Computer hardware major HCL Infosystems is in the process
of setting up its fourth plant in Pondicherry. The proposed
unit, at an outlay of Rs 12 crore, will enable the company
to integrate vertically by getting into producing motherboards,
plastic parts, memories, cabinets and printed circuit boards.
The company has acquired a nine-acre plot near its computer
integration unit for the purpose. The proposed plant will
occupy four acres, leaving the balance for future growth.
Pondicherry occupies an important position in HCL Infosystemss
firmament. Its two other plants manufacture computer monitors,
touch-screen kiosks, networking system racks and keyboards.
The company supplies computer monitors to Wipro, Nexus Computers,
PCS and others. The computer monitor and keyboard plants
have a capacity to make 500 units each per month.
The company set its first plant in Pondicherry in 1996 with
a monthly capacity of producing 3,000 computers. Since then
it has ramped up the capacity to 20,000 computers per month.
The company also shifted its peripherals division from Chennai
to Pondicherry to reap in the benefit of tax incentives.
With uniform sales tax and value-added tax system on the
anvil, why is that the company is still pitching for Pondicherry
instead of the well-connected Chennai? Going back to Chennai
will be more expensive as the labour cost is very high there,
says factory manager C S Diwedi.
Agrees peripherals factory manager T Sridhar: More important
is the governments attitude towards the business community.
The Pondicherry government is investor-friendly and its
officials are always accessible. In addition, the company
finds it easier to import components from Taiwan, as the
Chennai port is hardly four hours drive from the union
The company has reported a negative growth in revenues and
net profit during its first quarter ended 30 September 2001.
The company has clocked a turnover of Rs 235.5 crore and
a net profit of Rs 12.5 crore as against the Rs 292.56 crore
and Rs 19.22 crore registered during the corresponding period
During the first quarter, the company bagged an export order
of Rs 45 crore. The companys major clients include United
India Insurance, Life Insurance Corporation, Bank of Maharashtra
and Indian Overseas Bank.