres
UST Global's various centres

Any immediate acquisitions on your radar?

We are always looking for companies that complement our services as potential acquisition targets. We are very careful about the companies we acquire due to our high emphasis on cultural alignment and the innate challenges of integrating companies. In the past, we acquired e-commerce provider eBuilt and software testing and QA company - QA Labs - to expand our service portfolio. Currently, we are looking at companies in the ERP and BI space, as those are the areas our clients have growing needs in.

Where is India centre placed in your global map?

India has been and continues to be a critical component of our growth strategy. Today, we have operations in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Chennai and Bangalore. We are looking at additional cities in India to expand as it makes sense from a business and growth perspective.

How do you tackle attrition in your organisation?

At UST Global, we focus on creating professional opportunities and a positive working environment based on the values of humanity, humility and integrity so that our associates want to stay and build their careers with us. We developed a corporate programme called “Colors of UST Global” which enables associates to own organisational goals that are aligned with their personal interests. The “UST global Handprint” programme helps our associates in developing fundamental competencies required for our business.

What's the impact of US slowdown on UST Global?

UST Global derives our business from Global 2000 enterprises. While Q1 2008 saw positive revenue growth over Q4 2007, the percentage of growth was lower than Q1 2007. However, we are seeing healthy growth in Q2 2008. In Q1, 2008, we also signed more new engagements than any other quarter in our history.

Do you wish to look beyond Kerala and Tamil Nadu?

We also have operations in several states in India. We are looking at other cities in India where and when it makes sense for us to have operations. In addition to our corporate headquarters and several offices in the US, we have global operations in Canada, the Philippines, Malaysia and Europe.

How long do you expect the outsourcing bandwagon to continue?

Outsourcing is not a bandwagon but an economic necessity. It has only barely tapped its potential. There is a growing market demand for outsourcing services because it makes good business sense, regardless of whether economic conditions are good or challenging.

Tell us about your fund-raising plans?

UST Global is part of the $6-billion Comcraft group. The group funds us internally.

What's your way of empowering women employees?

UST Global promotes diversity of all kinds. To specifically support our women associates, we created NowU (Network of Women UST-associates). NowU is a global community of empowered company personnel dedicated to helping women within the company and community achieve their highest potential. It provides access to women in leadership as well as opportunities for growth and learning through networking, sustainable development and training.

Can you throw light on your 'Green' initiative?

Since its inception, UST Global has been a green company before green became “cool”. In recognition of our green initiatives, UST was ranked number 7 on the 2007 Top 20 Green IT Outsourcers report by the Brown & Wilson Group. Throughout the year our company is committed to many activities that are an integral part of our on-going, long-term initiatives to support the earth's eco-systems that include investing in eco-friendly practices, building eco-balanced offices and planting trees.

(courtesy : sify)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Stale food seized from Technopark Restaurants

We reported many times about the low quality high priced food in technopark restaurants. and finally they've got a nice pudding yesterday.

A special squad of the city corporation raided hotels and canteens on the Technopark campus at Kazhakoottam and other places in the city and seized large quantity of stale food on Wednesday.

The stale food included parottas, chappathis, pickles, bread, cake, cooked rice and chicken curry. The raid also unearthed stocks of reused oil.

The squad issued notice to the Café Mojo located in the Gayatri building on the Technopark campus, Amrita Restaurant and Rangoli restaurant on the Nila complex and a canteen in the Tata Consultancy Services building.

The squad filed a complaint with the police after the security personnel at the TCS complex tried to prevent them from inspecting the canteen and taking away the stale food. Health Inspector P. Ajayakumar who led the operation said the police had to be called in after the security staff blocked the exit of the squad members who were in uniform.

All the restaurants within technopark campus is charging very unreasonable prices for the food items. they are not hygienic or the quality of food is not up to the level which they are charging for. It seems Technopark authorities are not having any such criterias on how to operate restaurants in technopark.

Many restaurants are working in various buildings in technopark. each of them are second to none in serving low quality food for unreasonable prices. So many Technoparkians ,those who are having their own vehicles are managed to go out for their food. thus the rest of the crowd mostly the female employees are being the preys of this day light robbery that cannot be justified by any means.

Read NewsPaper Report Here..

