You can easily observe India’s cultural diversity in Bangalore – the city is a melting pot of races and cultures. Located in the heart of southern India, Bangalore has a population of 8.4 million people, making it the third most populous city in India.
Bangalore is also known as the “Silicon Valley” of India thanks to the large number of software companies and the concentrated number of information technology (IT) professionals located within its territory. The state of Karnataka, of which Bangalore is the state capital, accounts for more than a third of India’s total software exports, most of which come from Bangalore-based firms. Bangalore’s booming high-tech sectors are supported by a well-educated and technically trained populace, particularly in the fields of engineering, management and various areas of science.
Bangalore, which ranked in the top 10 on India’s Liveability Index in 2012, is also called “The Garden City”, a moniker earned due to the large number of parks in the city, the city’s large horticultural industry and pleasant climate.
|GDP||USD 83 billion|
|FDI||USD 4,931 million|
|Principal religions||Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity|
|Principal languages||Kannad, English, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi|
Vast improvements to roadways have been achieved in the last few years, as the National Highways Development Project and Bangalore Development Authority have made significant headway in their ambitious projects.
The Hebbal Flyover, a 6-lane, 6-loop highway, eases traffic to Bengaluru International Airport, and relieves congestion on the National Highway 7. Another road of note is the 62 kilometer long Outer Ring Road that connects all major roads and highways in and around Bangalore, and replaces the decade old existing ring road.
Connections to major cities by rail can be accessed from 4 stations: Bangalore City, Bangalore Cantonment, Yeshwantpur and Bangalore East.
Bangalore’s Namma Metro launched its first phase in October 2011 and the second phase has been finalized. A thousand passengers can be carried on each train, significantly reducing traffic from bicycles, rickshaws and cars. Bus networks are extensive, with services provided by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation.
The city’s Bengaluru International Airport, which opened in 2008, is one of the first private invested airports in India, and replaced the former Bangalore International Airport. Private investors (including Germany’s Siemens Group) hold a majority stake, while the government holds a minority stake. This aiport is India’s first Greenfield airport.
There are ambitious plans for future development of the airport facilities, including an “Airport City” by 2020. The development will involve high density business development around the terminal area of the airport, with a focus on high technology firms in aviation and precision engineering; an IT and IT-enabled services SEZ; a business district for corporate headquarters and offices; and hotel, restaurant and shopping facilities.
The Bangaluru International Airport’s construction has led to a swift migration of commerce to the northern parts of Bangalore where real estate prices are rising steadily, large retail developments are breaking ground, and a significant amount of IT and industrial activity in and around the Manyata Embassy Business Park (an IT SEZ with investment from household names like Philips and IBM) is taking place .
Bangalore is home to a wide range of heavy and light industries, as well as high-tech and service industries including electronics, telecommunications, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food processing, automobiles, banking and finance, mining, steel, and cement production.
Given the city’s reputation as the country’s garment capital, textiles and local handicrafts are also prevalent in the city’s economy.
Bangalore is the leader in India’s biotechnology industry. It is host to leading biotechnology companies and start-ups, in addition to research and development (R&D) facilities such as the Indian Institute of Science, the National Center for Biological Sciences, the Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research and the University of Agricultural Sciences.
In order to nurture qualified, industry-ready graduates, the Karnataka state government has established 12 biotechnology finishing schools, which began accepting students in 2012. Bangalore is home to the majority of these institutions, with 6 schools falling within the city’s boundaries.
Government support for Karnataka’s biotech sector was further strengthened with the passing of the Millennium Biotech Policy II in 2009, which includes financial support for patent and production registration, fee waivers for converting agricultural land to industrial use and assistance with costs related to obtaining standardization certificates. In addition to this, the state prioritizes biotech companies in terms of the sanctioning and servicing of dedicated power supplies that are unaffected by power cuts.
Bangalore is a favored destination for IT and other knowledge-based industries. Named by the United Nations Development Program as the fourth best technology hub in the world, it is no wonder that Bangalore is a preferred IT outsourcing destination for Fortune 500 companies.
The Karnataka state government’s Information Communication and Technology Policy 2011 further bolstered Bangalore’s engagement in the IT sector and strengthened it’s reputation as a global IT R&D hub. A critical element of the policy is a proposal for a research hub in Bangalore supported by a prototype testing laboratory funded with private and public capital (the state’s contributions are capped at 50 percent).
The Bangalore-BIAL Information Technology Investment Region is also under development near the region’s Bangaluru International Airport, with investments amounting to over USD 20 billion. The region will include special economic zones, industrial parks, export oriented units, warehousing, and free-trade zones. It is expected to be fully completed by 2030, and to generate a projected total of 4 million employment opportunities over the next 10 years.
Garments and Textiles
As a major producer of cotton and silk, Bangalore has become the country’s center for textiles and garments and is commonly cited as the “Garment Capital” of the country. The Indian Government has actively promoted the sector by setting up apparel parks across the country, offering modern facilities and convenient infrastructure. Among these parks are the Doddaballapur Integrated Textile Park and Apparel Parks Phase II and III, located in Bangalore’s rural district.
The industry was further bolstered this year with the 2013-14 Union Budget’s repeal of an excise duty tax that was previously placed on ready-made and branded garments, inciting much positivity from industry leaders.
“We expect [the] Indian garment industry to grow by 12-15 percent per annum due to abolition of [the] 12 percent excise duty,” commented Rahul Mehta, the President of the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India.
The state of Karnataka is also set to release its new Textile Policy in 2014, which will seek to increase textile investment in the region by providing economic incentives to garment and textile producers.
International Tech Park
The International Tech Park in Bangalore is the best example of India’s IT success story. This SEZ, which is located 18 kilometers from the city centre of Bangalore, contributed greatly to India’s Silicon Valley, Whitefield. Its world-class business infrastructure provides the optimal environment for Fortune 500 corporations, MNCs and leading local corporations located at the park.