Recently I had occasion to visit the sprawling Siruseri complex of TCS at the SIPCOT Industrial Park on the IT Corridor (the OMR or the Rajiv Gandhi Road). K Padmanabhan working for the TCS Innovation Lab, kindly showed me around the complex.
The butterfly-shaped complex spread over 70 acres employs around 25,000 and is considered the largest such in the IT sector in a single location. Designed by Uruguayan architectural firm Carlos Ott Architects in association with Carlos Ponce de Leon Architects and constructed by L&T, it has been functionally efficient and aesthetically elegant. Three more such complexes of TCS, each employing 25,000, are taking shape at Hyderabad, Pune and Gurgaon.
I look back with awe at the spectacular evolution of this IT major. In the late 1990s I visited a few offices of TCS spread across the Chennai metro. Padmanabhan, then working at the TCS Ambattur Industrial Estate office, referred to the plans to construct a much larger IT centre at Sholinganallur. I followed it up with S Mahalingam, then heading the Chennai operations. The Sholinganallur complex was designed by an architect from California and incorporated several state-of-the-art features. I covered the inauguration by Chairman Ratan Tata and IE presented a cover feature in its May 1999 issue.
Sholinganallur marked two major landmarks: one, among the first large and sophisticated IT complexes on the OMR. This was followed in rapid succession by dozens of such large complexes. TCS itself accounted for a few of these. The second significant aspect was TCS outgrowing its size and staff strength with each such large complex inaugurated: the complex of Sholinganallur initially gave the hope for consolidating the different units spread across the metro at a single location; but soon demand exploded necessitating such large sized complexes in dozens spreading across the country and the globe!
In 1999 when the TCS’ leaders – Ratan Tata, F C Kohli, S Ramadorai and S Mahalingam - were present at this landmark, the trurnover of TCS was Rs 1500 crore and the company employed around 11,000 software professionals. For the three quarters ended 31 December 2015, revenues of TCS were at a whopping Rs 94,648 crore and the company employed 344,691. The additions made in a month now is approximately equal to the total employment in 1999!
TCS recently brought a team from Carnegie Mellon University, headed by the brilliant scientist Subra Suresh, who earlier functioned as the Head of the US National Science Foundation. Such meetings are designed to maintain and even improve upon the frenetic pace of growth recorded by this IT major constantly graduating from one level of sophistication to another.
TCS has located its innovation lab at the IIT-M Research Park I. As has been its wont, it has outgrown the facilities at the present location in quick time! K Ananth Krishnan, Chief Technology Officer referred to the plans to move to a space of over 30,000 sq.ft spread over a floor at IIT-M Research Park II nearing completion. IE looks forward on covering this landmark and also update on the thrust for innovation at this lab where TCS will be working closely with the faculty, research scholars and students of IIT-M.