The Southern India city of Bangalore has long been considered something like the Florida of India-a good-weather destination that makes a nice place to study in or retire to. Like Florida, Bangalore is in the South, but in India "good weather" means cooler weather, which Bangalore enjoys by virtue of its elevation at roughly 3000 feet above sea level. As an administrative and educational seat dating from the days of British occupation, Bangalore long enjoyed a leisurely, small-town feel-very different from a large, densely populated commercial city such as Mumbai. But Bangalore has changed.
Today Bangalore is India's third largest city, with a population of 6.1 million. It is home to about 2000 electronics and IT companies, including indigenous companies active in the U.S. insurance industry, such as Wipro, TCS, InfoSys ITI, Satyam and iflex solutions, as well as foreign concerns such as Motorola, Siemens and the company whose investment sparked the IT culture in Bangalore, Hewlett-Packard. Over 100 companies, including most of the preceding firms, are located in Bangalore's Electronics City, a 330-acre industrial park and island of polished modernity amid a city that includes an abundance of the dusty, perennially unfinished and poverty-stricken milieu of a third-world population center.
To be strictly accurate, Electronic City is on the periphery of Bangalore, to the south-southeast. Along with the constellation of companies along the Airport Road on the eastern side of the municipality, Electronics City has contributed in a big way to levels of traffic that sorely test the existing infrastructure. The resulting effect is of a small town with big town traffic; the roads and buildings are on a more intimate, comfortable scale but the volume of vehicles seems to have rushed in, as if by breaching a traffic dam that separated Bangalore from some teeming metropolis. My driver, who has been at his job for 20 years, laments the current situation, explaining that even 15 years ago Bangalore had no traffic lights.
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio