Equivalent of a Park in a Forest
To convert the Technopark visions into reality, there came a "little help from my friends" in the form of 5 souls with a passion and commitment. KPP Nambiar, Vijayaraghavan (the 1st CEO of Technopark), Ramachandran, Vasudevan (not to be mistaken for the current CEO) and Chandrasekharan Nair. Later, K.T. Satish Kumar would replace Vijayaraghavan as the CEO.
Chandrasekharan Nair, the finance man turned administrator of Technopark (since July 2002, he's moved to Quality) was in that room at the Secretariat, where it all began. Roped in from Electronics Research & Development Centre (ER&DC), prior to which he was with KELTRON, Chandrasekharan Nair straight away got into the thick of things. There was unanimity that Technopark would be world-class and not a multi-storied concrete behemoth in the heart of Trivandrum. A different approach was needed. Technopark's liveliness would stem from what the State stood for – its beautiful, natural environment. Importantly, Academia was one of the key synergies identified and hence, its location would rub shoulders with the Kerala University Campus, situated next door.
"This entire area was a forest and even now, we see to it that the forest area is maintained properly," says Chandrasekharan Nair. The blueprint ensured that only required areas of the hillock would be shorn off and the landscape remained largely unaltered. Roads, pathways would be made, pass through thick clusters of trees to maintain the ecological balance. Even the building architecture is traditionally appropriate, dominated by the typical Kerala-style slanting roof. "Each building in Technopark is named after a river of Kerala," beams a proud Chandrasekharan Nair. "We were debating this issue once and Mr. Nambiar asked all of us to write down names which were symbolic of Kerala. Many wrote different names and ultimately we agreed on names of rivers."
"See the roads. The lawns. We take care to see that the campus is kept clean," says Chandrasekharan Nair. And we tend to agree. As this writer walked around the roads, pathways, taking pictures, there wasn't a trace of anything having been 'swept under the carpet'. Everything was immaculately in place; and clean. "When I stand on top of this building, I feel proud."
He ought to, for he's been there when all this was discussed, blueprinted, built, grown and now he takes personal pride in ensuring that it's well maintained. His passion is such that probably decades later, he could well be going down memory lane with his grandchild seated on his lap listening in rapt attention as he narrates this epic, "The Making of Technopark."