What's common between California, Bangalore and Koramangala? Technology. What else? These days it's fashionable to use the words "Silicon Valley". Only one amongst these three fit the bill - California. Why not Bangalore or for that matter Koramangala? Simply because, there can be only one Silicon Valley. It's not just about IT and Software; there's this matter of infrastructure and the promises of the quality of life. Which of these is the Promised Land?
We'll find out as we go along...
There are these "wannabes"...
Many Indian cities are obsessed with just one thing; that the tag "Silicon Valley of India" rightfully belongs to them. There's been so much song and dance about it that words like e-governance, bandwidth, convergence, etc. are being tossed around. What it means is another matter. Government department websites are popping up dime-a-dozen. Again, it's another matter if it takes enormous amount of time to download or that they are rarely updated. And if one does manage to download any one of the websites, "What's New" would probably explain the rest.
Somehow, the city of Bangalore has earned recognition as India's IT capital. Texas Instruments, the first company to set foot here way back in 1985 seemed to have pioneered the influx of IT companies into Bangalore and more and more followed. Be that as it may, has Bangalore earned its spurs to be touted as "India's Silicon Valley"? Or is it just another wannabe? For, there can be only one Silicon Valley, just like there can be only one Taj Mahal or the Statue of Liberty.
Quantum of Software exports, who's richer than whom, task forces, etc is all very fine. But there's more to earning brownie points. What about infrastructure? Electric power? Concern for the environment? Life? Entertainment? Crime? After all, what's the point in making tall claims when so often the city remains in darkness even in daytime?
Bangalore's IT strength emerges from the remarkable talent and dedication shown by those hundreds of entrepreneurs who strove hard to develop the industry. Governments came and went but none recognized their efforts. Instead, promises were galore.
So far as Bangalore is concerned, there's no sign of the "Promised Land". Yet.