The political uncertainty in Andhra Pradesh over formation of a separate Telengana state has Hyderabad’s industry organisations and corporate firms, particularly those in the IT and pharmaceutical sectors, worried.
“Till now, we have been able to address the concerns of our clients but if the situation is not contained it would shake their confidence and affect the future of industry here,” M. Narasimha Rao, president of the Hyderabad Software Exporters Association and head of Infosys in Hyderabad told HT on Monday.
“We’ve seen lot of calls from our clients who wanted to know what is happening here. Today some of them postponed their visits, tomorrow it would be orders and then future investments,” Rao said.
With global brands such as Infosys, TCS, Wipro, Tech Mahindra having operations here, Hyderabad exported software worth about Rs 32,000 crore (Rs 320 billion) in the downturn year of 2008-09.
Former state chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, credited with IT and pharma boom here shares the anxiety over Andhra Pradesh being split.
“We (the Telugu Desam Party government) put in every effort to build this city’s infrastructure and industry — brick by brick. I went around the world bringing investments. Now, the situation is such that investments would disappear and industries would drift away,” he said.
The city’s pharma industry seems even more worried than the IT sector.
“Unlike the software industry, we make huge capital investments and setting up a unit itself is a long process. Right now we are on top. But these kinds of agitations and their aftermath would char the good image we gathered through these long years,” said M. Nityananda Reddy, managing director of Aurobindo Pharma and president of the Bulk Drugs Manufacturers Association (BDMA) in Andhra Pradesh.
Dr Reddys, Aurobindo, Shanta Biotech, Suven Life Sciences, Matrix and Indian Immunologicals are just some of the big names here. Drug exports from Hyderabad were worth about Rs 13,000 crore (Rs 130 billion) last year.
“If the state is split, many investments flowing here could be diverted to places in (coastal) Andhra and Rayalaseema (regions), which are not so industrialised, except for pockets like Vizag” said Y. Harischandra Prasad, president of the Andhra Pradesh CII (Confederation of Indian Industry).