In the late 70s, the Government of Karnataka, through its nodal body, the Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation (KEONICS), foresaw Electronics as the cutting-edge technology industry of the future. The Govt. also recognised the huge potential for employment and industrial growth that this sector offered besides the advantages of being energy efficient, non-polluting and non-capital intensive. The Govt. therefore offered many incentives for the setting up of new electronics industries in Karnataka.
Soon, among other things, KEONICS together with the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) set up India’s first ever totally dedicated Electronics Industrial Estate about 25 kms from the heart of Bangalore City on the National Highway 7 (Hosur Road) that leads to the Industrial town of Hosur in Tamil Nadu.
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The estate was christened the ‘Electronics City’, and it was planned on an expanse of about 440 acres of clean, green environment. Quite a few electronics manufacturing industries came up in the estate and the estate slowly grew in strength. In order to promote the establishment of small scale industries, Karnataka State Small Industries Development Corporation (KSSIDC) set up an industrial complex with three multistoried buildings. These housed industrial flats suitable for light manufacturing activities. However, the growth of the Electronics City was stunted due to poor infrastructure – Electrical Power was unreliable, public transport non-existent, poor access, poor water supply, lack of sewage drainage, etc.
With the advent of the software industry in the 90′s, the Government of India located its prestigious Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) in the Electronics City. The STPI was set up in one of the buildings of the KSSIDC complex. The STPI served as an incubation centre for start-up software units and ready-made industrial flats were offered to prospective entrepreneurs.
It was in the early 90s, that a resurrected economy fuelled by a worldwide boom in software development, caused a paradigm shift in the growth of Electronics City and it soon metamorphosed into a Mecca for software organisations. Very soon, there were more than 150 operational units in the Electronics City with a built-up area of four million square feet including Multinationals, Public Sector Undertakings, Small and Medium Enterprises and Training Institutions. Today, Electronics City provides employment to over 200,000 professionals contributing to an annual turnover of about 1.6 Billion Dollars (Rs.8000 crores). Propped by the great vision of the Government of Karnataka to put the state in the orbit of ‘World IT Destinations’, the Electronics City established itself as a dream destination for IT Industries.
Electronics City soon earned the sobriquet, the’Silicon Valley of India’ and now houses multinationals like HP, GE, 3M, TATA BP Solar, Fanuc, Moog, Motorola, Yokogawa and Siemens, besides the national giants such as Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Satyam, TATA Power and public sector units such as C-DOT, ITI and BHEL. The Electronics City also is home to educational Institutions such as IIIT-Bangalore, NTTF, XIME, NIIT, IFIM, C-DAC and Symbiosis.
The growth in popularity of the Electronics City and resultant high demand for land in and around this estate prompted the GoK to create an extension to the originally formed estate. This led to the tag of Phase I for the original area and Phase II for the newly formed area. While Phase I is completely to the western side of the Hosur road highway, Phase II has parts of it on either side. In order to overcome the resultant confusion, ELCIA renamed the areas as ‘East’ and ‘West’ of the highway. Electronics City West comprises all of Phase I and a small part of Phase II. Electronics City East comprises the rest of Phase II.
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