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Indian city Bangalore has the best environment for businesses to transform digitally, according to research of 45 global cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Mumbai and New Delhi were also ranked in the top four locations.
With big businesses developing global delivery hubs across the world, there is increased competition among major IT hubs. To win, these hubs must offer the right people, infrastructure and legislation to support a thriving global business ecosystem.
The EIU’s Connecting commerce: Business confidence in the digital environment report considered each city’s access to talent, open data, finance and innovation labs, as well as having a modern ICT infrastructure.
London was Europe’s highest-ranked city in ninth place, with Madrid tenth.
The research revealed that businesses are willing to move location for a better ecosystem, with 48% of businesses have considered relocating to get access to the right environment to support digital transformation.
Charles Ross, editor of the report, said: “How supportive a digital transformation environment is hinges on many different variables, and its growth cannot be mandated by government. But far-sighted municipal policies in areas such as education, open data, smart city development and support for entrepreneurship can lend considerable momentum to an ecosystem’s growth.”
Long gone are the days when cities in India were seen merely as sources of low-cost labour. Today the biggest companies in the world are tapping into the country’s business and tech ecosystems, with Bangalore at the forefront.
“Respondents are extremely positive about the local support in Bangalore for their digital transformation initiatives,” said the EIU. “According to a recent study, Bangalore accounts for a large number of the more than 140 incubators and accelerators in India. Aside from home-grown players, the city is now home to several accelerators established by multinational technology giants such as Amazon, Google and Cisco.”
The report said innovation labs, business associations and their events, such as hackathons, and incubators and accelerators in Bangalore are attractive to business.
The Indian cities of Mumbai (third) and New Delhi (fourth) were also among the top five locations, with San Francisco beating them to second place.
Last year, industrial giant GE added a digital hub to its global network in Bangalore, which will house 2,500 tech professionals when full.
Standard Chartered Bank recently announced it wants to attract the best tech talent to its 43,000m2 global business hub in Bangalore to harness the latest technology, such as robotics, to provide global business services to its operations in 68 countries.
And last year, drinks maker Diageo increased its operations in Bangalore through a new business services centre that will eventually provide the company with data analytics and business intelligence expertise.