India's 7 hottest IT destinations

1. Bangalore

Bangalore's (or Bengaluru's) ten-fold growth in quick time can be traced back to the IT boom over the past few years. Bangalore's main activity is information technology and information technology-enabled services. Being the leading contributor to India's IT industry, it has been dubbed the Silicon Valley of India.

Home to many software majors, like Infosys and Wipro, Bangalore accounted for 33 per cent of India's Rs 144,214 crore ($32 billion) IT exports in 2006-07.

A recent study also revealed that the rupee millionaire club in Karnataka's capital is the largest in India.

Bangalore also boasts of having the largest number of households with an annual income of Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million) or more. Needless to say, the city owes it all to the IT boom. Little wonder then that Bangalore is the number 1 IT desitnation in India.

2. Hyderabad

Like Bangalore, Hyderabad too has witnessed an IT boom in recent times, with software exports exceeding $1 billion in 2004. Of late, the city has seen huge investments in digital infrastructure. It is the second most attractive IT destination in India.

On February 19, 2008, the Indian government cleared seven projects, estimated to fetch about $7 billion over 10 years to Fab City, a silicon chip manufacturing facility, in the city.

The capital of Andhra Pradesh has also made considerable progress in the field of bio-technology through initiatives like Genome Valley and Nanotechnology Park.

3. Chennai

Chennai is the country's third-largest exporter of information technology and information-technology-enabled services, next only to Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Experts say that the city has the potential to beat Bangalore and Hyderabad in terms of infrastructure and thus gain the position of the most attractive IT destination. Today, it is the third most preferred IT spot in India.

The software companies having their development centres in the city, are well positioned to tap the growing healthcare market for IT products and the emerging opportunity in life sciences.

Companies like Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Covansys earn the lion's share of their income from what they offer to the US healthcare market.

The capital of Tamil Nadu is often looked upon as the most reasonable and reliable outsourcing destination for IT and healthcare solutions.

Maharashtra, with its many cities doing excellently on the IT front, has two big IT destinations, Pune and Mumbai. The state is the 4th most attractive IT spot in India.

4. Pune

Once a sleepy town, nestling in Western Ghats, Pune (or the 'Queen of the Deccan') may soon become the number one destination for IT investments in India, considering the pace at which it is growing and attracting companies.

According to a recent report, Pune has the highest PC penetration among households. Several IT majors like Wipro, Infosys, Satyam, Tata Consultancy Services, Kanbay, Veritas, Cognizant, PCS and Mahindra British Telecom have development arms in the city.

IT parks like Rajiv Gandhi IT Park at Hinjewadi, Magarpatta Cybercity, MIDC Software Technology Park at Talawade, Marisoft IT Park at Kalyani Nagar are seats of technology that the city can boast of.

4. Mumbai

The Maharashtra government has done a fantastic job in building the IT Corridor connecting International Infotech Park, Millenium Business Park and the Santacruz Electronic Export Processing Zone. A number of IT companies have set up offices here.

The most important advantage that brings software enterprises to SEEPZ is the hi-tech 64 KB line, that enables these companies to communicate and video conference over satellite to any of the offshore sites, or branches around the world.

Mumbai, apart from being the financial capital of the country, is also a booming IT centre.

5. Kolkata

West Bengal is aiming to become one of the top three IT states by 2010, contributing 15-20 per cent of the country's total IT revenue. A number of IT majors are today doing significant business in the state's capital, Kolkata.

Announcing the results of a survey report on the state's IT and ITeS sector in Kolkata recently, Indian Chamber of Commerce president Harsh K Jha said, "Between 2002-05, West Bengal has been recognised as the fastest growing IT destination in the country with more than double the national average growth rate."

"The ICC carried out the survey by gathering feedback from prominent IT companies operating in the state, including TCS, Cognizant, IBM, Wipro, on issues like infrastructure, investment scenario and future business prospects," he said.

According to the survey, 80.6 per cent of the respondents affirmed that the state was a competitive destination for IT and ITeS companies to set shop.

However, he warned that majority of the companies felt that IT and ITeS remained a 'public utility service' only on paper, with a resounding 74.19 per cent opining that the sector in the state could not operate on 24x7x365 model, as it was being frequently disrupted by strikes and bandhs.

6. Delhi

India's capital owes its recent economic growth to the emergence of Gurgaon as a significant outsourcing hub of northern India.

The outsourcing industry, which practically took birth in Gurgaon in 1997 with the setting up of GE Capital International Services, the business process outsourcing arm of GE Capital. In 2005, GECIS got an independent entity, Genpact.

Apart from Genpact, Gurgaon houses other important knowledge process outsourcing units and BPOs like Dell, Accenture, Hewitt Associates, etc.

Gurgaon's outsourcing boom has led to a spurt in jobs and wages not only in Gurgaon but in Delhi as well. A chunk of Delhi's population is employed in the BPOs and KPOs of Gurgaon.

7. Bhubaneswar

Once famed for its Sun Temple, the capital of Orissa is fast emerging as a major player in the outsourcing industry. The city accounts for almost all of the IT revenue of Orissa and is one of the fastest growing regions in India in this sector.

The city is home to more than 30 engineering colleges. Although Orissa has a planned investment of $90 billion for the IT sector, the road to success is fraught with hindrances. Land acquisitions for some of these projects have been opposed by the local people as well as by environmentalists.

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