Hyderabad

A.P. city can become next Bengaluru: Ashok Soota

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Hyderabad is set to have a head start over other cities in Andhra Pradesh, but there sometimes is an advantage in starting from the scratch, said Happiest Minds Technologies chairman Ashok Soota.

Information Technology industry leader Ashok Soota feels Andhra Pradesh with its emphasis on creating entrepreneurial eco-system is better placed to host the next Bengaluru.

Though Hyderabad is set to have a head start over other cities in AP, there sometimes is an advantage in starting from the scratch, he said in an interaction with The Hindu.

In Hyderabad for the national council meeting of industry body CII, of which he is a former president, Mr. Soota felt that the AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s track record, as creator of Cyberabad, is also bound to make a difference. “I would say they are more focused,” he replied on whether he saw next Bengaluru happening in Andhra Pradesh.

The executive chairman of Happiest Minds Technologies, who after moving away from the manufacturing sector is known for chiselling the growth of leading IT firms Wipro and Mindtree, however, feels competition between the two States is excellent. Telangana is probably doing a better job at attracting the big ticket manufacturing or infra investments. The State also has the crown jewel, Hyderabad, he said, pointing out it is cities which become the focal points of entrepreneurial activity.

On startups, especially their valuations, the septuagenarian entrepreneur explained that the “market is the best to decide... and supposing it is not right, the country is not losing the money. There is a lot of Venture Capital money coming.”

Noting that new industries were being created, he said that startups are “building up a generation of entrepreneurs. You could say the valuations are crazy, but that tends to happen in newer areas.

With regard to government support for the IT industry, in the backdrop of the Make in India campaign thrust on manufacturing, he said that the smart cities project can generate good demand. “Technologies like IoT will have a very important role to play in the smart cities project,” Mr.Soota said, adding that Mr. Naidu looks set to take a big jump on smart cities.

On Happiest Minds Technologies, he said the company is into its fourth full financial year and the proposed IPO was likely only after three years. The Bengaluru-based firm, a city where it recently added a 1,400-seater facility, will enter one more city in 13-14 months. It could be Pune or Hyderabad. At the moment the higher probability is Pune,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2019 3:10:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ap-city-can-become-next-bengaluru-ashok-soota/article7550353.ece

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