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Photos: Discover high-tech India

The changing landscape of Hyderabad and Chennai
By Nick Heath, Contributor on
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The changing landscape of Hyderabad and Chennai

Bangalore is India's most famous offshore location but the city of Hyderabad is also one of the country's tech hotspots, and silicon.com went to see it first hand this month.

Hitec City in Hyderabad is a glaring mass of gleaming multimillion pound glass and steel towers and homes of corrugated iron shacks built on dirt patches. Hitec stands for Hyderabad Information Technology Engineering Consultancy City, a congregation of some of the world's biggest technology companies.

The Cyber Towers, seen here, were built during the first phase of Hitec City and officially opened in November 1998. AppLabs, Keane, Microsoft and Oracle Corporation operate offshore development facilities or call centres in this four-quadrant, 10-story building, which includes shops, banks and the Windows of the World restaurant.

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The Cyber Gateway seen here was built in phase two of Hitec City's development and houses major offshoring operations with companies including Dell, Microsoft and Oracle starting out in the building before opening their own campuses. It includes banks, hotels and a large amphitheatre used by many IT professionals to relax.

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Outsourcing giant Satyam's School of Leadership provides constant training for about 2,000 business leaders among its 51,000 staff. Staff and students enjoy a terrace landscaped with palm trees and gardens and large air conditioned amphitheatres.

Satyam is one of the largest employers in Hyderabad and has 11 offices in the city.

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Indian art blends with polished marble floors in the plush interior of Satyam's School of Leadership

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The rapid growth of the city as Indian technology and business outsourcing took off is reflected by the contrast between corporate towers and threadbare shanty towns that stand side-by-side.

This collection of corrugated iron shacks lies next to the plush towers that house Satyam's School of Leadership.

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The Mindspace IT Park was created as a mixture of corporate and residential facilities. Some of the large companies located here include Accenture, Bank of America, CSC, Oracle and Qualcomm.

The park covers 110-acres, with 40 per cent open space, and includes a mix of residential, recreational and shopping areas. The project enjoyed immediate success and was occupied within 14 months of the project starting.

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This impressive oval redbrick building is home to Tata Consultancy Services' (TCS) campus, otherwise known as Deccan Park, the company's largest global development centre.

The nine-floor Deccan Park facility stands on an 11-acre site and has been set up with an estimated investment of 15bn Indian Rupees (approx £187m) with recreation and sporting facilities, which houses more than 2,200 employees. The centre works on telecommunications, e-governance, biological sciences, ports and shipping. It also deploys technologies including .Net, open source billing and bioinformatics.

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Oracle's Campus stands next to Satyam's School of Leadership near to a police checkpoint.

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The twin glass and steel towers of Accenture sit in a well-developed corner of Hitec City, which also houses Satyam's Real Time Learning Centre and IBM's campus.

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IBM's Campus is gated and guarded, as are most of the large corporate campuses in Hitec City.

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HSBC is just one of the large international banks to have a presence in Hitec City.

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New buildings are shooting up across Hitec City, with cranes and half-built concrete shells littering the landscape.

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RMZ Futura is a four-block facility being built next to the Cyber Gateway. Internet search giant Google is housed in one of the blocks.

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While the landscaped campuses live up the 'high-tech' name, the road network in Hyderabad is creaking under the strain. Roads outside the gleaming towers are clogged full of buses, tuk-tuks, bikes, cars and even cattle. The chaotic conditions mean most journeys crawl along below 20mph amid the unrelenting din of car horns.

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Herds of cows freely wander Hitec City's roads while motorists weave between them.

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Tuk-tuks or auto-rickshaws are a popular means of transport, with commuters cramming themselves into their rickety yellow shell.

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silicon.com also visited another of India's outsourcing hotspots, the South Eastern Indian city of Chennai, which is home to scores of technology parks hosting some of the world's biggest outsourcing and software services companies. Tidel Park, pictured here, is the largest software park in India.

The 1,280,000-square-foot park has state-of-the-art network connectivity and is host to names such as Accenture, Cognizant, HCL, Satyam, Tata Consultany Services.

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Outsourcer Cognizant's main base is in Chennai, where it has eight offices.

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Outsourcing giant HCL set up its base in Chennai back in the 1980s and enjoys a close relationship with the Indian Institute of Technology in the city.

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Prince Technocity IT park opened in 2006 and houses such companies as semi-conductor manufacturer supplier KLA-Tencor Corporation.

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