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Last Updated : Jul 21, 2015 10:29 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

'Bangalore is 2nd-largest IT cluster after Silicon Valley'

Srivatsa Krishna, secretary - IT, Biotech, e-governance Karnataka government, says: "Hyderabad took eight years to fructify MoU with Google." Moreover, he adds that Bangalore now is also the start-up capital of India for sure.

Bangalore is the second-largest IT cluster in the world after Silicon Valley, says Srivatsa Krishna, secretary - IT, Biotech, e-governance Karnataka government, implying that the comparison with Hyderabad is unwarranted.

In a bid to justify his point further, he says: "Hyderabad took eight years to fructify MoU with Google." Moreover, he adds that Bangalore now is also the start-up capital of India for sure.

Below is the verbatim transcript of Srivatsa Krishna's interview with CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan


Q: Google, Amazon and Uber, Hyderabad says we are now India's IT capital, what do you have to say?

A: This year we have done almost 36-38 percent of India's software exports from one state - Karnataka, and most of it is from Bangalore. Competition - add the next two together, they don't reach up to even half of us. So, facts speak differently. The Google story is an MoU which I am told was signed 6-8 years ago and got fructified now. So, if it takes you eight years to fructify then they have something to worry about.

Secondly, the recent study done says today Bangalore is the second-largest IT cluster on the planet after Silicon Valley and by 2020 with 2 million direct IT jobs, 6 million indirect jobs and Rs 4 lakh crore exports at 40 percent of India's exports, we will be the single-largest IT cluster on the planet.

Uber was in conversation with us, Amazon already has a fulfilment centre here, they also have a fulfilment centre there. Fact of the matter is everyone first comes to Bangalore and then goes elsewhere. Google is already here.

Q: So, what are you going to do now to try and prevent people from looking at other states because every state government is rolling out the red carpet to investors at this point in time, it is good but in this sort of competitive federal structure what are you going to do and we have seen several iterations as far as your IT policy is concerned. What more can we expect to keep investors here and to bring new investments in?

A: Firstly the i4 policy which was launched about a year and half back has just attracted what is considered to be the single-largest tech Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) ever in the country. Exxon Mobil which has announced its IT services centre, business support centre in Bangalore, it is their first business support centre in India and we are also talking about an R&D hub and a technology hub which should bring in even more investment. We are also in dialogue with a top Fortune company which I can't tell you the name, a fortune top two or three company which will bring in USD 1 billion of investment and we are hopeful of closing it come fall.

This apart, let me answer the other part of the question on start-ups. We are today the unquestioned start-up capital of the country. Three fourths of India's start ups get incubated here and we have begun, we have pioneered what is called the start-up warehouse in partnership with National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) and the states you speak about all of them have cut-paste copied it into their states. We have now gone ahead and have done the next gen start-up warehouse 50,000 square feet India's first internet of things lab, first mobile design lab and for the first time we are doing India's first mobile apps incubator with Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and it will be in partnership with Google and others.

Q: Let me now shift to e-governance. The government has just launched this massive Digital India initiative. As far as the state government is concerned you have already been significantly ahead of what other states are doing as far as e-governance is concerned. What kind of contracts are we likely to see you give out? What can we expect more on the e-governance platform front?

A: Tow things - we launched Karnataka Mobile One. The President of India came down to Bangalore on December 8 and lunched it. First time ever that Apple has approved an app from any government in India on the iStore and it is on the Google Play store, it has got a 4 on 5 rating. We are doing about a lakh hits and downloads per day with no advertising. So, now it is a platform, it is not a government system. It is a platform where we encourage young start-ups to come and try out their ideas. We have a lot of new start-ups companies offering services and it is the only platform where you can do something unique.

For instance if you want to pay your income tax you can do it only on Mobile One in the country. Remember it is a federal service, the income tax is something you pay to the government of India but it is a state government called Karnataka which enabled it and made it happen.

Secondly, e-procurement where we are the unquestioned leaders. We do about USD 12-15 billion worth of transactions every year on the e-procurement platform which is considered to be by far the best in the country. Ministry of commerce of government of India called us recently and has declared it as the best practise, various states have come to us for adapting it. We are the only one again with end to end contract management and catalogue management. There are some other areas where we are not the leaders and we are trying to get there and get our act together there as well.

You mentioned about state governments coming up with incentives, can they replicate Bangalore's deep talent ecosystem? Can they replicate Bangalore's eco-system for start-ups and the conducive environment, can they replicate the weather and can they replicate a proactive government led by our chief minister who welcomes industry.

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First Published on Jul 21, 2015 10:02 pm
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