Telangana, which started with the base IT exports of Rs 57,258 crore in 2013-14, has witnessed a quantum jump in the last five years with the numbers almost creating double exports to Rs 1,09,219 crore in 2018-19. The State has become the frontrunner in the sector, registering growth well above the national average. The State registered a growth of 17 percent in 2018-19 over Rs 93,442 crore of exports recorded in 2017-18. Telangana also witnessed growth in IT employment to 5,43,033 jobs during 2018-19 from 4,75,308 jobs recorded during 2017-18, indicating a growth of 14.2 percent.
The Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) has projected all India exports growth at 8-10 per cent for the year 2018-19. Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, IT & Commerce, Government of Telangana, told Telangana Today, “The State has started with the base exports of Rs 57,258 crore in 2013-14, and the goal we had set at that time to double this in five years, has been accomplished. Several factors have contributed to this growth and the State will continue to see this momentum in future as well.”
When asked what specific factors have yielded this robust growth, he explained, “One of the prime reasons is that the existing companies have expanded their operations aggressively. For instance, those companies which had just 400 people have taken their headcount to almost 1,000 in the last year. The State also is creating attracted many new companies.” He further adds, “The existing companies have realized that the value proposition that Hyderabad offers to them is very strong. Quality infrastructure, low cost of operations, talent availability and the sentiment of employees working elsewhere willing to relocate to Hyderabad being high, have worked in favor of Hyderabad. The two key institutions, Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK) and T-Hub had been accessible to corporates all the time whenever organizations were required to go for hiring or corporate skilling & training programmes.”
The State’s IT policy has enabled to attract not only general IT companies but also very niche organisations operating in artificial intelligence, internet of things, blockchain and data centres. Having dedicated sub-sector IT policies in Telangana is seen as a big plus for the industry to set up their operations here. The confidence levels of the industry had been high because of such industry-friendly frameworks and supportive ecosystem.
“Hyderabad is often compared to Bengaluru in the IT sector. Bengaluru is struggling because of many reasons such as inadequate infrastructure, high cost of real estate and operations, unreliable talent availability and high attrition rate. Earlier, organisations were looking at Hyderabad, Chennai and Gurugram as alternatives for Bengaluru. But now, having seen the advantages of operating in Hyderabad, the city has become an obvious and preferred choice and there is no comparison to Hyderabad anymore,” he observes. New projects such as the upcoming IT Park in Rajendranagar and Image Towers for animation and gaming are also boosting growth for the city. The government is also creating an electronic cluster on the city’s outskirts.
Role of startups
Also, startups that are choosing Hyderabad are receiving ample support from the State government to scale up their businesses. They are also playing an important role in adding to IT exports and employment. These startups are working with large enterprises in product and solutions development and delivery. Startups will remain an integral part of Telangana’s IT success, he added.