Is Pune Really The 2nd Best Emerging Tech Hub In The World?
In a recent analysis of the most promising and emerging tech hubs all over the world, TransferWise listed Pune as the 2nd placed city among 8 of them, that included, Hong Kong, Nicosia (Cyprus), Dublin, Raleigh, Tel Aviv, Malmo (Sweden) among others.
Does this mean that Pune is the next Silicon Valley of India?
Pune is a vibrant city located just 75 kms away from India’s economic capital: Mumbai. Great climate, lively nightlife and strong infrastructure makes it as one of the favorite destination for start-ups and technologists.
The long road jams of Bangalore and its crumbling infrastructure is already challenging it’s position as the Silicon Valley of India. And Pune is fast emerging as the favorite destination for startups and technological fraternity.
Last year, in a survey by Zinnov, which is an IT advisory firm, it revealed that 12 percent of Pune based product teams are doing better product development work compared to Bangalore’s 8 percent!
Zinnov had conducted a Maturity Benchmarking Study that surveyed 220 product teams across 30 MNC R&D firms in the country, and these facts were revealed in this study.
More and more companies are now looking forward to Pune for establishing their R&D centers and Product Development hubs as the city provides them far better resources and an environment which encourages innovation.
So, what are the reasons that makes Pune a strong contender for the next Tech hub of India? Amit Paranjape, co-founder from PuneTech.com shared his views on some of the strong points that Pune has; (Note: This article was written in 2009, but most of aspects remain the same)
- Good quality of life (Compared to other Indian Metros).
- Temperate Weather.
- Technology Entrepreneurship Culture.
- Fledgling Startup Ecosystem.
- Education Hub:
- Many Good Colleges
- Leading Research Institutes
- Magnet for people from all over India/World:
- Pune has the highest number of foreign students (amongst Indian cities)
- Large number of foreign expats, and visiting researchers
- Recently, Pune has also benefited from the ‘Reverse Brain Drain’: Many highly qualified professionals and successful entrepreneurs (of Indian origin) from the US/Silicon Valley have moved back to Pune.
- Proximity to a Financial Capital (Mumbai).
- Large IT talent pool (Thanks to the many IT Outsourcing Companies).
- Leading ‘Green’ Technology Hub in India. (Headquarters of companies like Praj and Suzlon).
- Hub of Hi-tech manufacturing (Note: San Francisco Bay Area has quite a few high-end manufacturing companies as well).
Additionally, Pune has quite a number of startup communities and groups which encourage and promote entrepreneurship and provide help & assistance for everyone. Some of them are: The Pune Open Coffee Club; TiE Pune; Pune Connect; Pune Tech and several more.
One of the strongest reasons for the emergence of Pune as an IT and Startup hub is the presence of some of the largest automobile manufacturers and their hi-tech technological innovation and experiments which have inspired the whole eco-system.
While India’s largest vehicle manufacturer Tata has a formidable presence in the city, there are other biggies such as Bajaj Auto, Mercedes Benz, Piaggio, Skoda, General Motors, Volkswagen and Fiat which have established their base in Pune, and positively contributing to it’s overall status as the next tech hub of India.
We should not forget that Pune was India’s first Wi-Fi City, as the Project Unwiring was launched way back in 2006, when New Delhi was still thinking about the Internet and Mobile. Though over the years, this project has not gone anywhere, and the so called Wi-Fi city is now no where to be seen.
While Pune surely has many things going for itself, it still has a long way to go before it can be called a leading tech hub. “Emerging” is probably the right word!