The first thing that strikes our mind when we hear the word start-up is Bangalore. For some time now, the green city, as it is called, has been the hotbed for upcoming start-ups in the country. Over the years, the city has established itself as the startup capital of India, but now, with the launch of ‘T-Hub’ in Hyderabad, can it hold on to its undisputed leadership? It is expected that the start-ups in Hyderabad will grow rapidly with a massive support system in place.
The honourable Governor of Telangana, ESL Narasimhan, and Tata Sons Chairman, Ratan Tata, inaugurated the first phase of their multimillion incubator for startups, T-Hub, at the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Gachibowli. Being the Telangana government’s flagship project for emerging startups, it sprawls across 70,000 sq feet, offering state-of-the-art facilities to budding start-ups so that they can grow and excel.
The state government of Telangana is also coming up with unique models for its brainchild T-Hub. One of them is the public/private partnership module, where the state government is tieing up with three premier academic institutions – the IIIT, ISB, and NALSAR – to provide the start-up organisations with the required support system in academics, entrepreneurship, corporate exposure, research, and governance.
Ajay Kolla, Founder & CEO Wisdomjobs.com, expressing his views on the latest developments said, “Hyderabad holds tremendous potential to be a startup hub along the lines of Bangalore, if not bigger. While Bangalore’s start-up growth has happened over several years and more as a result of private initiative, the State Government’s role in developing T-Hub will definitely help in giving it the required momentum and direction. The involvement of ISB, IIT, NALSAR etc. in mentorship roles will hugely benefit the initiative and help it to scale up effectively.”
The state government of Telangana has put in Rs. 40 crore for the 70,000 sq ft infrastructure facility constructed on the International Institute for Information Technology campus. According to the state’s IT Minister, K T Rama Rao, the second phase of the T-Hub with 3,00,000 sq ft area is anticipated to come up over the next three years, which would require an additional fund of Rs 150 crore.
Moreover, the Telangana government has also tied up with more than 20 venture capitalists and is in a dialogue process with top institutions like the University of Texas and MIT Media Labs (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) for their support and assistance.
“I think T-Hub is a fantastic initiative. The facility looks truly world-class. It is well-located with access to quality talent (entrepreneurs/ mentors/ leaders) and is spurred by a great vision – walk in with an idea and walk out with a product! India needs a Y-combinator equivalent and with whatever little I have heard/seen so far, T-hub looks well positioned to fill that gap in the Indian startup ecosystem,” said Ashish Taneja, Co-founder and MD growX ventures, when asked about the Telangana government’s drive in boosting start-up enterprises. “With a PPP model, the hub can achieve a lot more as compared to what can be done collectively. It can push hard to bring the best of the world as partners, create right opportunities to conduct proof of concepts and demonstrate product market fit. Overall, this is a great beginning and I look forward to more such initiatives across the country. I believe India needs many such facilities to unleash the tiger within!”
Currently, home to 1800+ startups, the city is also attracting the attention of international giants. For instance, global e-commerce chain Amazon selected Hyderabad as the site for its largest warehouse, which could store about two million products. Apple has opened a centre to develop its web mapping tool, Map, in the city. This will employ about 4,000 people, making the centre the largest outside its headquarters. The city has also been selected by online taxi hailing service Uber to build a $50 million center – its largest office outside the US – over the next five years.
With a rich pool of tech talent, a growing cosmopolitan culture, thriving infrastructure, and lucrative real estate costs, Hyderabad is all set to break the monopoly that Bangalore has enjoyed so far as the IT destination of India. Along the way, the city is the fast becoming the hottest hubs for India’s start-ups.