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the beautiful smart city: bengalore

About Bangalore: Bangalore or Bengaluru, popularly known as the Silicon Valley of India, is the capital city of the South Indian state of Karnataka. Situated on the Deccan Plateau, in the south-eastern part of the state, the city experiences a moderate climate. History of Bangalore From the 50s, this beautiful city of gardens, also known as the Garden City, with its temperate climate, lovely bungalows, tree-lined broad avenues and laid back ambience was a pensioner's paradise. Bengaluru derives its name from the Kannada words benda kalluru, which means the land of boiled beans. According to legend, Veera Ballara, the Hoysala king, once lost his way during a hunting expedition. Wandering around, he met an old lady who gave him boiled beans to eat. In order to show his gratitude, he named the place, Benda Kalluru. Some historians believe that the name was derived from the benga or ven kai tree. Bangalore, as we know it today, was formed by Kempe Gowda. Formerly, Bangalore was ruled by a number of rulers and dynasties, including the Vijayanagara Empire and Tipu Sultan. A number of temples and monuments, which were built in the earlier days, are still a part of the city�s landscape. Major towns and subdivisions were formed during various rules. The city was sold to the rulers in Mysore in the earlier days and was later in the hands of the British whose rule continued till Independence.

The persistent dynamism of Bangalore as the Outsourcing Capital of the World ever since the wave of globalization and liberalization came into India in the early 1990s is extraordinary to say the least. The city has come a long way from being the education hub in the south of India to being one of the strongest talent magnets in the country. Numerous papers and substantial research over the years has indicated the inherent strengths of the city which catapulted its development as the Silicon Valley of India. However, rarely has the enhanced pace of its evolution/growth been traced due to the steroid like impact provided by planned, and at times even unintentional factors, that made the phenomenon called Bangalored. This article attempts to understand not only the inherent strengths of the city but also the agents of change that transformed the unknown capital of the state of Karnataka into the Outsourcing Capital of the World.

Growth in Area and Population Bangalore, with its strategic location as well as congenial climate, fertile land and adequate rainfall grew steadily in its area and population. The cosmopolitan nature of the city and its population is clearly brought out from the pages in its history. In the pre-independence era, with the establishment of the cantonment, the prospects of trade, employment and other means of livelihood increased and people started setting on the fringes of the cantonment area and various localities started springing up in 1800s. Bangalore developed not only as a headquarters of administration and an educational centre of Karnataka but also had a tremendous growth as an industrial center. Within a decade and a half after the re-organization of states in 1956, Bangalore became the seventh largest city in the country by 1971, its population exceeding 1.6 million. Its population growth in the decade between 1971 and 1981 has been beyond any expectation and reached nearly 3 million marks raising its place to fifth among Indian cities.

About a decade before the turn of the last century, the old towns of Bangalore began to expand rapidly. As the city expanded and it absorbed the smaller townships and cities surrounding it, the rapid growth attracted the attention of the government and efforts were set afoot for a systematic development of Bangalore. Hence, the city was brought under a single Greater Bangalore Municipal Corporation (BBMP1 ). 2 It also must be noted that the Bangalore jumped from its 34th place in 2000, to the 29th spot in the future cities in 2015 (based on population growth)3 . An ambitious but realistic Master Plan 2015 is already underway from Bangalore Development Authority based on the current population growth rate of 3.25% annually.

Early arrival of Technology in Bangalore: Bangalore saw the most spectacular growth with the establishment of government driven Public Sector Units (PSUs) like the Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT), Indian Telephone Industries (ITI), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) and National Government Electric Factory (NGEF). Also research and education establishments like the Indian Institute of Science (IIS), Indian Institute of Management (IIM-B), National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Space Commission and Department of Space (DOS) acted like catalysts to the technology environment of the city. Overall these changes made the city acclimatize to the science, electrical and information technology industries earlier than most other mega cities in India. This gave rise to the exponential growth of the internet based businesses in the city over the next decade resulting in the dotcom boom. Due to the large number of professionals that the science and technology industry employed, the city became one of the hot spots for attracting technical talent from all around the country in the early 1990s. The new millennium saw Bangalore moving ahead of the dotcom bubble burst and the Y2K bug, and being in the process of incubation to take on the outsourcing industry for a better part of its last fifty year history. With the talent availability and expertise already developed the world took notice of the immense untapped potential. Bangalore was in a stage where it could offer fantastic cost arbitrage for the type of expertise already available.


