It all began with the formation of Telangana on June 2, 2014, and the Chief Minister of Telangana K Chandra Shekar Rao handing over the reins of the Information Technology ministry to KT Rama Rao (KTR), and the rest is history. Hyderabad, the capital city of Telangana and a buzzing metropolis, which already had a good base for IT and ITES industries got the much need fillip with KTR at the helm of IT affairs.
With an experience of working in the IT industry and with a smart knack for getting things done, KTR has left no stone unturned in expanding the IT footprint of Hyderabad on the global map. The foresighted leadership of the tech-savvy minister made the city the safest and preferable destination for global tech giants and Telangana a frontrunner in adopting emerging technologies be it blockchain technology, big data, artificial intelligence, or virtual reality. You name IT, Hyderabad has IT.
Right from day one at the office, KTR meant business. So much so that KT Rama Rao became IT Rama Rao in the IT industry circles. He led a delegation to the United States of America in 2015 to meet top honchos of IT and ITES industries. The tour received a great response with the government of Telangana signing MOUs with many major companies and also some of them setting up their office spaces in Hyderabad.
Even at the World Economic Forum meets at Davos or other occasions that see the presence of IT leaders, the minister made sure that Hyderabad grabbed the global attention. His speech at the launch of Apple Mapping Centre in Hyderabad in presence of Apple CEO Tim Cook is just one small example to tell how he reshaped Hyderabad as the global IT destination.
With all the required support from Chief Minister KCR, KTR’s vision and dedication had unarguably made him the face of IT growth in Hyderabad. A young state like Telangana couldn’t ask for a better brand ambassador for its IT industry. If there was no Telangana or without KTR leading the team, the rapid growth which we are witnessing today would not have been possible.
He accelerated the growth by acting as a catalyst with proactive policies and by creating a business-friendly environment. And the results are in front of us to see, after 2014, Hyderabad is now home to global giants like Google, Apple, Amazon, Salesforce, OnePlus, Intel, S&P Global to name a few. Many of them opened their second biggest offices in Hyderabad. The latest being Amazon Web Services investing Rs. 20,761 crores in Hyderabad.
Numbers do the speaking
Telangana’s IT/ITES exports grew by 17.93% to reach Rs. 1,28,807 crore from Rs. 1,09,219 crore from the previous year. The growth is double the national growth rate of 8.09% and two and half times more than the rest of India (6.92%). The employment in the IT industry increased by 7.2% with the State now providing employment to 5,82,126 IT professionals.
Considering the impact of COVID19 in the last quarter of the financial year, the growth rate is phenomenal. Telangana’s share in India’s exports went up to 11.6% from 10.6% while the share in India’s IT export growth for 2019-20 is at 23.5%.
The office space absorption in the city has seen a growth rate of a whopping 83% beating Bengaluru which was just at 14%. In the second half of 2019, Hyderabad, with 8.19 million sqft of office transaction, performed better than Bengaluru, with 7 million sqft.
This success is not just an overnight story and it was only possible with constant monitoring and an able-leadership from the top. The government has introduced many initiatives to nurture the startup eco-system in the State with T-Hub, We-Hub, RICH, and also to upskill the graduates with academies like TASK, which is playing its role in making the talent pool available for the expanding IT sector of Hyderabad. IT towers were also established in tier-II cities like Warangal, Karimnagar, and will soon come up in Nizamabad, Khammam, and Mahabubnagar.
The government has made IT one of their priority sectors and Minister KTR is the driving force behind the sea change that Hyderabad is seeing in the industry. The TRS-led government is going hammer and tongs to create a brand that ‘IT is Hyderabad’.