Bhubaneswar: The Next Startup Hub from India!

Bhubaneswar is generally regarded as the sleepy capital city of Odisha and a short stop for tourists on their way to Puri. Quietly, it is shaping up as an IT hub in Eastern India. The Odisha government has proposed to set up an information technology investment region (ITIR) with an investment of Rs 16,043 crore. The objective is to come up with infrastructure to attract and accommodate tech startups. In this project, dedicated specialized infrastructure, a new international airport, six-lane highway, water supply, social infrastructure and power transmission system will be developed.

Recently, Nasscom has upgraded Bhubaneswar as a tier-II city that has potential of 30 per cent growth in the IT space. Meanwhile, several large IT companies, including Infy, TCS, Mahindra Satyam and Wipro, have been in Bhubaneswar for a while. Their presence in the city has resulted in a large community of techies. When they consider starting their own business, Bhubaneswar naturally comes up as a possible location for their startup.

Devesh Sinha, CEO of ESS, an early Bhubaneswar-based IT startup, says that their team of entrepreneurs chose Bhubaneswar as it provided “a high quality of life at a slow pace”. In a recent AC Nielsen-ORG-MARG Quality of Life 2012 survey, Bhubaneswar came up as No.3 in tier-II cities. Bhubaneswar has its advantages over other cities – no power cuts in summer, no water shortages, low traffic congestion and low crime rate.

Some startups like Bitrhymes, have moved out of Bhubaneswar after their early days. Many others like Tatwa and Mindfire Solutions have stayed back and done well for themselves.

The ecosystem for entrepreneurs is just coming together in the city. The local chapter of TiE is just over a year old and very active. There are three college based incubators. There are over 50 engineering colleges nearby, including an IIT. Other prominent education institutions include NISER, XIMB and AIIMS (where academic sessions commence this Sept).

We can surely look forward to seeing a lot of exciting tech start ups emerging from Bhubaneswar in the near future.

Author -

Rajeev Roy, Associate Professor- Marketing, XIMB


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