 Becoming the Outsourcing Capital of the World: The Government of Karnataka took the initiative to develop the electronics industry of the city, not realizing how this effort would take shape in the future. With about 335 acres of land � 18 km south of Bangalore, the Government undertook the most important project to create the blueprint of a new industrial park called Electronics City. As of date, Electronic City is home to over 120 IT/BPO companies and contributes a significant amount to the outsourcing revenue from the city. During the 1980s, led by Wipro and Infosys, a number of private enterprises specializing in computer systems and software production began to emerge in Bangalore. India had already been the location of choice for international corporations to recruit great technical talent. What these new firms helped catalyze was the paradigm shift of India being a location to for business operations and not just �body-shopping�. This earned a transnational reputation for high quality services at low cost for India in general and Bangalore in specific.

Outsourcing Destination: What followed after initial incubation phase for Bangalore was extraordinary to say the least, the city erupted with ITO/BPO companies in the mid-1990s up to mid-2000s with more than 5 MNCs establishing in the city on an average every month. The events in the late 1980s was already paving the way for offshoring of services, US and Europe for example was facing a shortage of software professionals and the talent supply was unable to support the rapid expansion by the large firms. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, entire batches of students from the top technical institutes in India used to migrate to the Americas or Europe. This created a large presence of Indian professionals in these firms and the Indian Diaspora promoted the belief in Indian talent and India amongst the decision makers. These factors prompted the first few to take a trip to Bangalore; they were not only surprised with the technology know-how of the professionals in the city but also with the excellent climate that the city offered throughout the year. The early entrants like Texas Instruments (1985), Motorola (1987), HP (1989), Nortel (1991), Sun Microsystems (1995), Cisco (1995), Philips (1996), IBM (1997), and Intel (1998) were conservative to start with. However, once the value proposition was proved with success stories from these early captive setups, the ones who followed like GE (2000), Google (2004), Yahoo (2005), Microsoft (2005) among others became very strong cases promoting outsourcing and Bangalore. Let us briefly look at the value some of these early establishments were able to get from the city and the impact they had on Bangalore rising.



People & Culture of Bangalore: Bangalore has always seen a very diverse population, especially since modern times. It is a multi-cultural city permeating class, religion and language. Even though it is a cosmopolitan city, Bangalore holds on to its traditional features. Major festivals like Dasara, Deepavali, Ugadi, Sankranthi and Ganesh Chaturthi are celebrated with great pomp and fervour. There are a lot of festivals & events hosted in Bangalore like Karaga, Kadalekaye Parishe, Bangalore Habba, Lalbagh Flower Show and more. Bangalore is also a centre of renowned colleges, academic institutions, important central government establishments, scientific and research institutes and organisations. Bangalore has a very strong art and culture scene. It is home to various theatre groups; theatre platforms like Rangashankara and Jagriti and numerous art galleries that showcase established and emerging artists. Although Bangalore is a city rooted in tradition, it has a modern side to it. The city�s nightlife best reflects that. Various restaurants, lounge bars and pubs have been mushrooming across the city. Also, as it is a major IT hub, the city also has a huge population of expats.


Things to do in Bangalore: The city also comprises a number of attractions, among which are the two botanical gardens, Lal Bagh (Glass House) and Cubbon Park. Other attractions include Tipu Sultan�s Palace, Bangalore Palace, Nandi Hills, Bannerghatta National Park and Mayo Hall. Vidhana Soudha, Visvesvaraya Museum, HAL Aerospace Museum, Bull Temple and ISKCON Temple draw a large number of tourists. The city is also home to one of the country�s biggest malls - Mantri Mall in Malleswaram.


Travelling to Bangalore Travellers can reach Bangalore from any destination in India by air, rail and road. The Bangalore International Airport is connected with almost all major cities of the country and the world.

The city has three major railway stations � Bangalore City Junction, Bangalore Cantonment and Yeshwanthpur Junction. The city is also well connected by buses run by the KSRTC and other private operators to regions within the state as well as neighbouring states. Travelling within Bangalore The best way to explore Bangalore is by public transport. For a more organised tour, tourists can sign up for Bangalore holiday packages. The city has many Volvo buses too that ferry passengers to different areas within the city. Tourists can go on a �Bangalore Darshan� organised by the State Tourism Department where they will be shown all the major attractions of the city. Local tour operators too organise such tours. Another option to travel within the city is by auto rickshaw or by hiring a taxi. The city also has the new Metro which connects M.G. Road to Byappanahalli, which itself has become a tourist hotspot.

Accommodation options in Bangalore There are numerous hotels in Bangalore. Areas like MG Road, Old Airport Road or Ulsoor have luxury hotels and suites. For more budget options, tourists can opt to stay in hotels near residential areas like Whitefield, Jayanagar or even near the Bangalore Railway Station. Another alternative is to book a number of service apartments located in localities like Indiranagar, Kormangala and Residency Road among other areas.