Last week I spent 3 days in Hyderabad, India. I was back in time for Thanksgiving, somewhat jet-lagged. The hi-tech city area in Hyderabad is a monument to the growth of India as a software/services outsourcing center. Someone pointed out to me that over 250,000 jobs were created out of that massive facility, a key outcome of the vision of former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu. Mr. Naidu was quite a dreamer and he played the role of a good CEO of that state. During his time, the US President (Bill Clinton) visited the city plus numerous others including Bill Gates. Mr. Naidu was very aggressive and helped attract many key players by offering incentives and fast execution time for necessary infrastructure.
Staying at the Novotel hotel as part of a huge conference complex, I noticed a big conference of doctors happening next door. On the flight from Dubai via Emirates, the gentleman sitting next to me from Virginia (a senior executive at Deloitte) mentioned that there are eleven thousand employees of Deloitte at Hyderabad and he makes several trips during the year. I saw giant billboards from Google advertising their Cloud R&D center in the city soliciting engineers to apply. The Oracle-campus houses about 8000 employees.
Not far is the ISB (Indian School of Business), which was only started back in 2001 by several NRI friends from here. Now it ranks as one of the premium business schools in the country. Next to the ISB, is a big campus of Microsoft and across the street is Infosys with its stylistic glass building. TCS and Wipro have big presence also. It felt like a “happening” place. Demand for good technical skills is high. Employee retention is a key issue.
I remembered my trips to the city during the early to mid 1980s when none of these existed. I stayed in the middle of the city and gave a talk to some technology folks at NIC on relational database (I was at IBM then involved with the development of DB2 product). What a big change between then and now. One definitely feels the rise of India as a techno-power in the 21st century.
On my way back to the brand-new airport, the limo was a Mercedes car. The airport was bubbling with people at 2am. My Emirates flight to Dubai was full. Yes, this is a new India.