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Visiting India’s high tech capital

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Bangalore (Monday) – 

After a relatively quiet Sunday highlighted by lunch with Indian Ambassador Rajendra Abhyankar and the U.S. Consul General in Mumbai Peter Haas and his wife, Amy, it was south to Bangalore last night for two days in one of the fastest-growing cities in Asia.

That growth has been driven by a high-tech boon that has seen Bangalore become home to many household names in the tech industry and a

The Infosys campus engages its employees with eye-catching architecture, manicured grounds and ample amenities.

magnet for U.S. investment over the past decade.

Bangalore is an interesting contrast to Mumbai, starting with the geography. Bangalore sits 3,000 feet above sea level, making it cooler than Mumbai. It’s also, blissfully, much drier — although we managed to bring a little rain with us today, it seems.  Distinguished Professor Sumit Ganguly, our resident Indian expert on the trip (and I do mean EXPERT) says Bangalore is called the “Garden City” largely due to its moderate climate and abundance of green space.

It also has an abundance of high-tech firms, earning Bangalore the distinction as the “Silicon Valley” of India. We visited two of the largest today with trips to  the Indian R&D headquarters of U.S. – based Cisco Systems and to Indian tech giant Infosys.  We also met with the leadership at the Indian Institute of Science, one of the country’s most prestigious research institutions.

For the tech folks in the group, it was a chance to talk teraflops and gigabytes, high performance computing and cloud networks. For others (me), it was just pretty cool to be around people much smarter than me doing things I can only imagine.

At Infosys, we met with co-Chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan and two members of his education team at the company’s gorgeous and architecturally captivating corporate campus.

Twenty thousand Infosys employees walk,  bike, work and play on an expansive campus that would be the envy of many a university. In fact, take the ties off the male employees, and the place had the look and feel of a classic college campus.  As Kris explained, Infosys feels strongly that “in order to be a world-class company, you have to challenge yourself to be world-class in everything you do, including facilities.”

It’s a point well taken and backed up by the fact that Infosys also runs a world-class internship program for top-flight college students from around the world — a package that includes all travel and housing expenses, as well as a stipend.

This revelation resulted in an animated discussion led by President McRobbie and Dean Schnabel about the possibilities of student (and faculty) partnerships with Infosys. As a result, Infosys has pledged to add IU to its internship recruiting rotation with the hope of creating opportunities for our students to work at one of the most innovative and dynamic firms in the industry.

We also came away from our meeting with a commitment on both sides to explore areas where our faculty could team with Infosys on research. Given the breadth of the work being done by our School of  Informatics and Computing, the possibilities for collaboration are pretty exciting, Dean Schnabel says.


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1 Comment

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Wow this article shatters my pre conceptions of India. It seems a whole new high tech world has evolved there only with frightening speed. I imagine that it won’t be long before India is pre eminent in technology & just as California is/was.

Comment by Stephen on September 20, 2011 10:08 am

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