H. Narayana Swamy
Partner and Director, CaptiveAide
Let me be the first to acknowledge this: the support infrastructure in India isn’t always great. I will even admit that in smaller cities and towns, infrastructure may not be that good.
But before you turn away, know that the new government is committed to making India a great place to invest in. Indians have put huge faith in the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and his actions so far have justified their trust in him and his policies.
In a few months, we will witness business-friendly policies, huge investments in physical infrastructure, and dozens of smart-city projects getting off the ground. The government’s aim is to have 100 smart cities but that will obviously take some time. If you want to be located in one of those spanking new smart cities of the future, the time to be in India is now.
What will you do before you take up space in a future smart city?
Build your brand: Think big but begin small. This is the time for a first-timer to do their brand-building. You want the best brains in your tech space to work for you, right? Do they know about your company? Do they desire to work for it? Get the word out, set the buzz among the young, make them yearn to be part of the dream team that you are looking for. Use social media extensively, visit universities, set up scholarships or rewards for innovative designs and solutions. You will thus be building the base of a great infrastructure yourself!
Office space: Decide whether you want a ready-to-move-in, plug-and-play office within large business parks or (if smaller) a well appointed office in the city CBD– that will make it easier to move out into the smart city when it’s ready.
Roads, public transport and traffic: Yes, it’s a problem. For now, do what most IT companies do to get around this problem: have an employee car-pool or provide busesto pick up and drop employees from their residences and back. With internet speeds being super-fast in large metros, you could even offer flexi-time or “work from home” as an option, once you have adequate safety and security built into the system.
Hire those with fire: Employees who believe in the future of their work with your company are the right ones to hire. Do offer them stock options and a good career growth path and they’ll readily move into that smart city when it’s ready.
As for IT infrastructure itself – believe me, it’s already world-class.