These are a few quick ‘n dirty notes captured during a Panel Discussion that was held as a part of the “Global Conclave: Advantage Pune” event held in Pune yesterday, organized by Zinnov and Software Exporters Association of Pune (SEAP). The panel discussion was on the topic “Opportunities and Challenges for Pune to become an Innovation Hub”. The panelists were:
- Bhavani Shankar from Zinnov
- Akila Krishnakumar head of Sungard India
- Ashish Deshpande from Google (based in Pune)
- Kiran Gadi head of Motorola Mobility India
- Omkar Nimbalkar head of Tivoli Group IBM India
- Tarun Sharma head of BMC India
Overall, a few themes that most people touched upon were these:
- Pune isn’t just about software. It has automotive, manufacturing, sciences (for example, NCL), and other things going for it. So it is more rounded than other cities
- Pune has great climate
- Pune has lots of educational instiutions
- Pune is still not as crowded as Bangalore, so growth is still possible in Pune.
Overall, these are the advantages that Pune has for driving innovation.
Here are some additional interesting points made by the panelists:
- [Akila] Sungard is probably one of the earliest Software Product MNCs to set up in Pune (back in 1993). Pune has 20% of Sungard’s global R&D strength. BFSI is the biggest market for the software sector, and hence a lot of innovation in Pune’s software industry has to happen (will happen) in this space
- [Kiran] Our Pune center had lower attrition than other cities. This was a huge advantage.
- [Tarun] 23% of BMC is in Pune. Largest in the world. This gives huge advantages – having many different teams in one location. This is easier to achieve do than in other cities.
- [Omkar] Pune has an advantage over Bangalore that it still has space to grow. In Bangalore, it is very difficult to find space.
- [Tarun] Pune definitely has a better perception of quality of life compared to Bangalore. It’s still a small city compared to Bangalore – you can get anywhere in 30 minutes. And the culture and art is great.
- [Akila] Pune and Germany have had a great relationship, because of the auto industry. Pune has the largest concentration of German companies in India. This is a great opportunity for Pune’s software industry – it needs to leverage this and grow the software market in Europe.
- [Kiran] The great thing about the Pune Community is that all the different groups (Software Exporters Association of Pune (SEAP), PuneTech, TiE, Pune Open Coffee Club, Head Start, CSI Pune) all talk to each other and co-operate.
- [Akila] Pune’s demographics are interesting – lower than average age, and higher than average per capita income. It is easier to find early adopters in Pune, and easier to do viral (i.e., cheap) marketing in Pune. For example, it is not a surprise that it is the gaming capital of the country.