HARTFORD, CT —Infosys, a global consulting and information technology services company, will be opening one of its four innovation hubs in Hartford and promises to create 1,000 jobs before 2022.
The hub, which hasn’t settled yet on a property in the city, will have a special focus on insurance, healthcare and manufacturing, according to the company.
Infosys inaugurated its first Technology and Innovation Hub in Indianapolis, Indiana and has already announced a Technology and Innovation Hub in Raleigh, North Carolina and a Design and Innovation Hub in Providence, Rhode Island.
Connecticut’s hub will include insurance and healthcare labs that focus on smart underwriting, claims fraud, IoT and Cloud, and will employ cutting-edge data security and data-sharing features to help Infosys clients comply with all applicable privacy laws while promoting innovation.
At a press conference with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Infosys President Ravi Kumar said Ned Lamont, the cable executive who is one of 27 candidates running for governor, got into his office and dragged him to the state of Connecticut when he was reluctant.
Lamont sent a car to New York to pick up Kumar and the driver spent the entire two hour ride to Michael Cantor’s office bad mouthing Hartford.
However, a group of business leaders awaiting his arrival made their pitch over several months and sold him on the location and workforce. Cantor’s law firm specializes in intellectual property law.
Kumar said the initial visit to Cantor’s office was followed by Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith trailing him for the past few months lining up discussions with clients when doubt crept in that the company wouldn’t have the partnerships it needed to make it work.
Kumar’s company helps other industries scale their digital footprint and processes. He said the hubs are also going to access the colleges and become labs for innovation and applying new technologies.
He said Connecticut really blurs the line when it comes to government, academia and business.
Kumar said he continued to receive letters and text messages from Connecticut business leaders asking him to partner with them.
“I hope we can make this the tech hub of New England,” Kumar said.
He said it’s amazing to see the number of large industries represented in Connecticut from insurance, manufacturing, defense, healthcare, and logistics.
He said they looked at their current base of clients and the potential base of clients.
“All industries will go through disruption and they will need a partner like us,” Kumar said.
He said they don’t want to become the information technology department for a company they want to partner with the company to help them on their digital journey.
He said talent pools and the ability of government and businesses to work together for the greater good made Connecticut attractive beyond the incentives the state could offer.
“I’ve never seen a state with such a great network of businesses coming together for a common good,” Kumar said.
Elliot Joseph, president and CEO of Hartford Hospital, and Mark Boxer, executive vice president and global chief information officer at Cigna, were on hand for the announcement Wednesday.
“This can be the insurance and healthcare hub for the world,” Kumar said.
The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development will provide up to $12 million in grants after certain job creation milestones are met. In addition, the company is eligible to receive up to $2 million in training grants to support partnerships the company creates with local education organizations.
State funding will be used for the purchase of computer and office equipment, leasehold improvements, and training. The company is also eligible for additional assistance if they significantly exceed 1,000 jobs, and the incentives in place can support up to 2,000 jobs.
There’s no specific date for when the hub would open.
Malloy joked that he hopes it’s before January 2019 when he leaves office.
Hartford is already home to the InsurTech Accelerator, which is part of the Hartford InsurTech Hub, a partnership between insurers and startups. The accelerator was established to attract new talent to Hartford and help them develop industry and investor connections.
In December, Stanley Black and Decker announced it was opening an Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence in downtown Hartford.
Senate Republican President Len Fasano, R-North Haven, applauded Malloy and his team for their efforts.
“This is more than just good news for Hartford. It is good news for the entire state of Connecticut,” Fasano said. “It is encouraging to see businesses, from Infosys to Stanley Black and Decker, taking steps to invest in Hartford in recent months. I hope the Infosys project will inspire others to invest in Connecticut’s cities and create more opportunities to encourage people to come to and stay in Connecticut.”