The Karnataka Government is wooing companies and investors with its ‘Beyond Bengaluru’ initiative to encourage them to expand and invest outside the tech city. This initiative is focusing on a cluster-based development approach in regions outside Bengaluru.
“Presently we are focusing on 3 clusters in emerging tech – Mysuru (cybersecurity and electronics system design and manufacturing), Mangaluru (fintech and electric vehicles) and the Hubbali-Dharwad-Belagavi cluster (agritech and Industry 4.0),” said Priyank Kharge, Minister for Information Technology and Biotechnology; Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Government of Karnataka, at the Bengaluru Tech Summit.
The Mysuru Cluster is the second largest software exporter in Karnataka. It houses over 8 incubation centres and 100 tech startups. The Mangaluru Cluster has over 15 incubation centers, 200 startups and 50 mid-sized companies that account for over Rs 3,000 crore exports.
The Hubbali-Dharwad-Belagavi cluster is part of the Mumbai–Bengaluru industrial corridor and home to agro-based, manufacturing and logistic companies. It houses over 8 incubation centres and 50 tech and tech-enabled startups.
“We have ambitious plans to further enhance Karnataka’s position as a global technology hub,” said Kharge. “Our vision is to create a conducive environment for all the stakeholders in this ecosystem. We have not only embraced the challenges of the digital era but have emerged as pioneers, setting an example for the rest of the nation.”
The government is also focusing on building innovation ecosystems through centres of excellence in various fields. These include deep tech, cybersecurity, agri innovation, aerospace and robotics.
“This fiscal year, we have committed to establishing new centres of excellence in life sciences and medical devices, manufacturing, automobile technology, wireless products, fintech, and even a gaming accelerator,” said Kharge.
The government is also leading the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) initiative. This involves knowledge and idea exchanges with leading technology hubs across the globe. Presently, it has active collaborations with over 30 countries. The programme offers market expansion opportunities to GIA partner countries.
The startup ecosystem in Karnataka is thriving, with over 14,000 startups contributing to an ecosystem valuation of $164 billion. It is also home to about 40 unicorns.
IT exports from Karnataka are reportedly heading closer to the $100 billion milestone compared to $91 billion in the 2022 fiscal. Karnataka is home to over 5,500 IT and ITES companies, employing 1,800,000 professionals directly and 5,500,000 indirectly.