Indian tech giants to announce investments in the UK’s ‘smart cities’
Indian tech companies will spend a combined £30m on infrastructure projects in the coming years as they plan to tap into the UK as the global hub for high-tech investment, an executive at one of the country’s biggest tech firms has said.
“I’m confident the UK will become the centre of the smart cities ecosystem,” Vinod Shrivastava told The Wall St Journal on Monday, adding that it will help to accelerate India’s growth as it becomes a global hub.
Shrivastav has joined forces with Google’s head of India’s smart cities initiative, Vincent De Rossi, to launch a £30 million fund to help fund infrastructure projects, which include the expansion of Google’s India office and the purchase of land in the capital.
India is set to become the world’s largest smart city by 2020, and Shrivav said his company was working on a £50 million fund aimed at helping Indian companies invest in the sector.
Google and its partner SoftBank are building a £250 million data centre in Bangalore.
The UK is expected to become a major hub for the growth of the tech industry as the UK becomes a hub for global technology investment, a key reason behind the rise of Silicon Valley.
But Shrivamav said the UK, as a hub, was not as important as the country needed to become “a smart city”.
“The UK has huge talent pool and we are very excited about this opportunity,” Shrivakas statement said.
“This will be the best opportunity in the world to create a new world of digital cities and connected cities.”
India’s IT sector is in the midst of a “digital renaissance”, with the government introducing a new law in January to help streamline the process of applying for IT licenses, but Shrivachava said that was not enough.
He said India’s digital future would require a new approach to the countrys business environment.
There are currently around 15,000 companies based in the country, and he said a new strategy would focus on “creating a new business culture and business climate in India”.
He added that this new approach would include training of staff, better access to capital and the creation of a digital incubator to help startups grow in India.
“We have a huge talent base, but we are not building a business culture,” Shriva said.