Thursday, March 23, 2023

New age space

Back in the day when Perungudi was way beyond Madras city, there was a factory here manufacturing paints. The Tata Group had acquired this through Forbes Gokak taking over the shareholding of the parent company Goodlass Nerolac sometime in the mid 1970s. By 1999, the Tatas had relinquished their entire holdings to Kansai Paints of Japan. This factory in Perungudi was not really high priority for Kansai and by 2013, manufacturing activities were shut down, and a voluntary retirement scheme had provided a reasonable severance package to those workers who remained. 

Within a couple of years, the land on which the factory stood, a little over 15 acres, had been acquired by the Brigade Group, which began developing that as a mixed use space: about 18 lakh sft of office space, conference / exhibition centres, hotel and residential towers. With this plan, it became a part of the WTCA and so the Brigade World Trade Center became one of the 37 WTCs in India (incidentally, India has 4 more WTCs than China, and the maximum number in Asia). 

Only the office space has been completed; the rest of the complex is still under construction. It is somehow fitting that the WTC will further enhance the status of OMR as the place to be for new-age / tech firms. In the days of Nerolac, this part of Chennai was seen as a place for industrial light-weights; big guns like Ashok Leyland, Enfield, Ennore Foundries were at the other end of the city. Now, north Chennai is not a go-to place for tech firms, but if a tech firm doesn't have offices on OMR, well, it runs the risk of being thought of as a non-serious player in the industry!

No comments: