"My constant source of grief about Bangalore is that the political leaders have always been unprepared for Bangalore’s success."
We are coming out of a period of economic uncertainty in the global context. My personal sense is that large corporations are, even as they remain cautious in the near-term, looking at significant growth and expansion if you take a 3-5 year view of time. This augurs well for the IT sector because we are integral to every other sector; be it financial services or manufacturing, media, retail or citizen services. Coming to the outlook on the industry, it will remain an attractive career choice for young engineers who are serious about learning and contributing; for those who are not looking at it as a short-term option or simply lured by the IT industry’s glamour. I am very worried that in the last decade, the government, regulators and private institutions have together trivialised engineering education. I also think, the Indian IT industry leaders have not done a good enough job in upping the engagement with them, or for that matter bracing the reality and forcing the issue because of their own short-term, narrow interests. Industry associations too are mired in the demand side and the regulator side issues; we have not shown enough appetite for fixing the supply side.
My constant source of grief about Bangalore is that the political leaders have always been unprepared for Bangalore’s success.
Politics is extremely important as a driver of change. Politics determines economics.
Given great political leadership, a city, state and nation can have transformative change.
Our politicians still don’t understand why Barack Obama talks about Bangalore. If they did, they would change things literally overnight; because, they can.
If the road adjoining the Chief Minister’s official residence is a tribute to ugliness, thanks to abominable movie posters, why worry about filth elsewhere?
Filth is a state of mind; all filth is the same. If the graffiti goes, the garbage will.
Ahead of the Global Investors Meet last year, Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath asked me to list what we need to make Bangalore world-class. I asked for only one thing: make Bangalore the safest city for women in India. If we just walk backwards from that one idea, if we make sure that we have all the things in place to make a young woman feel safe at midnight, then true, sustainable global investments will come. We don’t have to ask. Industries of the past did not have to worry about women. Industries of the future must. The idea of safety for women is not just about rape. It is about determined governance, citizen-centricity, infrastructure that works, respect for and not tolerance for diversity, education and participation at all levels. Above all, it calls for statesmanship and not self-centered politics. Politicians are capable of greatness. They need the will.
Next wave of IT
The next wave of IT growth is not about technology, it is about adoption. It is not about cloud, social media, mobility and big data. It is about what you want to do with them. Bangalore can be a hot bed for their deployment for significantly altering the idea of living. But first, someone must love Bangalore deeply.
(As told to Deepa Kurup)