Economy

Brand Hyderabad is strong still

M. Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 27, 2018

The iconic monument and soul of Hyderabad - Charminar. - Photo: P.V. Sivakumar   -  Business Line

Sceptics think ‘Brand Hyderabad' is taking a heavy beating due to the continuing general strike and uncertainty over Telangana statehood issue. Optimists think the brand is rock solid and will withstand temporary aberrations.

Brand Hyderabad is so strong that it holds the key to resolving the present crisis. As capital of Andhra Pradesh since 1956 and with a history of over 400 years, the city with its multi-cultural milieu, friendly people, comfortable weather, good connectivity between the North and South India, a brand new international airport, large number of academic, scientific and public-sector undertakings, a vibrant Telugu cinema inspiring Bollywood blockbusters of late, has emerged as a favourite destination for investors.

Investors still coming

Recent developments point to some interesting trends. Amazon is reportedly investing in Hyderabad, DuPont, which has its research and development centre here, will add another 100 to its 400 staff this year.

The foundation stone for IIT, Hyderabad was laid last week. Tata's defence projects are expanding.

Vaccine-maker Sanofi's chief executive Mr Christopher Viehbacher flew in on October 5 to announce big investment into a production facility. The IT Investment Region (ITIR) is nearly ready to give a push to the sector. There is no let up in the launches of new cars, retail outlets, etc.

Hyderabad was among the top 40 destinations for tourists in a recent global survey. The seed businesses are bullish, with all top multinationals present. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and virtually the who's who of global IT are present here. CSC recently bought AppLabs, a 2,000-strong company.

Undoubtedly, half a dozen small IT companies closed down, some corporates have deferred expansions, a few top companies are mulling options of relocating their announced plans to other cities, employees are not willing to be posted in the city, small businesses are taking a beating, conferences are not happening like earlier, hotels are seeing a drop in occupancy, tourist inflows have reduced, and realty has taken a big hit. However, the common refrain among most familiar with the city's strengths is that it will bounce back in no time.

Twin cities

No wonder, therefore, that most pro-Telangana groups who are also aware of this seem to be treading their path with an eye on the future. The emerging Great Hyderabad region is expected to be as big as any of the top four metros.

Already, Hyderabad today consists of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and the emerging Cyberabad. The city has overcome the Satyam Scam, communal clashes, drinking-water problems, and managed power well and attracted the best. It will take a long and concerted effort to derail it.

Published on October 14, 2011

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