The project to establish technological complexes would have a positive impact on the information technology and communications industry if implemented optimally, vice chairman of the Chamber of Information Technology (CIT) Hossam El-Sammad said.
Attracting companies to join the technological complexes must be done with care through the provision of a good investment environment for the industry of IT and communications, with reasonable costs that suit the abilities of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME), the vice chairman said.
El-Sammad believes that the ongoing strategy to establish these complexes will work as long as these areas are treated as development projects rather than ones based on investment.
Establishing these complexes is well-suited to the strategies of most companies that are seeking to expand in provinces and governorates to expand their business internally, as well as benefitting from human resources in these provinces and spread the IT industry by bringing in skilled and trained individuals to Cairo, according to El-Sammad.
He requested that the rental rates in technological complexes be suitable for the capabilities of SMEs, which represent the larger segment of the sector’s companies locally.
The price of rent for companies can reach EGP 2,500 per square metre in some areas of downtown Cairo and other provinces. However, in the complexes this could reach up EGP 8,000 per square metre. The high prices are considered a great challenge in attracting companies to these complexes.
Workers in technological complexes on the outskirts of the city will commute daily from their residences in the city centre. This calls for establishing new residential communities near these areas.
CEO of E-Nile Haitham El-Sayed agrees with El-Sammad about the price of rent, saying that rent in these complexes must be moderate and closer to the rates for office rentals in apartment buildings.
El-Sayed thinks that rental prices should begin at EGP 4,000 per square metre in order to suit the funds of SMEs. These enterprises will not require an office space of more than 200sqm owing to their low number of employees.
Former head of Eitesal Association, Mohamed Shadid, also thinks that rent rates in technological complexes should be low in order to cater to SMEs which would eventually encourage the enterprises to head these new communities. Companies working in Cairo would also push towards opening new branches in these complexes in different governorates, which will contribute to the spread of the IT industry.
Rent should not exceed EGP 6,000 per square metre in order for prices to be competitive, compared to the prices of apartments which SMEs often use as their headquarters, Shadid said.
Facilities in the complexes should cater to different companies and their different needs. SME need areas that range between 100 to 500sqm, while larger companies need areas ranging between 1,000 and 1,500sqm. Call centre companies need areas of more than 1,500,000sqm due to their intensive employment.