Q: What are the most exciting sectors of the Andhra Pradesh economy? Which industries should foreign investors consider backing financially, and where do the opportunities lie?
A: Electronics is a very important industry in Andhra Pradesh state and offers foreign investors all kinds of opportunities. The state has many trained, qualified people in this field and their salaries are at a competitive level. The talent pool is very big.
The national government has been promoting a nationwide policy to stimulate the electronics industry and there are all kinds of taxation and other incentives in place to help electronics companies and to attract foreign investors. One of the main factors in Andhra Pradesh’s favour is the state’s long coastline. It has many ports and the logistics here are very good.
Currently, most of the electronics goods produced here are destined for the domestic market but we expect exports to really pick up in the future.
Important foreign firms that have a presence in Andhra Pradesh state include Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company; DCL Electronics, the Chinese electronics company; and Flextronics, the US electronics manufacturing company. These all have plants in the state. Another Chinese firm, Wingtech Technology, is also investing in the state.
Q: How important is the information technology sector to the state? Are there opportunities for foreign investors in this industry?
A: The state is really strong in mathematics; that gives it a strong advantage. Andhra Pradesh offers young people a very good education and many people study mathematics to an advanced level. Let’s say there is a passion for mathematics here and that it is part of the local DNA, the local genetic make-up.
This really helps when it comes to the IT industry developing here. Many software developers come from here, and games developers, too. Many find jobs in the US and go there, though of course many stay, and the local talent pool is very big.
Andhra Pradesh is also becoming a major centre for business process outsourcing. Many specialist firms operate here. They could be in the fields of cybersecurity or data analytics. State Street Corporation, the US data analytics company, has a presence here. The International Institute of Digital Technologies is located in the city of Tirupati in Chittoor district in the state. It is an important institution and really helps the state to promote the information technology and digital technology industries.
Q: How will the state develop in the future? Is the middle class expanding in the state?
A: I am very optimistic about the future of the state. Lots of individuals here have considerable drive. There is a very good local business climate and a strong sentiment to improve the state. Law and order is very strong here. The state is also free from flooding; we do not suffer from natural calamities.
Two major industrial corridors pass through the state: the Visakhapatnam-Chennai corridor, India’s first coastal corridor; and the Chennai-Bangalore corridor. I am certain these will expand in the future and attract many more companies. New national highways are planned and industrial clusters are developing fast.
The city of Vijayawada has been expanding very rapidly. We have seen a great deal of social mobility and the services and manufacturing sectors are becoming more significant.