India’s Top Tech Cities

This happened a few years back during the Nasscom opening ceremony in Mumbai.
The Maharashtra CM was waxing eloquent on how Mumbai has emerged as a top IT hub
in the country and how other cities in Maharashtra too are ahead of their
counterparts in terms of IT adoption. Subsequently, there was a mild rebuke by
the then Union Minister for IT, Pramod Mahajan, who said that states should
concentrate not on outgunning each other in IT adoption, but in helping build a
resurgent IT country.

For a national level politician, Mahajan might have little option to say
otherwise, but almost everyone would agree that it is Utopian to think of
different states not competing against each other in winning IT laurels. This
explains the rationale behind conducting the recent DQ-IDC survey on Top IT
cities in the country, conducted across 35 cities spanning 16 states. Barring a
few pleasant surprises the results arrived at were on expected lines.

Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi/NCR bagged the top five
positions in the overall ranking. One need not be an Einstein to guess so, since
these cities have been on the vanguard of IT revolution in the country from the
beginning and are today thriving hubs of IT and BPO activities. In our survey,
Delhi included partially the NCR region-Gurgaon and Noida were considered as
part of Delhi only as these are today’s IT hotspots.

Ranks Cities Total
1 Bangalore 66.2
2 Hyderabad 58.7
3 Mumbai 58.7
4 Chennai 58.6
5 Delhi 57.8
6 Pune 53
7 Nagpur 48.9
8 Kolkata 47.1
9 Lucknow 44.3
10 Coimbatore 42.7
11 Kochi 42.3
12 Ludhiana 40.3
13 Vadodara 37.7
14 Jamshedpur 37.7
15 Allahabad 35.9
16 Nashik 35
17 Agra 34.6
18 Madurai 34.4
19 Jaipur 33.6
20 Visakhapatnam 33.6

While the Top Five were on expected lines, it was the Next
Six in the overall ranking that did throw up a surprise. While Pune, Kolkata and
Kochi were expected to be in the list, having emerged as new IT hubs in the last
two years and as challengers to the leaders, the surprise inclusions were Nagpur
and Lucknow. Not really tom-tommed as great centers of IT activities, these
cities perhaps owed their positions to their thriving reseller communities.
Moreover, while these cities have the potential, they are yet to take off in a
big way given that they have competition from other cities within their own
states. For example, Pune edges out Nagpur in terms of mindshare amongst top IT
decision makers, Noida is always preferred to Lucknow. Also, as respective state
governments sell their states, they too would talk about second line cities like
Pune rather than sell other destinations, irrespective of the potential of the

Zonal Stack up

N o
r t h

Cities Overall
1 Delhi
2 Lucknow 9
3 Ludhiana 12
4 Allahabad 15
5 Agra 17
o u t h
1 Bangalore 1
2 Hyderabad 2
3 Chennai 4
4 Coimbatore 10
5 Kochi 11
a s t
1 Kolkata 8
2 Jamshedpur 14
3 Patna 23
4 Dhanbad 33
5 Asansol 34
e s t
1 Mumbai 3
2 Pune 6
3 Nagpur 7
4 Nashik 16
5 Vadodara 35

Just as Nagpur and Lucknow, along with cities like Coimbatore,
Ludhiana and Jamshedpur, had a pleasantly strong showing, some cities scored
fairly lower than expected. Notwithstanding the advertising and marketing blitz
by the Gujarat government, Ahmedabad came up at a poor #24rank. A shockingly low
ranking of #31 on the manpower front and #15 on ICT infrastructure pulled the
city down-it would need immediate remedial measures to pull up its position
next year. In fact, Ahmedabad was not even the number one IT city in Gujarat;
that position went to Vadodara. Jaipur and Indore too finished lower than
expected at #19 and #21 respectively-with GE endorsing Jaipur and CSC Indore,
these results were indeed surprising.

The overall rankings of different cities also show the IT
health of certain states across the country. Maharashtra comes forth in a very
favorable light. Three cities in the state-Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur-featured
in the Top Ten in overall ranking, while Nashik came a creditable #16. UP
featured the maximum in the survey with six cities, but had mixed results-while
Lucknow finished in the Top Ten, Allahabad and Agra languished in the #15 and
#17 positions respectively; Varanasi and Kanpur turned out to be real laggards
at #29 and #30 respectively.

