The IT Investment Region (ITIR) proposed to be developed in Hyderabad in two phases over a period of 25 years, will be creating an employment potential of 1.5 million, according to state information and communication technology (ICT) minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah.
The ITIR in Hyderabad, planned with an investment of Rs 2,300 crore, will have external infrastructure with over 50,000 acre of IT and ITeS area.
“In a down economy, corporations are looking forward to cutting down on the costs and that is where India, specifically Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad, is taking an advantage by offering arbitrage benefits,” he said at the e-India summit 2012 in Hyderabad on Thursday.
The state firmly believes that investing in IT is not a luxury but a need. IT is a differentiator, Lakshmaiah said, adding that corporations would and should continue to invest in IT regardless the economic position, failing which they would be deemed to fall behind in competition.
Andhra Pradesh, which is home to 1,206 IT companies employing about 300,000 IT professional directly, accounts for about 11% of the total employment in the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) and the special economic zones (SEZs) in the county. On the talent front, the state produces over 250,000 engineers annually, by far the largest in the country.
Stating that the office space in Hyderabad is expected to reach 20 million sft this year, an increase of 15% over last year, and representing about 12% of the country’s demand, Lakshmaiah said Hyderabad ranked third globally in terms of cost of operations after Qinding in China and Subaya in Malaysia.
“There is no secret why over 18 million sft has been leased by various IT companies that are operating in Hyderabad. In 2011-12, 6 million sft of built-up office space has been occupied, as against 5 million sft during the previous year. And, 70% of the space is from expansions,” he said.
Plans Media City
According to the minister, the state is in the process of developing a Media City to promote animation and gaming sectors in the state. Around 30 acre has already been allocated for the same at Raidurg on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
“The IT department officials have been directed to conduct a workshop with major animation and gaming players in the country to take their feedback and make sure that the park is in line with the Manchester and Dubai media cities,” he said.
On the National Optical Fibre Network for broadband connectivity to panchayats by 2013, Lakshmaiah said the project was estimated to cost more than Rs 2,000 crore for Andhra Pradesh alone. “The country’s first pilot has recently been completed at Paravada block in Visakhapatnam,” he added.