India ranks third in the world in terms of attracting investment for technology alongside tech hubs like San Francisco, Berlin, and Shenzhen. Bengaluru, a well-known hotspot for development and innovation, is pegged to become the next Silicon Valley thanks to its specialised talent pool and infrastructure. Home to technology companies such as Infosys, Wipro, Mindtree, and Mphasis, it is headquarters to 80% of global IT companies and accounts for almost 34% of India’s total IT exports. This proximity to suppliers, buyers, and cutting-edge research gives each a competitive advantage. Furthermore, Bengaluru’s proficiency in IT, rapidly expanding talent base and fast-growing strategic relevance for global businesses have together created great opportunity for the city to position itself as a global leader in innovation and R&D excellence.
Let us take a closer look at the top five reasons why Bengaluru is positioning India at the top of the world’s product development map:
- Huge talent base – Bengaluru remains home to the highest number of Multinational Corporations’ (MNC) R&D centres and talent in the country. Technology and R&D devoted to science have long been the hallmark of the city; immersive technologies have made it imperative for MNCs to dip into India’s plethora of engineering talent. Additionally, it is labeled as the most millennial-friendly city in the country, with 37% of the population falling in the age group 15 to 35 years and has over 100 engineering colleges churning out over 90,000 engineering graduates every year. In fact, Bengaluru and the rest of Karnataka have 400 R&D centres and 85 chip designing houses, according to the Bengaluru Innovation 2019 Report. The existence of such centres makes an invaluable contribution to the city.
- Women in Tech (WIT) - Bengaluru has emerged as one city that that has provided opportunities for WIT at a large scale due to its agile work culture and equal representation opportunities. According to a joint report by Intel and Zinnov, women now constitute 30% of the workforce, up from about 21% five years ago. A nationwide movement by corporate and IT majors has been introduced to advance and empower WIT to achieve success, with many specifically focused on Bengaluru. Workplaces in the city offer women upskilling and leadership programs as well as the flexibility to work from the comfort of their home.
- Startup culture – Aside from being a global tech hub, Bengaluru has also evolved as a favorite spot for startups to flourish and make a mark. The city has also witnessed the highest adoption rate of risk-taking startups experimenting in advanced technology like AI, data analytics and IoT and supply-intensive factors like policy support and the emergence of venture capital (VC) funds. This has also created opportunities for entrepreneurs in emerging markets to raise billion-dollar valuations for their ventures and homegrown companies like Flipkart, Swiggy and Ola—all of which are headquartered in the city.
- Technology events – In Bengaluru, you will find risk-taking entrepreneurs and highly skilled technology professionals who are driven to take the country to a leading position in the global tech race. Thanks to the presence of renowned IT companies in the city, it has turned out to be a preferred locale for tech-driven events like hackathons, upskilling bootcamps, and global summits. Bengaluru Tech Summit, for example, is a marquee event co-sponsored by the government that enables knowledge sharing and enhanced networking opportunities among various stakeholders and provides a sneak peek into the future of technology, both in the country and across the world.
- State-of-the-art Infrastructure – Tech parks are the foundation of the IT industry in Bangalore; currently, there are more than 15 across the city and more than 1,900 companies and lakhs of employees who are making it the place to be for tech lovers with ample opportunities. Additionally, the presence of start-ups, IT companies, etc., have provided a major boost to co-working spaces, making it convenient for companies to relocate as and when required.
The Indian technology ecosystem has all of the right ingredients needed to make it an attractive destination—not only for global companies, but for home-grown organisations to set up their R&D centres. Further, the young workforce and availability of skilled talent in disruptive technologies such as AI/ML, IoT, RPA, Blockchain, etc., makes it even more appealing for companies, enterprises, and tech “unicorns” alike. As almost all of the popular IT Tech parks are occupied and new ones are filling at a fast pace, engineers will have many promising employment options to choose from in the coming years.
Views are personal.
The author is VP – Head of Strategic Development Centre, Product & Engineering, Blackhawk Network India