CBC Digital Archives

India: High-tech maharajahs in Bangalore

India is the world's largest democracy and its second most populous, but for decades its image was mainly that of a poor nation with a rich history. Shaken by periodic religious strife and still largely a rural and agricultural country, India has nevertheless emerged in the new millennium as an increasingly important global player. From its colonial origins to the bright lights of Bollywood, CBC Digital Archives presents a collection of clips about India past and present.

media clip
In the India of the 1990s, no longer do the young and technologically talented have to leave to find good jobs. Centred around the city of Bangalore, India's technology industry is booming with new plants springing up and a huge pool of software engineers. But, as this 1997 CBC-TV clip points out, it's still not easy for Canadian companies to do business in India. The potential market may be huge but the average Indian still doesn't have extra money to spend. 
• Bangalore's technology boom can be traced back to its history as a centre for the British army during the colonial period and, later, a base for the Indian army. The defence industry built numerous labs and research facilities nearby, and by 1991 there were dozens of industrial colleges and training centres in the region, churning out 11,000 engineers a year and thousands of other skilled workers. • By 1996 India's software industry was growing by 40 per cent annually, with about half its revenues coming from exports. For workers, wages were high by Indian standards but many companies expected to lose about 20 per cent of their workers per year to more lucrative jobs in Europe and North America.

• In 2007 India's gross domestic product (an estimate of a country's wealth) worked out to $2,700 per capita. By comparison, Canada's per-capita GDP for the same year was $38,400.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Aug. 11, 1997
Guest(s): Vasant Desai, Narayana Murthy, Neeraja Shetty, Douglas Stewart
Reporter: Satinder Bindra
Duration: 3:32

Last updated: February 3, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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