Technology consulting company Infosys has formally cut the ribbon on its new innovation hub in Hartford. The center, housed in Hartford’s Goodwin Square building, will be one of four that the Indian company is creating around the U.S.
Infosys President Ravi Kumar said the company has already hired 50 people in Hartford, and aims eventually to hire a thousand.
“As we go forward we’re going to hire from liberal arts, from design, and from all other disciplines," he told the assembled crowd at the ribbon cutting. "It’s a myth that digital capabilities can only come from STEM. Digital capabilities will come from every discipline around in colleges and schools.”
In fact, the company has been partnering for the last few months with Trinity College in Hartford to build out a curriculum for liberal arts majors that will eventually become a pipeline for recruitment into Infosys. Trinity president Joanne Berger-Sweeney was on hand at the opening.
“Liberal arts graduates don’t merely answer the questions of today, they navigate next generation questions,” she said.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said the Infosys hub will complement the work already going on in the city in insurance technology, financial services and in fostering startup companies.
“This really is what an innovation ecosystem looks like," said Bronin. "And Infosys in making the decision to be here, I think recognizes what’s happening, but just as important, accelerates that growth in a really, really powerful way.”
Infosys says its Hartford location will specialize in innovating around technology for the insurance, healthcare and manufacturing industries.
That deal began to take shape after Ned Lamont, now the state's governor-elect, made an introduction. He is a personal friend of Ravi Kumar and knew Infosys was seeking sites in the U.S. for its innovation hubs -- with the eventual goal of hiring 10,000 U.S. employees.
Lamont sold Kumar on the benefits of Hartford, and introduced him to state economic development officials. But, he said, in the end, he's clear on what sealed the deal for Connecticut.
“We don’t have silicon, or we may not have oil," said Lamont, "but we’ve always had the best trained, most productive workforce in the world. That is the Connecticut calling card.”
The state of Connecticut is giving Infosys $14 million in grants to develop the Hartford office.