| Hyderabad has never had it so good.
CM, Chandrababu Naidu is now aggressively marketing this
70 lakh plus populated State capital, once famous for
pearls, bangles and minarets, as the new fundamental centre
for information technology. Naidu's stab at marketing
received a boost when US President Bill Clinton, in a
touchdown speech referred to "Hyderabad" as
Not long ago Bill Gates is believed to have said, "I
have asked my people to put it (Andhra Pradesh) right
on top of the list".
What makes Hyderabad the new heartbeat of IT professionals?
Is it all hype or is there any substance to it?
The IT Pioneers of Hyderabad
Till very recently the bread winner of Andhra Pradesh
was Agriculture. Today IT has taken over this responsibility.
A man amongst the first to see the vision of this change
was B. Ramalinga Raju, MD, of Satyam Computer
Services, acknowledged as Hyderabad's hottest and
India's most valuable IT company. Hailing from
a farmer's family, Ramalinga Raju succumbed to the charm
of the chip and started the Satyam IT company. Today Satyam
is a Rs. 680 crore company. It's subsidiary Satyam
Infoway is listed on the NASDAQ along with
Infosys and Silverline.
Inspired by Satyam's success
The dizzy heights scaled by Satyam has inspired others
to follow suit. They include Visual Soft Technologies,
Infotech Enterprises, Goldstone Engineering, Cybermate
Infotek, and Fortune Informatics. All these
companies have become darlings at the stock markets pulling
both real investors and fund managers alike. The IT industry
in Hyderabad is a beehive and has attracted even the likes
of Fortune 500 not to mention the Indian regulars
like Infosys, Wipro, Microland, BPL and ICICI.
Today, the mind-blowing mega showcase of Hitec
City in Hyderabad is home to companies like Oracle,
Baan, GE Capital, HSBC, Citicorp, IBM, Motorola and
Thanks to all this IT buzz and the E-governance initiatives
of the government, Hyderabad's share is growing in software
exports. They are up from less than Rs.100 crore in
1994-95 to over Rs. 574 crore in 1998-99. The number
of STPI (Software Technology Park of India) units
has swelled from around 100 in 1997-98 to 250
in 1998-99. In 1999-2000, the software export from
Hyderabad crossed Rs.1200 crore of which Satyam
and Wipro logged Rs. 125.15 crore and Rs. 110.35
How is Hyderabad churning out these
Some of the reasons that make Hyderabad such a vibrant
hub of IT activity are:
There is more to it. The state government has drawn
a strong incentive policy for promoting IT that includes:
- Hyderabad is a pleasant city with amiable climate
- The city is rich in cosmopolitan traditions richly
blending the North and the South.
- Hyderabad as well as the state has vast pool of
talented and skilled professionals. About 0.4 million
people from Andhra Pradesh work abroad and 23% of
India's software professionals hail from this state.
- There's an enormous access to engineering colleges,
research institutions, polytechnic institutes and
management schools in Andhra Pradesh.
- Hyderabad is home to some world-class institutes
being set up like the Indian Institute of Information
Technlogy (IIIT), Indian School of Business
and Satyam Institute of Management.
- Strong entrepreneurial culture. Hyderabad can boast
of having sent the most number of H 1-B visa
holders to US Consul, Chennai. About 23% of the Silicon
Valley companies are run by Hyderabadis, 60% of the
software programmers in the US are of the Telugu origin.
- The city is the first in the country to pick up
threads and mint new ideas whether it be in ERP,
E-Commerce or in Portals.
- Quality of life is rich in Hyderabad. Water, power
and commuting facilities are also adequate.
- Exemption from Pollution Control Act
- 25 % concession in power tariff for new units up
to 3 years
- Software exempted from sales tax · Software industries
exempted from zoning regulation
- Self-certification / exemption under 7 Acts.
- Rebate on cost of land @ Rs 20,000 per job created.
One can get 1.214 hectares of prime Government land
free of cost for every 1,000 people employed.
The incentives for IT infrastructure companies include:
- Rebate on Stamp Duty on tapering scale for
sale / lease of land ranging from 90 % to 50 %.
- Relaxation of Fund Allocation Ratio (FAR)
up to of 50 %
- Connectivity through APSWAN (Andhra Pradesh
State-wide Area Network) for IT parks
- Explicit permission for round-the-clock working
for ITES units
- Investment subsidy of 20 % on capital of Rs 2 million
- Special packages for mega project investment Rs
Last but not the least - Hyderabad has a dynamic CM
who looks upon himself as a CEO!
With all these rest assured that at this cyber city,
not only a grand welcome but also a beginning of new
and profitable vistas awaits for the IT people and companies.