Dataquest does not claim the DQ-IDC survey to be the ultimate
last word, but it is definitely creditable as a first attempt. The survey could
not be conducted at some obvious cities like Chandigarh, Bhubaneshwar or Raipur,
but that does not reduce its importance and veracity. More importantly, we would
definitely contrive to include these cities in our survey next year. Also
conspicuous by their absence this time were the North-Eastern cities like
Guwahati, Shillong and Gangtok, where automation is gradually spreading its
tentacles. The DQ-IDC survey definitely contemplates including them next time.

Manpower Availability

No doubt this was the most important parameter in the survey,
carrying the maximum weightage. The specific points considered under this
parameter were the SEC A population living in the city, the share of the SEC
A/B/C population that is conversant with English, the number of engineering
colleges in the state and, more particularly, in that city as well as the share
of graduates in the population and the ratio of number of schools to the
district population. The Sec A population living in the city and the share of
population speaking english were given more weightage in the survey. This is how
Hyderabad, scoring more than Chennai on both counts, took the #2 position.

Not surprisingly again, the Southern cities rode high on the
manpower count-Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai occupied the top three slots,
thanks to the high number of engineering colleges in their respective states as
well as the share of the entire population that speaks and reads English. Pune
follows the three Southern cities, largely bolstered by the number of
engineering colleges in Maharashtra, particularly in the hinterland around the
city. One particular trend noticed here that was most welcome was that most
cities with a high SEC A population and a higher ratio of graduates also show
more English-speaking people. And though some evangelists can keep harping on
the need for championing local language computing, very few can deny the role of
English in the spread of an IT environment.

the survey reiterates the popular belief that conversational fluency in English
is more prevalent outside the overall North region. Cities scoring high on this
front were all from the East and South-Kolkata followed by Bangalore, Kochi,
Jamshedpur and Hyderabad. Another popular perception also turned out to be
accurate-that preponderance of engineering colleges has helped the Southern
cities in reaching the vanguard of Indian IT. The three Tamil Nadu cities of
Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai scored a perfect 10 on this front.

1 Bangalore
2 Hyderabad
3 Chennai
4 Pune
5 Lucknow

ICT Infrastructure Availability & Usage
After manpower, infrastructure is perhaps the most crucial component in
determining IT health. Even the DQ-IDC survey on Top IT cities takes this into
account as this parameter received the second highest billing in terms of
weightage. PC penetration and, consequently, Internet penetration showed how
up-to-date the populace was in IT adoption.

While Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad were the expected toppers, the
surprise inclusion in the Top Five in this parameter was Nagpur-the only city
amongst the 35 in the overall survey to score a perfect 10 on the PC penetration
front. In fact, it was PC penetration along with engineering colleges that
catapulted Nagpur into the Top Ten in the overall ranking, and gave it the #7
slot pushing Kolkata to #8. It also explains the emergence of a thriving
reseller community in the city in the last couple of years. Other than Nagpur, a
number of smaller cities like Jamshedpur, Kochi and Vadodara also figured in the
Top Ten on infrastructure-this confirms that it is not only metros that can
boast of top-notch infrastructure.

city-wise spending on IT products is still a matter of concern-barring Delhi
and Mumbai, other metros like Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata barely pass muster
on this front. Smaller cities like Asansol, Meerut, Varanasi, Patna and
Jamshedpur turned out to be total laggards in IT expenditure. Internet
penetration threw up some interesting results-while Bangalore at a perfect ten
was no surprise, the high scores of Jamshedpur and Kochi pulled up their overall
rankings. Ludhiana topped in the frequency of Internet access followed by Delhi
and Vadodara-perhaps the large NRI population of Punjabis and Gujaratis, into
e-mails and chats, accounted for the great figures.

