There was a time, not long ago, when Bengaluru was the undisputed investment choice for international technology companies and was widely seen as the Silicon Valley of India. It was almost considered blasphemous to name any other Indian city as its potential competitor. Not anymore. In fact, the scale is clearly tilting towards Hyderabad now. The reasons are not far to seek: a set of pro-active policies of the present government, clear infrastructural advantage and an ideal eco-system to nurture innovation. Global technology leaders are now looking at Hyderabad as an ideal destination to set up their businesses as reflected by a steady surge in investments. No wonder then that the CEO of Niti Aayog Amitabh Kant described Hyderabad as the new Silicon Valley of the world in his closing remarks at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit hosted by the city last November. And, the BBC News recently did a feature on the IT prowess of the city and how it is surging ahead to emerge as the new Silicon Valley of India. Given the series of policy initiatives that the government has been taking to create an ideal ecosystem for innovative technology startups, ‘Brand Hyderabad’ will gain further traction in the days ahead. Industry majors such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft have chosen Hyderabad to set up their largest centres outside of the US. This is a testimony to the city’s vibrancy.
The phenomenal success of T-Hub, which is all set to become the world’s largest incubator for technology startups, has further boosted the image of the city vis-a-vis other tech hubs in the country. If T-Hub is serving as a facilitator for startup entrepreneurs, the ambitious Telangana Fiber Grid project (T-Fiber) will have a societal impact as it aims to provide affordable, high-speed broadband connectivity and digital services to 10 million households across the State involving an investment of Rs 5,500 crore. Hosting the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT- 2018) is yet another example of the growing international profile of the city. For Telangana, the country’s youngest State and ranked first in terms of ‘Ease of Doing Business’, the choice of Hyderabad as the venue is a testimony to its pro-active policies. Such events will not only help the State showcase its digital technology and e-governance initiatives but also provide a further fillip to the entrepreneurship culture. The mega event saw another feather being added to the city’s cap when global software major Adobe Systems announced its decision to set up an advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) Centre in Hyderabad. The next challenge before the government is to take the IT industry to Tier-II and other smaller towns.