Tech cities reinforce India as a relocation hub

India’s launch of several new tech partnerships has made it crystal clear the country is open for business.

India gate – Mumbai
In April the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook projected India’s growth at an annual rate of 7.4 per cent for 2018/19 and 7.8 per cent in 2019/20.India’s industrial strategy has been at full throttle over the last four years under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with ambitious plans for driving technology, infrastructure, financial centres, the automotive sector and healthcare. Lloyds Bank Group, KPMG and US multinational GE have all recently invested in digital tech hubs in Bangalore. Last year, Standard Chartered Bank and RBS announced recruitment plans in Mumbai, while automotive company ZF Group opened its first technology centre in Hyderabad. There are many more examples, with corporations increasingly viewing India as an essential part of their business growth strategy rather than a place to simply outsource services.So, what’s luring companies east? A series of government initiatives, economic reforms that are encouraging foreign investment and a wealth of tech talent driven by its young population. According to a United Nations Development Programme report, India will have the world’s largest working age population, crossing 1 billion people by 2050. Combined with the country’s mission to to get a 100 million more Indians online, it is earnestly harvesting digital talent and growing tech businesses in order to create what it terms ‘smart cities’.
Related articles from the Relocate website:For related news and features, visit our India country section.

Smarter cities 

Burgeoning tech cities include Hyderabad, Pune and Gurgaon. Once a farming area, Gurgaon sits just south of New Delhi and is now a hub for Google, Facebook, Uber, Booking.com and TripAdvisor.
Find out more about relocating to India with our partners, IKAN Relocation
Supported by a booming real estate market, Gurgaon has become favoured by tech companies due to easy airport access and good quality office space. Between 2001 and 2011 alone, Gurgaon's population grew from 870,539 to more than 1.5 million according to census data. At the end of January, Western Union opened its first Technology Engineering Centre in Pune as part of its global fintech strategy, employing 1,000 people. The centre will specifically focus on robotics, machine learning and biometrics. While Bangalore has traditionally enjoyed a tech reputation much like Silicon Valley, the government has been intent on creating further ‘smart cities’ to compete with it. Earlier this year, plans to further develop the low-tax GIFT City were announced – the first operational smart city and financial centre in the state of Gujarat which now houses two stock exchanges. 
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Tech talent 

Last month, the UK and India entered a tech partnership. The agreement aims to identify organisations in the two countries that can work together and open up opportunities for tech entrepreneurs. The UK will initially invest £1 million to pilot the initiative and could potentially add up to £13 million by 2022. Meanwhile the UK intends to tap into India’s world class digital skills.The UK hopes to boost innovation and productivity through collaboration on emerging technologies, mentoring and staff exchanges. The countries’ technology trade associations, TechUK and NASSCOM, will work together through a Tech Alliance to develop policies and create new jobs.Initially, the pilot will connect the UK with Pune in Maharashtra, focusing on the future of mobility, including low emission and autonomous vehicles, battery storage and vehicle light-weighting. Additional projects will be linked to Bangalore with a focus on augmented and virtual reality, advanced materials and AI.The Department for International Trade will also recruit a UK cyber security industry expert to be based in New Delhi, to share British expertise and connect Indian private and public sector organisations with cutting-edge UK companies who can supply their specific requirements.Also in April, India entered another significant tech partnership with New South Wales inking a AUD1.6 million deal to grow talent and share knowledge.

Gateway to India

In an effort to ease travel access, the Indian government has launched a web-based platform – e-FRRO services, for all visa-related services including registration and visa extension of foreign nationals residing in India according to an IKAN Relocation report.For relocating employees, India has steadily become a more desirable location for career progression. In February, the latest HSBC Expat Explorer survey conducted with 27,587 expats from 159 countries revealed expats living in Mumbai were the highest paid expats, earning an average annual income of $217,165, compared to a global average of $99,903. Second on the list was San Francisco ($207,227), followed by Zurich ($206,875) in third place.The survey notes that 44 per cent of expats working in India were sent by their employer versus a global average of 13per cent, allowing employees to benefit from a company relocation package of Western standards in terms of revenue.Mumbai, home to Tata Consultancy Services – India’s largest tech company, was one of four Asian cities to feature in this year’s highest paying cities for expats.
The relocation trade association EuRA is holding a Summit in Goa in November. Find out more here.
For related news and features, visit our Technology section. Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory