HYDERABAD: After four years of political uncertainty, which ended in the creation of Telangana, attention is now turning towards rebuilding brand Hyderabad.
State information technology minister K Taraka Rama Rao is set to clear several IT companies’ expansion plans, which had been put on the back burner all these years. Among the companies geared up for expanding their operations in and around Hyderabad are tech major such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Cognizant, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
Taking charge of his ministry on Thursday, Rao said the expansion plans of the MNCs would provide 40,000 direct jobs. “Encouraging the growth of the IT sector is the top priority of our government,” he told the media. “By ‘grounding’ (starting) the projects — including ITIR (Information Technology Infrastructure Region) — we are looking at creating 15 lakh direct and 35 lakh indirect jobs in the IT sector over the next five years.”
While the ITIR project, which is coming up with a central funding of over Rs 1.32 lakh crore, is a long-term programme expected to be completed by 2024, Rao wants to focus on short-term plans that will revive the brand equity of Hyderabad — something that will require early approval of the expansion plans of the MNCs.
Cognizant, which has service-based operations with 30,000 employees in Hyderabad, has plans to expand operations to develop its own encryption software and anti-spam software products for which it has sought 54 acres of land at Adibatla village on the city outskirts. Sources said the expansion would provide over 12,000 jobs once the clearances come through.
Google, which has a staff strength of 7,500 at its Madhapur office, is looking to build its own township on a 20-acre plot in Kokapet to house its entire operations in Hyderabad under one roof. The sources said Google’s new venture would provide 5,000 additional jobs.
Amazon, which is limited to support and back-end operations in the city, is looking for a proper expansion of its operations, including software development, for which it has sought 2.6 million sq ft land in Nanakramguda. The expansion is expected to generate 5,000 jobs. TCS, which has offices at Gachi Bowli and Madhapur, has already got 70 acres of land at Adibatla and has even started construction there. Pending minor clearances, this expansion should create an additional 12,000 jobs. Facebook and Microsoft too have big plans for Hyderabad.
“Some of these cases are entangled in legal issues, including land litigation,” said a senior official in the government. “The new IT minister held a series of meetings with the companies even before he took charge. Since the groundwork has been done, clearances for the expansion plans can happen anywhere between a couple of days and a week.”
The sources said the minister was planning to convene a round-table meeting of the IT sector’s stakeholders next week where he would invite suggestions to make Hyderabad more investor-friendly. Besides this, Rao is said to have prepared a 16-point agenda for the revival of the IT sector, which had begun to look sluggish during the Telangana struggle. The government plans to set up an IT governing body that will monitor various sector-related issues.
“There are several issues such as women’s safety, HR-related problems and the menace of fake IT companies exploiting gullible job seekers,” said Naveen Reddy Gaddam, vice-president of Telangana IT Association. “The governing body is expected to monitor these issues.”
While the emphasis is on the IT industry clustered in and around Hyderabad, the government also wants to take the sector to two-tier and three-tier cities such as Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Warangal. “We will build IT corridors in these cities along the lines of the one in Hyderabad,” said Rao. Special incentives and tax rebates have been planned for start-ups and investors in these corridors.
Courtesy: Times of India