India protests drive up costs for tech companies

Strikes in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh threaten to disrupt IT companies based in state capital Hyderabad, one of India’s largest technology hubs.

Roughly 800,000 workers are involved in the strikes, Reuters reports. Protestors want the Indian government to carry out a plan to divide Andhra Pradesh into two separate states. Groups of protestors have already tried to stop buses bringing workers to a technology business park, Reuters says.

Besides the Indian outsourcing giants, IT companies including Google, Capgemini and Amazon have facilities in Hyderabad. It is home to Microsoft’s largest research and development facility outside the US.

Mr L Suresh, the president of the IT Industry Association of Andhra Pradesh (ITsAP), told Information Age that the protests have driven up operating costs for IT companies in the area due to increased employee transport expenses.

He said that the local IT industry is "agnostic" on the issue of dividing the state in two. "There will not be any impact … on the IT industry in Hyderabad as the industry is well entrenched. Currently, there are no restrictions on companies operating here."

A Microsoft India spokesperson told Information Age that "the Microsoft Hyderabad campus operations continue to function normally. Our security team is constantly monitoring the situation, and [on the] basis [of] their updates and advice, a further plan of action will be decided, if needed.”

Several Indian news sources are reporting large loses to industry in the area due to the protests, with the Deccan Chronicle estimating Rs 2,800 crore (£366 million) of damage.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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