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Silicon Valley vs Silicon Valley
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Enter, Texas Instruments...

InfosysA time came when the focus on industry suddenly shifted. The Information Technology revolution had begun. Texas Instruments were the first multi-national corporation to set-up their development center in Bangalore way back in 1985. They set the trend for others to follow. Infosys, Microland and Wipro made their entry and within the next few years, hundreds of Software and IT companies decided that Bangalore was the place to be. The climate was perfect, the government was receptive, the city had a cosmopolitan leaning and in general, quality of life was pretty good. "You live in Bangalore? What a lovely city" was how people from other parts of the country reacted, as though, to live in Bangalore was to live in some sort of paradise. It certainly was.

ITPLFor some strange reason, Koramangala gradually emerged as the hub of Bangalore's IT revolution.

There was a time when living in this rookie-suburb meant one was afflicted with a state of exceptional madness. "You live in that godforsaken place, so far away?" Indeed, because Koramangala was nothing but a vast piece of wilderness. No streetlights, no proper roads, no nothing. Till some adventurous souls decided that this could still be home. As people moved in, Koramangala developed and if Microland and Infosys setup shop there, it was more because of land prices available for a song. Undeniably, the greenest and quietest part of Bangalore - perfect setting for creative minds to bloom.

The IT Boom...
WiproTo land a job in Microland was like hitting the target "bulls eye". Microland became Koramangala's finest landmark and still is today. But soon, companies like Infosys and Wipro began to grow and grow fast. As they spread their tentacles - with some even setting up development centers in other parts of the State - the global focus shifted to Bangalore. It was booming. Software export figures moved upwards and the trend was most certainly positive. The international media went ga-ga. The local media termed Bangalore as "India's Silicon Valley". Political bigwigs of the State made familiar noises ensuring their names cropped up wherever possible as the true messiahs of this transformation. Basking in a sunshine they weren't responsible for.

So far as the general public was concerned, Information Technology was just like any other industry. An assembly line churning out a product called "Software" obviously having something to do with computers. Exactly what, most didn't know. But they did employ Software Engineers, didn't they? So possibly, these must be factories with lots of machines; hence the "Engineers". And lots of people from all parts of the country were around. Searching for houses to live in, paying guest accommodation, seeking out restaurants and eating places and so on. The geek's arrival hadn't dawned yet.

News media stories began doing the rounds. Trumpeting the demand for Indian talent by IT corporations in the US. Reports appeared on the high wage earnings of these youngsters. "You know, they earn thrice the amount what an average Indian earned". Talk like that. Indian IT companies bagging multi-million dollar contracts hit the headlines. Someone said, "after all, we invented the zero". US-based Indians became billionaires overnight. The companies they founded, the products they developed were either acquired or merged with large companies. The end of the century was fast approaching and there was this Y2K thing to be resolved. Even AIDS was forced a back seat for sometime. Venture Capitalists floated in and out of the country snooping around garages or wherever start-ups could be found.

Hear ye all, the Internet was here...

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