Unlike utterly congested Bombay or terminally hot Latur, Bangalore is a pretty rocking city. Often referred to as ‘the Silicone Valley of India, Bangalore has become so synonymous with outsourced information tech assistance that a saying has arisen among Americans whose jobs have wound up in this sprawling Indian metropolis: “My job has been Bangalored…” But as the global economy expands, most major corporations are under increasing pressure to deliver exactly what Bangalore can provide: superior goods faster and cheaper. As much as cities like Detroit may bemoan the changing base of economics, it is, in a very real sense, the key to the adapt-or-fail future.
As a representative Bangalore software and systems integration company to film for ‘Our India Story’ with Detroit roots, we were directed to Covansys, whose client base includes countless Fortune 500 companies who rely on their end-to-end service capabilities and I.T. capabilities. A beautiful campus in the heart of the city, Covansys India employs more than five thousand skilled software professionals and is one of the reasons why CNN recently referred to the Karnatakan capital as ‘one of the best places to do business in the wired world.’ It proved very much a metaphor for the ‘old meets new’ dichotomy of modern India, with row upon row of computer cubes, most sporting not photos of families, but Hindu gods and icons.
Of course, Bangalore offers far more for its $60 billion economy to a crew with a camera, and the visual treat of the clean streets, well-recognized colleges and research institution (Bangalore boasts the second-highest literacy rate in the nation) added invaluable color to the segment. Perhaps because of the influx of Bangalore’s global workforce, a greater religious diversity exists here than any other city in India. As a result we were able to explore the Shiva Temple on Shiv Madar road, the great Jamma Masjid mosque Cant street, and St. Francis Xavier Catholic church all in the space of a couple hours. Meanwhile, the greenery of Bangalore public parks is legendary, and ‘Garen City’ was its nickname long before the software companies came to town.
Bangalore also presented us with our most telling reminder of impact that Gandhi continues to have throughout India to this day, and numerous statues of the ‘Great Soul’ can be found along Mahatma Gandhi Road, which ironically, is also home to five-star hotels and upscale shops like Deepam and Vijayalakshmi. Still, Gandhi’s message to the common folks of India, one of peaceful resistance and ceaseless effort, led to the very independence that has pushed Bangalore to the top of India’s economic hierarchy.