Oracle announces plans to expand operations in India

The software giant will set up its largest off-shore campus in Bengaluru, southern India.

Following in the footsteps of IT majors Microsoft, Google, and Apple Inc, the US global computer technology corporation Oracle has unveiled plans to set up a state-of-the-art campus centered in Bengaluru, India's IT capital.

It will also open nine incubation centres to support startups in the country and train over half a million students in India to develop computer science skills through Oracle Academy. The student training initiative is expected to give a boost to the government's "Digital India" and "Skill India" programs.

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Safra Catz with Narendra Modi. (Image: Prime Minister's Office, Government of India.)

The announcement was made after Oracle's Global CEO Safra Catz called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi. During the meeting, she briefed the prime minister on Oracle's plans to expand its operations in the country.

Narendra Modi, who appreciated Oracle's initiatives, tweeted: "Oracle plans to boost #MakeInIndia, strengthen India's position as a world class design and manufacturing hub."

Oracle has been operating in India for the last three decades but this was the first time the company announced such major plans which coincided with Ms Catz's maiden visit to the country.

The new campus in Bengaluru, the largest outside its headquarters at Redwood Shores, California, will be spread over an area of 2.8 million square feet and is expected to be the epicentre of its operations throughout India. More than 11,000 employees from diverse fields, including engineering, sales and marketing, global support, and finance and consulting, will converge at the high-tech site.

The company's nine regional software and technology incubation centres will be located in Bengaluru, Chennai, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Noida, Pune, Trivandrum, and Vijayawada to support entrepreneurship and development of innovative startups. They will provide software, tools, and training to new software and technology companies utilising Java and the Oracle platform.

These initiatives, on which Oracle will invest $400 million, are in tandem with the thinking of India's global digital leadership. "Oracle has been in India for over 25 years and during that time we have grown our investments tremendously," Catz said.

"In fact, India now represents our second-largest employee base outside of the US, with nearly 40,000 current employees and an additional 2,000 current job openings. We are investing over $400 million in Bengaluru, opening nine incubation centres, and training half a million students each year during this expansion phase to support India's tremendous growth. We 'Make in India' for the rest of the world."

"I am particularly excited about the incubation centres which will house substantial software and technology capabilities, tools, and training to help launch new technology startups built utilizing Java and the Oracle platform," Catz said in a statement.

"Increasing diversity and creating opportunities for women in technology starts with investing in STEM and computer science education for girls," she said, adding that student learning and training has been a focus at Oracle for more than 20 years, and the company was expanding its curriculum to include girls-only programs.

Oracle Academy has teamed up with over 1,700 Indian educational institutions to advance computer science education and drive knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields. Through these collaborations, more than 3,000 teachers in the country were trained in Java and database last year alone. With the latest announcement, Oracle Academy will expand its partnerships to another 1,000 institutions in India, with a goal of reaching 500,000 students annually.

Abhinav Hi-Tech College of Engineering at Hyderabad is one educational institution that has been partnered with Oracle. "Oracle is a reputed institution and its training will be professional. Such activities will definitely help the students in improving their computer skills," chairman Koteswara Rao said

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