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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Outsourcing: Pune or Bangalore?

Pune or Bangalore: Where would you outsource your work in India?

Wrote this article at work, a couple of days ago, to send to prospective clients in the Asia Pacific. Posting it on my blog today.

1. From my perspective, this is a pro-Pune article, being from Pune, and wanting them (potential clients) to outsource work to us.
I can write the above sentence on my blog.

At work, I wrote it from the management's perspective, to enable client's to make up their mind to outsource to us in Pune.

2. A balanced view.

Pune does hold more promise, however, Pune's problems are no less urgent and pressing than those of Bangalore, although Bangalore is more in the news because it is internationally recognised as the Silicon Valley of India, plus it already is home to many major MNC IT companies, which compounds the problem of infrastructure, as problems that seem minor to Indians like say a Rasta Roko (Road block) or political rally disrupting traffic or political instability leading to elections or drainage problems leading to flooding of roads after light showers, and so on, are highlighted across the globe.

Bangalore is good, but it's grown too fast, too soon, and that's why it's time for people to look beyond Bangalore. Instead of starting from scratch at places around Bangalore, all they've to do is see the potential that is Pune. Read below to know why.

Pune is an upcoming IT destination and the city and its suburbs need better administration, an even more proactive local and central administration, plus big IT heads to take up its plea for faster infrastructure development,(potholed roads, power cuts, and traffic jams in that order), to prevent the problems that Bangalore faces at present.

Disclaimer: I've been to Bangalore for six months, that was in the first half of 2003. At that time, I found Bangalore to be a nice city to stay and work with better roads and public transportation, as compared to Pune.

However, the infrastructure development of Bangalore seems to have gone from slow and in progress to stuttering and stopping and down and out in 2005.

Now on to the actual write-up.

Pune or Bangalore: Where would you outsource your work in India?

Given a choice to outsource work to Pune or Bangalore in India in October 2005, Pune would definitely be a better destination than Bangalore. Pune is an upcoming information technology (IT) and Biotechnology (BT) destination. It offers all the facilities provided by Bangalore, like qualified and quality resources with International project experience, a better quality of living, along with cheaper real estate, better education, proactive government policies, political stability, and improving infrastructure.

Traffic jams are Bangalore’s biggest headache and unplanned growth plus the mushrooming of numerous IT and ITeS companies in each and every nook and corner has saturated Bangalore's urban landscape.

Bangalore has become a commuting nightmare from a laidback, military cantonment that was once a pensioner’s paradise. Read about the IT industry’s displeasure with Bangalore’s infrastructure. The bad condition of roads, constant traffic jams, and the long time for commuting has led to a drop in productivity for IT companies in Bangalore.

Bangalore is plagued by problems of continuous traffic jams with the increasing number of vehicles, roads under construction, incomplete flyovers with no sign of work re-starting, drainage problems, narrow roads, and unplanned commercial and residential construction.

Pune offers better real estate facilities and the cost of living is cheaper than that of Bangalore. Potholed roads, traffic jams, lack of flyovers, urban congestion are some problems associated with Pune too, however these are not as critical as compared to Bangalore.

There are traffic jams in Bangalore at anytime of the day. Even on weekends and holidays.

Bangalore’s infrastructure is crumbling and major IT companies have voiced their protest over the inadequate infrastructure of Bangalore. Bangalore has grown too fast too soon and now it’s saturated. Pune on the other hand is an upcoming Information Technology and Bio Technology destination that offers a pleasant work atmosphere throughout the year, a decent standard of living, less trouble in commuting to and from work, and a cosmopolitan outlook that mixes tradition with modernity.

Advantage Pune

- Cheaper real estate
- Decent standard of living
- Not too crowded like Bombay

- Cheaper than Bombay and Bangalore
# An example: Rent for a 2 bed room hall kitchen apartment taken in an upmarket area like Kalyaninagar in Pune costs Rs. 8K to Rs. 9K/- per month, while the same costs Rs. 11K to Rs. 13K in Koramangala 7th block to 3rd block/Bannerghatta road in Bangalore (correct me if I'm wrong about the rates in Bangalore areas). Comparatively it's costlier than Pune.
# Another example: A starting salary of Rs. 8000/- per month for a fresh software engineer is just enough to survive is Bombay, all-right for Bangalore, and provides an incentive to save money in Pune.

- Mini metropolis with a cosmopolitan flavour
- Improving infrastructure
- Cosmopolitan outlook
- Student city
- Educational city
- Quality manpower
- Preferred by experienced IT professionals, as it offers good education facilities.
- Background of automobile manufacturing and consumer electronics
- Situated near the commercial capital of India, Bombay
- 3-hour drive from Mumbai, the commercial and financial capital of India
- Political stability
- Peaceful city
- Pleasant climate
- Good facilities for entertainment with pubs, shopping malls, movie multiplexes, trekking spots

- Pune has five multiplexes. Inox, E-Square, Adlabs, CityPride, and Mangala. Bangalore has a single multiplex. The one on Ring road. Correction: Bangalore has three multiplexes, with two more to open by the year-end. Thanks, Anon.
- Of course Bangalore has more pubs, however most of these are situated on and around Brigade road, M.G. road, and Infantry road. While Pune has pubs spread across the city. In Bangalore one has to go all the way to Brigade road from BTM Layout a distance of 10 kms. in Bangalore's traffic, all for an evening of entertainment.
- Bangalore has M.G. road, Brigade road, and Commercial street for shopping, that's it. Pune has M.G. road at one end of the city and F.C. road at the other end of the city, plus a variety of shopping options in and around Laxmi road.

Things that need improvement in Pune

- Roads
- Traffic
- Power situation

Bangalore’s Silicon Valley dreams turn nightmarish
Ok, maybe the heading is harsh. Bangalore's dreams turn sour.

- Crumbling Infrastructure – Incomplete flyovers, roads under construction
- Traffic jams at anytime of the day/night
- Potholed roads
- Water shortage
- Power shortage
- Political instability
- Drainage problems that leads to flooding of roads after mild showers
- Saturated with IT and ITeS companies
- Pollution
- Stressful lifestyle because of the traffic conditions
An example: People in Bangalore keep a buffer of 30 minutes to an hour while going to work on account of the daily traffic jams. There are traffic jams even on Sundays and holidays. Read more about the buzz or the lack of it in Bangalore from the BangaloreBuzz.

So where do you want to outsource your work in India?
To the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore, whose dreams are slipping from its hands like sand; or to the future of IT in India—the Pune-Bombay region that is going to be the commercial, financial, industrial, IT, and BT capital of India.

Why go to Bangalore when you can get experienced professionals and better facilities at cheaper rates in Pune? You decide and take a call.

Work hard and play harder in Pune. Bombay is too crowded and costly, Bangalore’s infrastructure is crumbling, and Hyderabad doesn’t have the lifestyle that software professionals yearn for.

So the next time someone asks a question, “Where would you outsource your work in India?” You know the answer, am I right Mate?