By: B Krishna Mohan
Responsible for making Hyderabad an attractive option for IT sector, the IT minister of the newly-formed Telangana — who is also an MLA from Siricilla constituency and son of Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao
On brand Hyderabad?
Hyderabad dominates in IT, biotech and pharma. As about the IT sector, there are a lot of companies that have shown interest in Hyderabad, have set up shops and generated significant employment. The local youth here have also generated revenues for the state. The first and foremost challenge is that those who have set up their businesses here should stay on and grow. The next level of challenge is to get new companies that are global in nature. Simultaneously, we will look to nurture local talent.
What is lacking?
I have been asking industry people to know what is lacking in Hyderabad when compared to Bangalore or other cities. Our exports are about $ 8 billion as against Bangalore’s $ 21 billion.
The industry says there are missing links in our IT ecosystem. Normally, it means having a great pool of human resources, research and development facilities and nurturing great ideas. In that sense, we have the first two components in place but need to strengthen the incubation side.
We are planning for an incubator facility that is partly funded by the government and partly by the private sector. This is one of the short-term measures. In the medium term, I am at looking at the possibility of making Hyderabad the first fully wifi-enabled city. We have the infrastructure and it will create a buzz.
What has affected growth?
I would say growth lost some of its momentum due to the general slowdown. The indecisiveness of previous governments in Delhi as well as Andhra Pradesh has aided in the ambiguity lasting longer than it has. But now that there are two stable governments at the centre and the states, I think growth should get back on track.
One thing that will work in our favour is that Hyderabad offers infrastructure at lower prices. Hyderabad has three times the infrastructure of Bangalore at one-third the price. Hyderabad has twice the infrastructure of Chennai at half the price of the latter. It is a melting point of south and north.
Efforts in this direction?
We met several companies asking them to come to Hyderabad and most of them have agreed. I am talking to new age companies, not just traditional companies. A couple of companies have already approached us to be our knowledge and strategic partners to seek investments on behalf of the government of Telangana.
New IT policy.
We will have to take a closer look at the existing policy. We are told it is a good policy but we will make amendments where needed. I would want domain experts to make the recommendations, as it will infuse a sense of belonging to the industry.
Funds for startups?
That is an idea that I am keen on but will be able to give it shape after discussing with the cabinet as it involves a financial commitment. Bifurcation is an opportunity to grow. We want both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to progress well.