1 Bangalore
2 Delhi
3 Mumbai
4 Hyderabad
5 Nagpur

Not surprisingly again, Mumbai and Delhi topped the charts in the PC
installed base, but Kolkata coming in third, ahead of Bangalore and Chennai,
bucked the normal trend. Perhaps increasing levels of automation by the West
Bengal government and a now growing market, after years of neglect, explains
this. However, smaller cities like Amritsar, Meerut, Madurai, Asansol and
Vijaywada need to ramp up quickly on this front, if they do not want to be left
behind in the IT revolution sweeping across the country.

Industrial Performance
This parameter takes into account factors like bank credit-deposit ratio and
bank deposit per capita. While the former denotes the level of industrialization
in a city, being an indicator frequently used by investors and economists, the
latter indicates the affluence level and disposable income of the population.
Apparently these might not look related, but observers agree that they do have a
direct bearing on the IT health of any particular location. The best example is
Mumbai-belying popular perception that the country’s financial nerve center
is not so hot in IT, the strong results in industrial performance have enabled
the city to leapfrog Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad to come at #2 in the overall

survey results indicate that only Mumbai and Delhi can really be termed affluent-a
few other metros are merely scratching the glass ceiling. Here too,
surprisingly, Kolkata is ahead of the usual pack of Bangalore, Chennai and
Hyderabad. Nashik, Madurai, Jabalpur, Dhanbad and Meerut stand on the other side
of the affluence spectrum. It is not that the populace does not have enough
disposable income in today’s consumerist society, the question is often of
development. Typically, these cities have been traditionally ignored on this
front and unless rectifying measures are taken soon things would not improve

Chennai got a perfect ten in the bank credit-deposit ratio-again
verifying the long-believed fact that cutting aside the hype of Bangalore and
Hyderabad, it is the most industrialized city in the country. A thriving local
industry in any sector helps-perhaps best explaining why textile and woolen
garment centers like Coimbatore and Ludhiana rank in the top five on this count.
Patna, Asansol, Allahabad and Dhanbad feature on the other extreme-not
surprisingly, as development has bypassed all these cities in recent times.

1 Mumbai
2 Chennai
3 Coimbatore
4 Ludhiana
5 Delhi

Environment & Life Style
This parameter might have the lowest billing in terms of weightage, but that
does not mean that it is any less crucial in determining the IT health of a
city. The factors considered were environmental factors like climate, political
stability, pollution level, crime rate, etc, while the lifestyle factors
included the availability of entertainment options like multiplexes, eating
outlets, etc. This was more a perception survey as data is hard to come for
these parameters. Again the obvious choice for this was Bangalore, irrespective
of the traffic chokes and complaints of infrastructure. Similar is the case for

people cannot help complaining about the traffic issues and infrastructure
problems, these continue to be on the top thanks to a thriving non-work life.
Again, while the cost of living would be high for these cities, it is obvious
that employees would like to move from one metro to another rather than to a
smaller city like Meerut where the cost of living might be very low. And
companies with plans to expand into other cities too have to take cognizance of
this important fact.

1 Bangalore
2 Mumbai
3 Hyderabad
4 Delhi
5 Pune

Rajneesh De


The purpose of the study was to rate different cities on
various parameters so as to arrive at the “Top IT destinations” in the
country. First of all a list of 35 major cities was made that were to be covered
under this study. Extensive secondary research was done by IDC to gather data
for each of these cities on different parameters from various sources. IDC’s
proprietary data was used in IT related parameters.

Four broad categories were identified for this purpose and
these were further broken into 16 sub-parameters. The parameters used were
Industrial Performance, ICT Infrastructure Availability and Usage, Availability
of Quality Manpower and Environment and Life style

Each of these sub parameters was then assigned weights
according to their importance on the final score. The data for each parameter
was then normalized across all the cities and corresponding weights were applied
to them. Summation of this weighted data across all the cities then gave the
final score for each city.

4 responses to “India’s Top Tech Cities”

  1. Sakharam says:

    Maharashtra beats every other state.

  2. Arnab Ray says:


  3. Nikhil says:

    Mumbai+pune+banglore= best advanced city in india. After banglore pune is largest IT hub in india.and mumbai is richest city in india.

  4. savad abdul majeed says:

    where is trivandrum? why except this city?

    Lots of it companies situated in trivandrum and also most software exproting from this city

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