Speaking at an awards function organised by industry body Hysea, he said the State has opened IT towers in Karimnagar and are running to full capacity. There is already a demand for phase II.
“We are opening towers in Khammam, Nizamabad, and Mahabubnagar later this year. Our IT tower in Warangal is running to full capacity. Cyient has a modern facility there. Tech Mahindra is utilising Government incubation space and will soon expand to their own facility,” he said.
“Even though the work from home is in vogue now, we believe that campuses and workplaces are there to stay in the long-run,” he said while talking about the impact due to Covid.
“Too many things have happened this year and as we speak we do not know who the American President is. The Covid has affected all of us directly and indirectly. Government, individuals, institutions and everybody has been impacted. There are people who have lost their lives, there are people who have lost their livelihoods and there are many instances where the misfortune of millions of people has been highlighted. We all remember the millions of migrant labour walking on the national highways during this year. I can say this has been an emotional year. The State finances have gone dry. There was tremendous pressure on the healthcare systems in the State to tackle the situation,” he said.
In the midst of all this gloom and pandemic, one industry that is offering hope and the one industry that is doing very well is the IT sector, inspite of the fact that it has to switch gears and adapt to changes, the Minister said.
About Rs 100 crore donations have been raised by the IT industry bodies and that was used to procure the Covid testing equipment for the Government hospitals in Telangana. These machines will come to use for the poor people who visit the Government hospitals, he said adding that several companies also collaborated with the NGOs on the ground for distributing ration and cooked food.
The Software industry of Hyderabad had shown its resilience during the Covid time. There were no major layoffs due to Covid. The Government’s Layoff Redressal Committee counselled many companies and employees and ensured that their concerns were addressed during the Covid times, he said.
The State Government has created an SME Advisory committee to ensure that a good portion of the Government software work goes to the SMEs. “Several SMEs have been empaneled and they are supporting the Government with the software for the Ease Of Doing Business Application,” he said.
On State’s IT exports, he said they grew at 18% for the last financial year. This is more than double the national average of 8%. “This is an incredible story for us to tell the rest of the world that Hyderabad is the place to come and invest,” he said.
Real estate consultancy Knight Frank has used the acronym WFH – Work From Hyderabad to demonstrate that Hyderabad is clearly on the growth path. “We have moved from 6th place to 2nd place over the last 6 years in office space consumption. We are happy but not satisfied. We have set our targets at a much higher plane,” the Minister said.
“When we thought the Covid situation is coming to an end, we had the flooding. Hyderabad had seen its highest rainfall in about 120 years. We were not exactly prepared for such a situation. A lot needs to be done holistically, we are on the drawing table on that,” he said.
Several IT companies have come forward and donated for flood relief as well. Among others, Infosys has come forward and is taking up several works in Peerzadiguda, near its Pocharam campus.
The Government is also working with developers to ensure that the second-largest employer, the real estate industry, continues to thrive.
The Minister asked HYSEA to partner with the State’s innovation platform T Hub. A lot of companies are engaged with T Hub with the corporate innovation programme but there is a lot HYSEA can do here. It can also partner with TASK and create the necessary skill set required for the industry here.