IBM to start office in Kochi soon – ET RealEstate

KOCHI: Software technology giant International Business Machines Corp (IBM) will be opening a large office in Kochi soon and by the time its new facility is fully functional, post-Covid, the company will have a new name Kyndryl.

The IBM signboard will be in Kochi only for a few months more, before assuming the new moniker Kyndryl.

Globally, IBM’s ‘managed infrastructure services’ business is being spun-off into an independent new company named Kyndryl, with its headquarters in New York. This new firm will continue with the original IT infrastructure business of IBM and it will enable IBM to focus on more profitable business areas of cloud services and artificial intelligence (AI). However, there are chances that the transition might be delayed for a few months more, until the end of the calendar year.

When asked, a senior official with IBM’s corporate communications team said that the company would open as IBM in Kochi and shared an FAQ on Kyndril which said, “Throughout 2021, and until the spin, IBM will continue to invest in Kyndryl to ensure that it maintains its leadership position in the market and can capitalize on the changes taking place to innovate in managed services”.

“IBM India is expected to open their larger office during Q2 or Q3 of the current financial year. But, by the time IBM India will be spun-off into a separate company with a new name. Hence, you will in effect not get to see the name IBM on the signboards in Kochi,” a source in the know of the things said.

The firm already had been using “NewCo” as a placeholder name in their contracts with the external contractors, the source said.

However, the transition might be delayed for a few months more, until the end of the calendar year.

IBM is already present in Kochi at Centre A Offices, a premium business centre on MG Road, which houses their coordination office in Kerala with less than five people. Recently, the company had listed a huge number of vacancies for Kochi on their website, fuelling speculation that the opening of the Kochi office is imminent.

According to sources, British real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield had been in the search for a facility for IBM that could accommodate 400 people initially and then expand to 600 to 800 seats in the future.

It was two-and-a-half years ago that IBM first started scouting in Kochi for a property that could seat five to six people. Then they came back again eight or nine months ago, leasing a co-working space on MG Road.

A search on IBM India’s career page throws back 457 positions in Kochi, on their website.

“This is part of the company’s expansion into smaller cities – tier 2 & 3 cities – including Kochi,” another industry source said.

Sources hinted that the company will be opening in Infopark.

When contacted a senior official with the state government’s technology parks said that IBM might open the office, but there are details yet to be worked out.

“IBM’s plans are still up in the air. They have already set up a base outside the park [Infopark], a small place, and it is not hundred percent clear to me what exactly their plans are,” the official said.

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Office leasing in seven cities falls 48% in Jan-Mar: Report – ET RealEstate

NEW DELHI: Net leasing of office space fell 48 per cent during January-March across seven cities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but demand for the flexible space from corporates has increased, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

In its latest quarterly report, property consultant Cushman & Wakefield said the net leasing of office space declined to 35,78,585 sq ft in January-March 2021 from 69,31,922 sq ft in the corresponding period of the previous year across seven major cities.

The flexible space leased by corporate clients increased to 15,523 seats during the first quarter of this calendar year from 10,690 seats in the year-ago period.

“A sharp jump indicates that occupiers are relying on managed space as a smart alternative in the current situation,” it said.

According to the data, the net leasing of office space in Mumbai plunged to 2,01,642 sq ft during January-March 2021, from 8,82,693 sq ft in the corresponding period last year.

In Delhi-NCR, the net office absorption fell to 4,28,469 sq from 15,97,003 sq ft.

The net leasing dropped to 17,24,456 sq ft in Bengaluru from 26,54,939 sq ft.

In Chennai, the demand for office space declined to 1,44,309 sq ft from 2,55,010 sq ft.

The net leasing in Pune, however, increased to 2,76,531 sq ft from 1,73,026 sq ft.

In Hyderabad, the net absorption went down to 6,24,321 sq ft from 8,91,613 sq ft, while Kolkata saw a fall to 1,78,857 sq ft from 4,77,638 sq ft.

Anshul Jain, managing director (SE Asia and India) of Cushman & Wakefield, said, “Since Q4 closed on a positive note for commercial real estate leasing business, the market was hopeful of a gradual return to business as usual. And, the immunisation drive carried out by the government added much-needed confidence.”

Unfortunately, the sudden spike in the number of COVID-19 cases paused the momentum the market had picked up, he said.

“Unless the government rolls out the vaccination drive for one and all, occupiers will continue to remain cautious and market activity is likely to remain muted till the beginning of the second half of 2021,” Jain added.

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Hong Kong home prices rise 0.9% in February; fastest pace in 9 months – ET RealEstate

HONG KONG: Hong Kong private home prices rose 0.9% in February from the previous month, their fastest pace of growth since May, official data showed on Monday, supported by improved sentiment that new coronavirus vaccines will speed up the economic recovery.

The gain in the most unaffordable property market in the world last month compared with a revised 0.2% increase in January.

Driven by robust demand and low interest rates, transaction volume in the secondary market in March is expected to reach an over eight-year high, estimated by realtor Centaline, while first quarter volume could rise to a six-year high.

Property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield said earlier this month it expects home prices to rise 5% quarter-to-quarter in April-June.

It said the market has bottomed out in the first quarter, thanks to the early arrival of new vaccines, strong pent-up demand and booming stock market.

But high unemployment would weigh on the market in the mid term, the consultancy added.

Hong Kong’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rose to 7.2% in the December-February period, the highest since 2004.

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India’s growth as R&D hub to drive demand for commercial real estate: Report – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: India is expected to become a hub of global Engineering Research & Development centres and contribute significantly to the digital strategies of global multinational corporations resulting in higher demand for commercial real estate and data centres.

By financial year 2022, engineering R&D revenues are estimated to register a compound annual growth of around 8% with multinationals driving growth across products and services, said property consultant Cushman & Wakefield.

Going forward, Engineering R&D revenues are expected to surpass revenues from business process management (BPM) services, thereby consolidating the former’s position as the second-highest contributor to software revenues, after information technology.

Moreover, Indian technologies and applications such as artificial intelligence, cloud, predictive analytics smart devices, etc. As of financial year 2019, Engineering R&D centres accounted for around 20% of cumulative software revenues multinational corporations caught routed around half of Engineering R&D revenues.

This is expected to have a favorable impact on the development of the RMD systems. In India, as well as, job creation over the medium to long term.

According to Cushman & Wakefield, several tier-II cities are showing potential for the establishment of Global Capability Centres (GCC). Most of these are state capitals and are able to attract fresh talent besides better connectivity, superior physical and social infrastructure, while these cities are also ranked higher on ease of living and doing business.

The Indian GCC ecosystem is being driven by digital engineering or Engineering R&D centres across several industry verticals, such as software, automotive, and banking financial services and insurance over the medium to long term.

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