In 2014, Telangana with it’s capital in Hyderabad was carved out of Andhra Pradesh (AP). As the man who was widely credited by many to have developed Hyderabad into the bustling city it is now, the AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu now faced another uphill task. The economic centre of the erstwhile AP state was gone, leaving behind a primarily agricultural state with little industrial produce to speak of. The future held much uncertainty and the state looked to it’s newly elected CM to take control.
Three years on, as Andhra is set on a path of rapid industrialisation and growth, Naidu seems to be delivering on the expectations made from him.
Naidu is the man in-charge, and in a hurry. And not just industry, Naidu has set his sights on tech to drive AP’s growth too. After hosting the Vizag BlockChain Conference in October, Naidu hosted Bill Gates for the AP AgTech Summit a few days back, seeking to transform agriculture through technology, as reported by The Hindu Business Line.
This is in addition to the efforts to build industry in the new state, which recently won against stiff competition to get South Korean Kia Motors to build a $2-billion plant in the Anantapur district. The state’s efforts at industrialisation are already bearing fruit in Sri City which has the likes of Isuzu and Hero MotoCorp among the list of companies operating their production facilities there. Foxconn, the Taiwanese mobile production giant, too has its plants in Sri City, which according to the state government produces two million mobiles per year and employs 15,000 women.
According to the government, 187 large industries have already gone into production in the state with a combined investment of Rs 35,256 crore over the last three years. The state, along with Telangana, is already the joint national leader in the Ease Of Doing Business and is looking to a greater infrastructure push to charge up the industrial scene even more.
As industry grows and matures, the CM’s new focus is on technology to boost the economy. Innovation centres have been set up in Vizag and Tirupati and the state is tying up with Visa to digitise payments across sectors like tourism and transport.
One of the most staggering of the announcements however, was the government’s bid to digitise land records and road networks through blockchain in association with KPMG, which is among the first of it’s kind projects in the world.
As the Andhra story develops, neighbouring Telangana isn’t holding back either. Hyderabad’s metro rail system was inaugurated yesterday (28 November) and it has been the frontrunner in getting investments among all southern states. As the two states compete with each other over development, and as other states get on the investment bandwagon, it augurs well for the country’s future.