Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Divided We Stand!

Bangalore's infrastructure woes are no secret. I have come across many articles around the net, media and also personal discussions which have literally written-off Bangalore. Relatives and friends from other cities, during discussions, come up with terms like "Bangalore is gone"! Lets give them the benefit of doubt that they don't know Bangalore. But what do we tell to people who live and work in Bangalore, but don't have a good thing or two to say about Bangalore? I am not trying to dissuade or discourage peoples freedom to express themselves, but then, just negative opinions and that too all the time? Totally uncalled for and quite unbecoming of "Bangaloreans". To be clear, I am not generalizing any group of people, just talking of "some" people I know. So, here we are, two sets of "Bangaloreans" and yet we stand divided more by our attitude to Bangalore and not necessarily our expectations from Bangalore. This attitude of some among us is disturbing at best, but what really irritates is the attitude of professionals in the other cities competing for the throne of IT capital. Do we have to show Bangalore down in order to show another city in better light? If IT were to collapse in Bangalore, it won't be because of infrastructure and would be because of something which will effect outsourcing in general, other cities included! angry

Lets look at the bright side for a change, shall we? Anybody in Bangalore can vouch for the infrastructure improving consistently over the last 6 months. The roads are getting better, the long pending flyovers and underpasses are getting completed, The Arkavathy project is gaining momentum, the BMIC (Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor) is fighting its way to completion, the international airport is all but ready, the metro rail project is approved and work has started. This all should count for something, Or have we all becomes cry babies always asking for more no matter how much we already have?

There is no two ways about the fact that when we talk Bangalore, we talk IT. So, writing off Bangalore is writing off IT in Bangalore. But from what I can gather, Bangalore is still rocking and fingers crossed will continue to. Now, what did I gather? I have been trying to recruit people into my company(a startup) for the better part of 2 years now. We have had a tough time of it and continues to be tough. Without going into the challenges posed by a startup, the job market in Bangalore is just too hot! This is the primary reason. The salaries are very high and talent is not less either. We still managed to get enough people to first reach critical mass and then actually grow. I compare this with the experience of a friends friend who have been trying to get some folks join his startup in Hyderabad for the last 6 months and is still unsuccessful. The talent pool here is high and that is not eroding anytime soon. I know many friends of mine who are from Chennai or Hyderabad who are working for companies here, but are in no hurry to relocate back. Its not that they don't plan to, its they don't want to, Why? I can guess the reasons, but I don't want to be that condescending. cool

A couple fo weeks back, I read an article about the Mumbai blasts and why its important for Mumbai to bounce back. In the same article they mentioned that Bangalore is next most important (not next most likely!) city when it comes to a terrorist attack. This, in very simple and undeniable terms underlines the importance of Bangalore which has grown to represent the modern India, the India that is keeping pace with the rest of the world in terms of information and technology. It cannot rest on its laurels, but please give credit where its due!

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