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pre-monsoon Cleaning Drive 2008 in Technopark, Trivandrum by IT professionals

It was altogether a very different experience, a first of its kind for the local residents at the Kazhakuttom bypass leading to Technopark on May 13, 2008. They were witnessing a handful of young software professionals who had rolled up their sleeves on to clean the road and nearby areas leading to Technopark, after five days of working on the keyboard in the splendid air-conditioned glass-and-chrome buildings. This was a concerted effort by the Color Green Task force at UST Global, and it was part of the intensive "Pre-monsoon Cleaning Drive 2008" at the Technopark Campus and nearby areas. For contributing and making it a success, these pros had joined hands with the Government of Kerala, Corporation of Trivandrum and Technopark authorities. Each of them volunteered passionately for this novel and noble sanitation mission in removing weeds, overgrown vegetation, and helped scavenging & cleaning.

Contrary to the belief and presumption, they did not use any of the sophisticated cleaning machines, instead used mattocks and pickaxes when they ventured out in for this mission. Most of them were seen competing to remove the weeds with vigor and enthusiasm. They had cleaned the roads with brooms and used metal plates for scraping the dirt. Finally, they disposed off the garbage to dumps and returned fulfilled & gratified. The volunteers certainly enjoyed this unique physical work involved in de-weeding and cleaning. This sanitation mission was also aimed at sensitising the fellow professionals about the need for cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation.

Meanwhile, they also have formulated plans to actively contribute in creating awareness on pollution control, waste management, help tackle environmental issues by planting of saplings in different parts of Kerala in association with Social Forestry, facilitating different programs related to conservation of environment etc.

With this mission, these groups of IT pros were also conveying a strong message that for a democracy to be effective, one of the most important requisites is that the people should participate in the process. They were also accentuating the fact that sanitation is not the responsibility of the local self-government institutions or city corporations alone, the public have a prominent role in maintaining hygiene and cleanliness. For this to happen there has to be a change in the mindset of the people. Let’s hope that programs like these would create more awareness among the common man, educated youth and young professionals.

Time has come for introspection, and each of us must understand that we have to give up the habit of dumping garbage in the neighborhood, locality, public places, ponds and canals. Yes, public health is everyone’s concern and responsibility. And, each of us must possess the zeal and drive to save our country from pollution to make it a better place to live in.

List of Techies participated in this drive : Kiran Rajendran, Shaw Rengaswamy, Ajay Moorthy, Anila Parekaden Rappai, Balaji Vajravel, Balu Rajagopal, Damodaran Raman, Deepu Syamaladevi Janardhananachary, Harinadhan Viswanadhan Pillai, Jincy Jacob, John Wesly Sundarraj, Jojo Thomas, Karthick Thimmaiyan, Kavitha Saravanan, Ligi Antony, Linu Thomas, Manikandan Muruganandam, Manjunath Vadakkemadam, Nidhish Xavier, Periyannan Nagappan, Pramod Bhooshan, Rajeshchandran Jayakumari, Rakesh Radhakrishnan, Rejath Rajeev, Rishal Kannakulath Abdullatheef, Saranya RathinaSabapathy, Saurabh Kirar, Sreejith Padappayil, Sreejith Somasekharan Nair, Stefy Panickalethu Baby, Vikas Kalappurackal Vimal, Vimal Sivadasan, VinothKumar Soundararaj, Rajivalochan Subramaniam and SundaraSubramaniaRaja Ramakrishnan.

[Hari Nair]

Technopark basedToonz Academy expands operations

Toonz Academy, a premier training institute in 3D and 2D animation, backed by the studio major Toonz Animation India, has expanded its animation training facilities by opening centres in Ahmedabad and Indore.
More locations

This is in line with plans to further its operations in more strategic locations.

The new centres, along with existing ones in Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Nagpur will offer 12-month ‘advanced diploma in digital arts and animation course in addition to short-term courses. More academies are planned this year in Bangalore, Chennai and Coimbatore.

“The academy also plans to start a three-year degree course in animation by the next academic year,” academy executive director Ramaprasad said in a release issued here on Wednesday.

The diploma is awarded in association with European Carolus Magnus University, Belgium.
To impart proficiency

The diploma course aims to impart proficiency in key areas such as character modelling, background, organic character texturing, lighting, character rigging, character animation and particle effects, dynamics, and compositing, the release said.

[courtesy :Nishanth Nair]