Think IT services or outsourcing in India, and the first destinations that come to mind are Bangalore or Hyderabad or Pune.
With good reason. According to a recent AT Kearney-Nasscom study, 90 per cent of the total direct employment of two million is captured in seven cities: Bangalore, National Capital Region of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai and Kolkata. The report has termed these locations as ‘leader’ locations.
The study assesses the potential and attractiveness of over 50 different cities in the country and has classified them into four buckets: The leaders (the prime locations); the challengers (15 cities, including Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar and Mangalore), which could graduate into leader cities in the near future; the followers (12 cities like Mysore and Nashik), where there is some activity but policy changes and infrastructure support are needed to take them to the next level; and finally, 13 aspirant locations (Siliguri, Srinagar, Varanasi), where there are pockets of IT activity largely led by small domestic firms (with less than 50 employees or so).