WFH may be in, but IT campuses to stay

KTR lists measures to disperse growth of the IT industry to northern and eastern parts of the city

IT and Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao on Thursday said that work from home (WFH) may be in vogue now in the information technology industry, but campuses and workplaces are here to stay in the long run.

Addressing the 28th annual summit of Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA), the Minister listed measures the government was taking to disperse growth of the IT industry to the northern and eastern parts of the city.

Commending resilience displayed by the IT industry amid pandemic, substantial donations it raised for COVID-relief and measures the government initiated to address challenges, including constitution of an SME advisory committee, to ensure a good portion of the government software work goes to the IT SMEs and setting up of Layoff Redressal Committee, Mr. Rao said, “We are also empathetic to the cause of the IT developers.”

Given that real estate industry is the second largest employer, “We are working to address their challenges. Even though work from home is in vogue now, we believe that campuses and workplaces are there to stay in the long run,” he said.

Underscoring need to reduce pressure building up on infrastructure in western Hyderabad, a preferred location of IT industry, he urged the industry to consider other locations such as Uppal, Pocharam, and Kompally. The Minister said that a new cluster in Kollur, in the north west, and a new tower in Kompally for the SMEs is to be opened.

A policy in place to encourage IT firms setting up facilities in the GRID (Growth in Dispersion) regions or the eastern and northern parts of Hyderabad offered a slew of benefits, including 30% rental rebate for the SMEs. A company that brings in more than 500 employees to the GRID regions will get a customised incentive package, he pointed out.

The annual summit titled HYSEA Innovation Summit 2020 with ‘Surge Ahead: Win the New Normal’ as its theme featured a conference, addressed by industry leaders, a product expo and presentation of annual industry awards.

Delivering the opening keynote, Infosys COO U.B. Pravin Rao said that the pandemic has been one of the biggest business challenges ever posed, but it also acted as a catalyst for changes both technological and societal. Some of the business models adopted during the pandemic were unlikely to be reversed. Building resilience is critical for enterprise, he said, adding that future work will be hybrid model where people will have ability to work from anywhere.

“From a workplace perspective, gone are the days of large campuses and thousands of people commuting. We will probably see smaller hubs,” he said.

The HYSEA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to former IAS officer J. Satyanarayana, who is presently advisor to the World Economic Forum, for his contribution to the IT industry. Cyberabad Commissioner of Police V.C. Sajjanar was felicitated for his services to the IT industry as a COVID nodal officer.

A white paper, brought out by HYSEA in collaboration with KPMG and CBRE, on “Post-COVID imperatives for Hyderabad IT/ITeS industry” was released by the Minister. The Hindu was the media partner for the event.

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