Silicon Valley of India
The Silicon Valley of India is a nickname of the Indian city of Bangalore. As Bangalore is on the Mysore Plateau, the area is also sometimes referred to as "Silicon Plateau". The name signifies Bangalore's status as a hub for information technology (IT) companies in India and is a comparative reference to the original Silicon Valley, based around Santa Clara Valley, California, a major hub for IT companies in the United States. One of the earliest mentions of this sobriquet occurred in late 2000 by Western media. The more prevalent application of the nickname Bangalore began in the 1990s based on a concentration of firms specialising in Research and Development (R&D), electronics and software production.
The Electronics City was the brainchild of R. K. Baliga. He was the first Chairman and Managing Director of Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation (in 1976 the government agency was created to expand the electronics industry in the state of Karnataka). Baliga proposed the concept of developing the electronic city in the 1970s. The agency purchased 335 acres (1.36 km2) of land 18 km south of Bangalore for its Electronics City project, which was meant to establish an industrial park in Bangalore. Notwithstanding complaints by the industrial park's tenants on the condition of the roads, power and water availability, KEONICS claimed initially that the title of Silicon Valley of India belonged to the city's Electronics City campus. As part of its promotion of this concept, KEONICS distributed reprints of an article entitled "Can Bangalore become India's Silicon Valley" that first appeared in "Plus: The Total Computer Magazine".
The article made references to studies of Bangalore published by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that favourably evaluated Bangalore's capacity to grow into a high technology hub, similar to Silicon Valley. The publication also published interviews with IT industry professionals on the state of the IT industry in Bangalore and their perceptions of what lay ahead in the future. Selected quotes from the interviews included:
If the Centre looks at Bangalore to be made into Silicon Valley, it would certainly become the Silicon Valley; If you are talking of a Silicon Valley kind of atmosphere, then Bangalore already has it, but if you are talking of a product a day, then we are far from it; Bangalore is certainly emerging as a software and R&D subcontracting centre for multinationals; It is not an unreasonable comparison to make between Bangalore city and Silicon Valley; Bangalore has the ingredients to become Silicon Valley... It is probably the only city in India that could become one.
The turn of the millennium witnessed the growth of Internet based technologies which resulted in the dotcom boom. Bangalore's IT industry grew during this period with the establishment of local and foreign IT companies. In 2001, BusinessWeek published an article entitled "India's Silicon Valley" which traced the growth of the IT industry in India and particularly in Bangalore. The use of the term "Silicon Valley of India" to refer to Bangalore grew in local media and as time progressed, in international media too. An article entitled "Is the Next Silicon Valley Taking Root in Bangalore?" appeared in the New York Times in 2006 An article in the BBC speculated if Bangalore could one day be as large as the American Silicon Valley.
- Canton, Naomi. "How the 'Silicon Valley of India' is bridging the digital divide". CNN. Retrieved December 6, 2012.
- Heitzman, James. "Becoming silicon valley". India-seminar.com. 2001
- RAI, SARITHA. "Is the Next Silicon Valley Taking Root in Bangalore?". New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2006.
- Vaidyanathan, Rajini. "Can the 'American Dream' be reversed in India?". BBC World News. Retrieved 5 November 2012.