Are Bangalore Tech Parks visitor friendly?

In start-up for last 8 years, we have limited security procedures and were mostly present in small buildings of less than 100 people. In previous start-up, when we started having access card system,I started with felling that it was cumbersome with security, I later realized with some theft, the importance to have security based on access control mandatory.  In current start-up for last 3 years, we neither have door access control nor have Air- Conditioner; we have ceiling fans.  It is interesting to note that I have not worked in IT Tech Park  in last 8 years and none of my previous offices were prevalent in my first 8 years.

I hear from media that Bangalore has state of art facility. I hear from youngsters on bus sharing that the Outer Ring Road with offices on both sides is similar to some Highway in Silicon Valley( I have been stuck on 101 in business visit). How are visitors treated in Tech Parks? How pedestrian friendly are the Tech Parks?

In last 3 visits to IT Tech parks, these are my learning’s. Please be aware that I am pedestrian. I have not thought from the perspective whether IT parks are disabled friendly at their entrances.

  • I visited Manyata Tech Park for a business meeting. Crossing the outer ring road is a nightmare and could not identify  foot paths(Did I fail to notice). Then the visitor procedure at Tech Park gate was smooth and could get inside. There was a long walk to the office building near Food court. Once I reached and shared the reception about long walk, he shared that there is a shuttle from entrance to building. When my work was completed, I took shuttle(no charge) and the shuttle was filled with employees and lot were standing and bus was jam-packed. Once I reached entrance, I found a good number of people waiting to board the shuttle to go inside the campus. There was a shuttle empty with no driver. I waited for another 5 minutes till I boarded my BMTC  VOLVO and there was no shuttle.  May be driver was having siesta and the employees were taught patience to wait for the driver or may be cost cutting.
  • I visited a RMZ EcoZone for a business meeting. Crossing the outer ring road is a nightmare and and could not identify  foot paths(Did I fail to notice). Here the visitor procedure at Tech Park gate was to display government ID card and I displayed my Driving license. I saw a long queue. Fortunately, I asked in next counter and  I was asked to write particulars in book and allowed inside. When I refused give my mobile number, there was concern from the security that I have mobile and why I do not want to provide the same. I explained that I can provide him and not the visitor register as it might get misused. Then I was able to sneak-in. I am not sure what would have happened to me if I have forgotten to carry a government ID with me.
  • I have visited Embassy Golf Links Tech Parks to visit Microsoft, Fidelity and Yahoo offices on weekends to attend start-up community events or my ex manager. I find the access  access more simpler and appreciate them for their access. Here there is no shuttle and if you happen to get down from auto on the wrong entrance, the walk is really long. I like that there is foot path on the main road for pedestrians to walk.
  • I have visited Bagmane Tech Park 3 years back for Samsung to do some testing our mobile applications to board app store and the visitor experience was comfortable. 

Last week I experienced the heights of my experience in ITPL Whitefield where I had gone for a business meeting. There is a long queue to go inside and there is visitor entry form that needs to be filled and you are supposed to submit the visitor entry form and present a government ID at counter. I was upset of myself why I did not plan sufficient time for this. I gave the entry slip and she took my photo and took my Driving Licenses ID Card. She gives me back a visitor pass and not my Driving License. When I ask back for Driving License, I am informed that it will be in their custody and I can pick up on leaving after giving visitor pass.

 When i insisted that they cannot hold my government ID as they have no right, a security staff gets visitor card and gives me my Driving License. Stating that this is a cheap tactics and the procedure board does not mention that ID card can be withhold for issuing visitor pass and he was rude, I started walking inside saying that my visitor card has been printed and security is playing mischief. The security guy calls local supervisor on the road and then the other senior supervisor.

The senior supervisor says that this is procedure and asks me to cooperate and support. He also seems to understand that it is a government ID card ( what happens If I only had my passport) and he has never thought whether he had rights to withhold the same.  I took him to the board and showed that the procedure expects visitor to display ID card and there is nothing to effect that permanent card has to be handed over and I am worried of the safety of the ID card  and who is responsible if they lose the same.

He called his supervisor or director, who assured that he would provide personal guarantee for the safety of the card. when pointed out it becomes personal guarantee for his official work, he said that my question was genuine and do not want to delay further and promised that he would do best to have things in right shape. As nearly 30 minutes was spend at entrance and I believe in humans, I gave my Driving License and went in( collected on return). The foot paths were vehicle friendly and not pedestrian friendly.