India’s IT hub readies for the digital future
By Shilpa Kannan
BBC News, Bangalore
The poster child of India’s globalisation, Bangalore is where the country’s IT industry began its dramatic success story.
Once known for its lush farmlands, it’s now home to some of the best international and domestic technology companies which are creating millions of jobs for young Indian engineers from all across the country.
Like 24-year-old Zubair Aslam from Uttar Pradesh in northern India. He moved to Bangalore for a job as a software engineer. He says he is living his dream.
“I’m earning as much as my father – he has worked for 31 years as a government servant,” he says.
“Whatever he is earning now – that was my starting salary. I started at that level. So it feels good.”
It all began in the 70s when the state government had demarcated a large piece of land outside Bangalore for an electronic city. But this was pre-liberalisation days; taxes were very high and everything was controlled through licensing.
Imports were restricted and there were significant limits on currency conversions. A domestic technology start-up, Infosys was established in 1981 – the same year IBM introduced the personal computer.