CM Pinarayi Vijayan opens Kerala’s first campus industrial park in collaboration with Zoho

KSUM and IHRD have collaborated with leading SaaS provider Zoho Corporation to set up the park that aims at harnessing local talents.


Published Feb 19, 2024 | 8:44 PMUpdatedFeb 19, 2024 | 8:44 PM

Industrial park Kerala

Predicting that by 2050 most job opportunities will be in the technology sector, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday, 19 February, said his government is fast-tracking the project to set up campus industrial parks in colleges across Kerala.

He said it is to sharpen the state’s competitive edge.

The chief minister was speaking after inaugurating the state’s first Campus Industrial Park and R&D Centre, at the College of Engineering in Kottarakkara.

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The collaboration

Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and Institute of Human Resources Development (IHRD) have collaborated with leading SaaS provider Zoho Corporation to set up the park that aims at harnessing local talents by training them in cutting-edge technologies, a statement said.

Stressing that the technology sector in the state needs to catch up with the changes happening the world over, Vijayan urged engineering colleges to create a strong foundation to equip the youths to take up the challenges.

The chief minister said incubation centres at engineering colleges and initiatives like “Connect Career to Campus” are meant to develop student’s skills and help them get placement in innovative sectors.

On the initiatives of the government in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector that promises plenty of opportunities for startups, the CM said around 16 private industrial parks have been set up in the state and eight others are awaiting approval.

Another 25 private parks are expected to be allotted next year.

Mission 1000

“The ‘Mission 1000’ initiative aims at scaling up 1000 MSMEs into businesses with an average annual turnover of ₹100 crore in a span of four years. As many as 552 applications have been received under the initiative,” he added.

Vijayan also thanked Zoho Corporation for setting up the R&D facility at the Park for training youngsters in innovative technology and said similar facilities can be established in all districts.

The Park has 3,500 sqft of space and around 5,000 youngsters will be trained in industry entrepreneurship sector in five years.

In his address, Finance Minister KN Balagopal termed the campus industrial park and R&D Centre as the ‘milestones in Kerala’s industrial history’.

The Minister said the R&D facility will start functioning at the Park and a recruitment drive will begin on February 21 for applicants from streams like BSc, MSc, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

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Minister lauds the company

In her keynote address, Higher Education Minister R Bindu lauded the commitment of a global company like Zoho to skill development and promoting entrepreneurship in its countryside office at Tenkasi, just a two-hour drive from Kottarakkara.

Noting that Kerala has brilliant talent and an R&D pool, Founder of Zoho, Sridhar Vembu said the state needs to leverage it to improve the quality of life and contribute to the nation’s development.

To begin with, around 30 students will be hand-picked from the applicants for on-job training with a stipend, the statement said.

Based on their performance and potential, they will be inducted for future openings. Zoho Corporation has invited applications for internships at the R&D centre.

The industrial park will also collaborate and invest in potential local startups, it added.

KSUM, established in 2006 under the Kerala government, works for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)