Saturday, July 24, 2004

Premji slams Bangalore infrastructure

Its on the front page of virtually every newspaper today. He did it last year too and he's done it again and this time there might be economic consequences. Azim Premji, Chairman of WIPRO, one of the first people to realize Bangalore's potential now says that the city is past its prime. Wipro has announced that, apart from a few other things, the city's ramshackle infrastructure is hurting its business and that it will no longer invest in Bangalore and all its future investments will be in other cities. There is a possibility that operations in Bangalore might be scaled back as well.

Azim Premji:
"The key reasons include increased commuting time and high attrition.... The reality is that there is opportunity outside Karnataka and outside Bangalore. We have to be present where talent is available and infrastructure is superior.”

Vivek Paul, Vice-Chairman, WIPRO:
"Bangalore is a zero-sum game. In terms of infrastructure, there has not been any material improvement in the last five years. As a result, it is becoming difficult to sustain growth here...... <>We believe the problem is serious. We have not seen any material change in the last five years and we do not see a declared intent in the next five years. If Wipro needs to park buses that ferries 60 per cent of its workforce to its Electronics City campus on the outskirts of Bangalore, it will be a train eight kilometre long.

The other IT major Infosys, which had plans to set up its largest campus in Sarjapur in Bangalore has already reversed that decision and is setting up a new campus capable of accomodating 25000 workers in Chennai.

Those who argue that there is nothing to lose if an WIPRO or Infosys move out and its a natural economic evolution for Bangalore as grunt work heads to other places and Bangalore moves up the value chain are missing the point. Bangalore's infrastructure is on the brink. If it tips over there is no return.

Some reports:
The Times of India
Business Standard
Business Line
The Economic Times


At Saturday, July 24, 2004 at 10:25:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One fact is very clear... the administrators are unable to plan or run the city... They should be laying wide 200 feet wide divided carriageways to nearby cities/clusters like Tumkur, Mysore, Whitefield, Bannerghatta, Yelahanka, Hosur etc and move the population outside the city... Unless the infrastructure is provided nobody will want to move... Today nobody wants to live in Attibele and commute to electronic city... there are no amenities in Attibele to speak of and the conduit to downtown bangalore for a weekend night out is that pathetic overcrowded 4 lane NH7... There is no pheriperal expressway connecting the above clusters as well... an investment in the pheriperal road and expressway system will go a long way in decongesting the City.

At Saturday, July 24, 2004 at 10:39:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...


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