IBM has made India a ‘major focus area’ for its smarter planet and cities business, an area that involves making cities and townships more cost-efficient, and is actively talking with several real estate developers, cities and State governments in this regard.

The U.S-based software services company has accordingly scaled up in terms of capability over the last two years, and recently established two ‘client experience labs’ in the country to drive new growth in the fields of data analytics, smarter cities and other specialised domains.

According to Shankar Kalyana, CTO, Global Business Services, IBM, the company has a number of orders in the pipeline, with India proving to be a viable economic model for this new business.

“We didn’t do our investment in India just for it to be a lab for the whole world. Smarter Planet is a central growth theme for IBM, and India is a huge focus area for us,” he said, in an interaction with The Hindu.

IBM, for instance, recently completed work on a greenfield community project with the Wave Group, where it installed smarter infrastructure.

“Typically, our clients do this as it is a big cost-driver for them. As the system inter-connects various departments, it is cost-efficient and saves a lot of time. We plan on starting some work with Chennai and Gurgaon next year as part of our smarter cities challenge,” Mr. Kalyana added.

The two new ‘client experience labs’, which were built in Bangalore and Delhi, serve as demonstration centres and places where consultants and researchers can come together to work on specific client problems.

“With some of our clients we are in talks, some of them are in pilot-mode and others of them are projects. IBM has a huge local business here that we have and serve,” he said.

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