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Sholinganallur to Siruseri
Rs 1500 crore to over Rs 125000 crore! 11000 employees to over 350,000

Recently I had occasion to visit the sprawling Siruseri complex of TCS at the SIPCOT Industrial Park on Chennai’s IT Corridor, on the OMR. The butterfly-shaped complex spread over 70 acres employs around 25,000 and is considered the largest of its type 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 dramatic evolution of this IT major. In the late 1990s, I visited a few offices of TCS spread across the Chennai metro. K 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, who was then head of 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 complex

Sholinganallur marked two major landmarks: one; it was 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 several of these. The second significant aspect was TCS outgrowing its size and staff strength with  the inauguration of  each such large complex. Sholinganallur initially gave the hope of 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 turnover 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 Rs 94,648 crore and the company employed 344,691. Now, each month they add employees approximately equal to the total employment in 1999!

Plans for future

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 improve the frenetic pace of growth recorded by TCS.

TCS has located its innovation laboratory at the IIT-M Research Park I. As has been its won’t, 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 to covering this landmark and also update on the thrust for innovation in this lab where TCS will be working closely with the faculty, research scholars and students of IIT-M.  

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IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
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