Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bangalore: 2025

Indeed, it could well be India 2025. Got this link via Churumuri where a WEF team painted an optimistic and pessimistic scenario for Bangalore in 2025.

Heres what the Cassandras - doomsayers had this to say:

They described a gloomier scenario whereby by 2025, Bangalore would become the backwater of the global innovation markets. How come? Having placed all its development eggs in the IT basket, the city had become an IT services sweatshop that peddles its white-collar services to the highest Western bidder. There is no real innovation happening in Bangalore as high cost of housing combined with nightmarish traffic congestions had kept both prospective investors and PhD-armed scientists at bay. Starting in 2008, political leaders who formed the successive coalition governments spent more time jockeying for power than investing in vocational education and reforming universities to promote
industry-academy cooperation. The result? By 2020, Indian IT vendors like Infosys and multinationals like IBM and Cisco had relocated their headquarters and R&D operations to business-friendly Indian cities like Chennai and Hyderabad.

The optimists were, obviously, thinking great. Regardless, says Navi Radjou, the government will have to focus on

1) Human infrastructure will become more critical than physical infrastructure.
2) Competition from Chennai and Hyderabad will heat up
3) The software industry alone won't create enough employment.

Pertinent points. I think that the truth as usual will be in between.

Bangalore needs to continue to be a talent magnet. Public transport needs to be improved on a war footing. The Metro is 10 years late, but it is still possible for the Metro to make a difference.

The city needs to expand - and the logical directions are the Bangalore-Mysore corridor and if the government is really smart, a Mysore- Bangalore -Hosur- Salem-Sriperumbudur-Chennai corridor - this corridor will integrate the manufacturing, technology, small industries and hi-tech segments in one go.

The big thing here, is that most of the companies are private, so they will, get moving so as to ensure that they are not just a one trick pony. I already see the biggies try their hand out at different things so that they are still relevant in 2025. As for companies, Bangalore is not just IT. There is architecture, biotech, research, design, textile and a lot of other stuff happening here. It is easy to make this assumption that Bangalore is all IT. It is not. It seems so when you see it on Google maps, but that aint true.

I would love to see 3 (or more) IISc like institutions set up on the lines of ISB. This is where the IT biggies can come together and set up an institute that has no funding issues, attracts and grooms the best of talents for the city/country, call it what you will...

I am an optimist...

1 comment:

Kavi said...

yes. The truth lies inbetween. Hope it doesnt slip through the cracks