Saturday, November 22, 2008

You just can't write-off Bangalore

You just can't write-off Bangalore
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Unnikrishnan Posted: Nov 22, 2008 at 1703 hrs IST
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: In an exclusive interview with Ashok Kumar, Unnikrishnan, Dtr, Mktg, Sun Microsystems, says the cosmopolitan nature of the city is indeed a big factor in attracting IT companies.

Bangalore is the IT hub of India and the strongest factor which is giving Bangalore the current status is the presence of major IT companies both from the country and around the world.

Bangalore is enjoying this status because of the skilled manpower which is present in Bangalore in abundant numbers and reinforcing this asset is the huge chunk of English speaking people which makes the city a unique place for the IT enterprises.

It is not as if Hyderabad is taking over Bangalore in the IT sector. The situation at the ground level is that the country on the whole is witnessing a phenomenal growth in the Information Technology sector. Now all the states in the country are eager to cash on this opportunity. As such everybody is gearing itself to be a part of this bandwagon which is going to make their future fruitful in the times to come.

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Since some of the traditional occupations are now proving futile with most of the states facing the economic crunch the IT sector seems to hold some possibilities. Now there is no need to mention that this country is abundant of trained human resource. All the states as such are seeing this opportunity to tap it for their prosperity and to do away with alarming raise in the unemployment.

Andhra Pradesh is also one among those states but here it needs to be mentioned that Hyderabad per se is having one advantage which lies in its comprehensive infrastructure which definitely scores better than Bangalore at this point.

As far as Sun Microsystems is concerned it already has a presence in Hyderabad with a sales and support office as well as a development centre. Apart from this there are no other plans to expand further in Hyderabad in near future.

There are a number of reasons which explain why Bangalore attracts a large number of Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) and BPO customers. As I have earlier said, a good base of technically skilled, English speaking professionals is a major attraction for companies setting up in Bangalore.

There are other significant factors too, which are big boosters for the city's image of having an IT friendly environment. For example labour relations, excellent education and research institutions, good Telecom connectivity, enterprise friendly state policy and investor perceptions are some of other levers that catapult the city as a favored IT destination.

I would also like to add that natural gifts of the city, also makes it adaptable for people coming from all the corners of the country and abroad as well. The moderate climate in particular is one such thing which adds luster to the existing hue of the city.

Of Hyderabad, I feel that the city's infrastructure growth and expansion thus far has taken place in a planned manner. Credit also goes to the successive state governments who have also put in all their efforts in projecting a very IT savvy environment which in the meanwhile has proven to be a big advantage of Hyderabad.

No wonder, with the governments giving a warm welcome to entrepreneurs round the world many multinationals and services have already set up or are planning to set up development centres in the city.

I should be a proud man to say that Bangalore today comprises one of the world's largest centre for CMM Level 5 certified companies and the world's second largest center for software development. Not only that nearly all of the Silicon Valley giants have an established base here with offices and large research and development centers.

Of course in the present times, Bangalore is plagued with several problems the country's IT hub has several inherent advantages which outscore over other IT destinations in the sub-continent. As mentioned, before the air conditioned like climate has always boasted of good intellectual resources with large presence of engineering colleges comparatively low cost of living, better living conditions, law and order and to top it all the industry friendly government.

One more factor which speaks in favor of Bangalore is its cosmopolitan nature which is indeed a big factor in attracting IT companies. Hyderabad too is emerging as an IT hub in the recent years but the credit for same there I feel goes to the excellent infrastructure along with the well planned and focused approach which the governments are giving to the industry.

But despite all the spectacular progress made by Hyderabad in the IT sector it can in no way mar the prospects of Bangalore or write off its IT prospects. To me this perhaps seems to be a distant possibility.

Every city of the world has its own problems to grapple with and Bangalore is no exception in that regard. But things could be turned to a positive note if the Government and citizens of the city are ready to tackle the issues with a spirit of togetherness. Problems like traffic congestion, power shortages, inadequate airport facilities, potholed roads and nonexistent public transport systems are some of the bottlenecks which need to be cleared with priority.

Along with the initiatives taken by the common people hundreds of NGO's present in the city should also come forward to co-operate with the government and the citizens in working towards achieving these ends. I would conclude, with a note that all said and done it is the denizens of the city who makes the true difference and make their city, really a better place to live in.


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