The phenomenal growth in IT exports from Telangana, crossing a major milestone of Rs 1 lakh crore for 2018-19, reflects the robustness of the investment environment and success of the pro-active policies of the State government. The exports clocked an impressive 17% growth year-on-year. This is much higher than the national average of 9%. What is heartening is the consistency of the performance of the sector with the exports almost doubling in five years, from Rs 57,258 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 1,09,219 crore in 2018-19. The stellar performance comes at a time when the industry body Nasscom is hesitant to provide annual outlook for the IT sector, given the uncertainties surrounding its performance while the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC), a body under the Department of Commerce, had predicted in January this year that the IT and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) will grow 8-10% in India. Since the formation of the State in June 2014, software exports have been growing consistently at a rate higher than the national average. In 2017-18, exports stood at Rs 93,442 crore compared with Rs 85,470 crore in the previous year. As the country’s youngest State, Telangana can take pride in occupying the second position, after Bengaluru, in terms of software exports. At this rate, Hyderabad now has the potential to edge out Bengaluru as India’s Silicon Valley, in terms of the export growth rate if not in absolute volume terms.
The primary reason for the spectacular performance of the IT industry here is that the State government has put in place pro-active policies and created a robust investment climate to attract big players into the city. At the height of the statehood movement, there were sceptical voices over the future of the IT industry in Hyderabad. Doubts were raised over whether the city could sustain the growth in the software industry if Andhra Pradesh was divided. There was a time, not long ago, when Bengaluru was the undisputed investment choice for international technology companies. It was almost considered blasphemous to name any other Indian city as Bengaluru’s 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 ecosystem 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. It is now home to a clutch of global giants including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Intel, Qualcomm and Amazon, with several of them establishing their high-end research centres.