After taking away some of the big investments in manufacturing, especially automobile and textiles, from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh is now going aggressive in the information technology(IT) sector, with plans to make the state a hub for financial technology and cyber security industries. Some of the Fintech companies from Chennai and Bengaluru are expected to set up their facility in Vishakhapatnam, said senior officials from the state government.
Back in 2016, the state government set up a sustainable global Fintech ecosystem- the Fintech Valley Vizag- in association with its knowledge partner. The project was slated to bring the industry, academia and investors together to innovate, co-create & build the Fintech ecosystem.
"We are not comparing ourselves with any other city in the country. We want to create deep expertise in Fintech and allied segments, and become a global hub," said J A Chowdary, special chief secretary and IT Advisor to the state's chief minister- N Chandrababu Naidu.
The government would also launch the BFSI Use Case Repository Programme to support the firms interested to set up businesses in the state. The repository has collated data using more than 100 user cases and identified several problem areas within the industry. This data has been compiled in collaboration with several leading banks, insurance companies, NBFCs and capital markets companies.
The repository is aimed at providing the Fintech companies with the desired market access and growth opportunities via corporate connect. Besides, a Fintech Valley Accelerator Programme is also underway to support start ups.
It is also creating expertise in blockchain technology with plans to conduct business conference on blockchains, besides offering an innovation challenge in areas of supply chain finance, business processes and international remittances related to the technology.
While the government is also offering various incentives to the companies for setting up facilities, it is focusing more on making adequate skilled manpower available for deployment in the sector and has tied up with institutions to bring in courses related to Fintech and blockchain, said Chowdary. He added that the state is creating a model where it can stay on the top of the technology even if the technologies get disrupted often.
Instead of a single IT policy, the government is looking at specialised policies for various segments, such as a designated technology policy for plug and play technology players, and global in-house centres (GIC) policy, to attract the in-house IT innovation centres of global majors. The government is considering a could technology policy to support all the cloud-related activities.
The state government is attracting companies from Silicon Valley, in a model in which they can run at least 20 per cent of their operations in the state. Various Fintech and cyber security start ups from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have evinced their interest in setting up operations in Andhra Pradesh, following positive policy initiatives undertaken by the state government.