Hyderabad, the traditional city of the Nizams, has over the past decade or two turned into a prominent information Technology (IT) hub, so much so that many now refer to it as ‘Cyberabad’. Hyderabad has in fact also been dubbed as the Silicon Valley of India, as more and more firms set up their operations here. It is also well known that quite a few of the professionals working in the Silicon Valley, USA belong to Hyderabad, Telangana. One of the reasons many multi-nationals have chosen Hyderabad to set up base is because of the huge pool of mathematical and technical talent here which was still untapped till these new avenues offered opportunity. The 2014 Tholons Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations Rankings report, the de facto ranking of outsourcing cities around the world, lists Hyderabad, along with 12 other Indian cities, among the top outsourcing destinations of the world.
HITEC City, short form for Hyderabad Information Technology Engineering Consultancy City, a key technology township in suburban Madhapur, is at the centre of the IT industry in Hyderabad. The fast-paced development of HITEC City prompted several IT companies to establish operations in the city. Spread across 151 acres of land around Madhapur, Gachibowli, Kondapur, Manikonda, and Nanakramguda, HITEC City is home to over a 1000 multinational IT giants who have made the City their base of operations in India. These include Accenture, Microsoft, Oracle, Facebook, Deloitte, Verizon, and IBM among others. Comprising of numerous campuses and phases, HITEC City also offers residential areas where the IT professionals can reside, in addition to convention centers and malls. Most of the companies located here provide cab services to their employees for transport to various parts of the city. The city bus service also connects the township to all major areas of the city.
Hyderabad’s foray into the IT sector started in the mid-90s when it followed Bangalore onto the Information Technology bandwagon. The slow transformation into a cyber city began when the then Chief Minister of AP, N. Chandrababu Naidu, realized the necessity for infrastructure to draw investments of several IT companies. The government initiated the project with private investments and L&T ECC was initially called upon to start the project, which was named as L&T INFOCITY. The project’s success led to several other firms partnering with the government. Thereafter there have been wide-ranging investments in digital infrastructure. The AP government gives high priority to the development of the IT sector and its industrial policy for the sector is also very liberal given that the sector plays a crucial role in sustainable economic progress. Around five lakh jobs have been created in Hyderabad by the IT and ITes sector alone.
Major players in the IT field like Microsoft and Facebook, are using their operations in Hyderabad to provide developer support systems and help manage their worldwide IT infrastructure. The Microsoft Global Delivery Center India (GDCI), which started operations in 2002, is the delivery hub for developing mission critical apps that prop up Microsoft businesses worldwide. Facebook’s Hyderabad operations are their fourth worldwide address and their first in Asia. Their centre in the city will help to support its increasing number of users, developers and advertisers in India and all over the world.
Hyderabad’s IT sector also got a key investment boost recently with the Indian central government’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs’ (CCEA) approval of the state’s plan for setting up an Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) in the city. Over the next 25 years, the 50,000 acres ITIR has an investment potential of around Rs 2.19 lakh crore in Information Technology and Electronic Hardware manufacturing. The ITIR will be spread over Madhapur, Maheshwaram, Gachibowli, Mamidipalli, Adibatla and Raviryal along with Uppal and Pocharam areas.
Future developments expected to impact the IT industry in a positive way include:
- The Metro Rail Service in the offing will connect some of the major destinations like Raheja Mindspace, Cyber Towers and Hitec City via Gachibowli to the Shamshabad Airport. One of the largest projects of its kind in the world, commuters will be able to cover this 71 km stretch in a mere 20 minutes.
- The single 60-story Trade Center tower—the first to reach such heights in India—near Manchirevula village. It will cater to the IT industry as well as other businesses.
- Mucherla on Hyderabad to Srisailam Highway will get an IT park spread over 567 acres.
- Adibatla in Ibrahimpatnam mandal will host SEZs for TCS, Cognizant and Wipro.
- Hyderabad to Srisailam Highway will also get the 150 acres Point INDU IT/ITES SEZ, besides SEZs like Brahmani InfoTech park and Stargaze (Raheja) SEZs.
The unstable political climate of the state due to the agitation for Telangana state has had the IT industry on tenterhooks for the past 2-3 years. But with the announcement of the separation of Telengana from Andhra Pradesh, the air has now cleared and Hyderabad’s future as an IT destination of choice is back on track. An NDTV report said that the IT industry has welcomed the decision to bifurcate the state, as it ends the uncertainty and will lead to new investments coming to Hyderabad. V Laxmikanth, MD- Broadridge India, was quoted in the report as saying, “Hyderabad, known for its large pool of talented IT professionals and as a base for leading MNCs, is expected to reclaim its reputation of being the destination of choice for businesses across industries.”
Hyderabad’s future as an IT industry hub is secure with growing emphasis on infrastructure development. Let’s hope the city grows from strength to strength becoming a true example of how tradition and modernity can exist side by side.