Hyderabad: Google (search) on your iPhone whether a product is available on Amazon while you are on the move in an Uber taxi. Your nimble fingers would most likely have some tech connect with the most happening Southern City of India, Hyderabad. The uber cool and upwardly mobile people across the globe would surely have been cloud-connected with the city.
Is Telangana the new California in the making? Apple, Amazon, Google, and Uber have queued up to have their second largest development centres, outside the United States of America, in Hyderabad. All within a radius of 10 km.
The city is set to witness a different level of vibrancy with these marquee companies making it the second home. Already, it is home for biggies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Qualcomm.
A beaming K T Rama Rao, Minister for IT of the Government of Telangana, sums it up saying: “Hyderabad is the biggest bang for the buck for all those investing here.”
A ballpark estimate of investments flowing into Hyderabad from various industries is out at close to $3-4 billion, with an estimated employment opportunity for 25,000 people and 1.25 lakh indirectly.
Hyderabad has innate advantages in terms of geographical location and availability of talent pool. KTR ascribes the decision of these global majors for choosing Hyderabad to the “best industrial policy, proactive policies, and a decisive government.”
“This stands testimony to our proactive policy. Hyderabad is the destination for growth. We are a state that is growing very rapidly. IT exports have posted a YoY growth by 16 percent against a national CAGR of 13 percent,” KTR told Firstpost.
Apart from these four, Airbus is proposing to set up a helicopter-manufacturing unit at an estimated investment of Rs 2,500 crore to generate employment for close to 4,500 people. The aircraft maker wanted the Telangana Government to allot 40 acres of land to which the state has shown three different sites close to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport and asked the company to choose that suits the best to its needs.
A delegation of Airbus recently called on Chief Secretary of Telangana Government Rajiv Sharma and submitted proposals. The company wanted to collaborate either with Tatas or Mahindras in India and it proposed to manufacture 100 choppers a year.
Swedish Home furnishings giant IKEA is setting up its India’s first store in Hyderabad. It has purchased land and work is going on at a brisk pace. It has bought 13 acres at a cost of close to Rs 20 crore an acre near the IT Hub.
Uber opened its Centre of Excellence on 26 February this year. This will have teams of more than 500 customer service specialists to 24/7 assistance to riders and driver partners. “Uber has already hired close to 30 percent of the total team strength and has started support operations from its Center of Excellence in Hyderabad,” an official spokesperson of Uber told Firstpost.
The Center of Excellence will provide support via multiple channels--email, phone and social media to ensure seamless experience before, during and after the ride. The team of specialists will also be proficient in multiple local languages to address support issues from across the country.
Amit Jain, president, Uber India,said: “We are excited to unveil Uber's centre of excellence in Hyderabad that will be the heart of customer response for our India operations. The government of Telangana has shown great vision in supporting innovative technology companies and continues to remain an ideal location to do business.”
Apple, one of the world’s richest corporate houses, will establish its world’s next largest technology development centre outside the USA in Hyderabad at a cost of $25 million – close to Rs 175 crore. Though it has considered many cities, including those in Eastern Europe, it has zeroed in on Hyderabad and one of the focus areas for this new centre would be to develop Apple maps. This centre is likely to provide direct employment to 4,500 techies in 250,000 sq. ft in Tishman Speyer’s Waverock building in the City’s IT hub.
Chief Executive of Apple, Timothy Cook had said in a shareholders conference: "The population in India is in some ways some of the best in the world. There's a huge amount of young people moving up the ranks and the consumer will rise up there."
Basking the afterglow of signing agreements with world’s biggest corporate houses, Jayesh Ranjan, IT Secretary of the Government of Telangana, told Firstpost: “Apple considered many cities not just in India but also in other geographies like Eastern Europe before finalising on Hyderabad to locate its technology development centre for Apple Maps. This is a very strong endorsement of the value proposition that Hyderabad offers to a marquee company like Apple.
“With this addition, the 4 most valuable companies of the world (Apple, Microsoft, Google & Facebook) will all have their largest development centers outside of the US in Hyderabad. If we add Amazon, the 8th most valuable company of the world, which too is developing its largest development centre outside the US in Hyderabad, we have the enviable distinction of having 4 of the top 4 and 5 of the top 10.”
Google proposed an investment of Rs 1,000 crore staggered in four years to establish its South Asia’s biggest development centre in two million square feet facility in Hyderabad. Google CEO Sunder Pichai announced in December last that the company would set up its largest campus outside the USA in Hyderabad. KTR signed a Memorandum of Understanding with David Radcliffe, global head of facilities and workplaces of Google, in May last year. This will provide an employment for 6,000 people in a 7.2-acre facility in Gachibowli in the City.
The company has already announced that it’s “street view” project in India will begin with Hyderabad.
World’s eighth largest corporate, Amazon, too doesn’t want to lag behind. The company, which had already set up its Asia’s largest warehouse (280,000 sq. ft) on the outskirts of Hyderabad, too will have its biggest development centre outside the US here in the City of Pearls. A large chunk of its $2 billion investment is likely to flow into Hyderabad, for the State Government has allotted a 10-acre site for building close to three million square-foot facility that houses a work force of 13,500 people, while the existing headcount of Amazon in Hyderabad is 1,000.
Groundbreaking for this facility is likely to happen in a few days.
Wish there is a day when Zuckerberg, Satya Nadella, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Sunder Pichai, Jeff Bejos, and Tim Cook do a human-chain on the highstreets of Hyderabad.