Study: Bay Area and India growing economic ties

November 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The Bay Area's economic links to India are growing stronger. It is leading to more jobs being created here and fewer jobs being outsourced there.

The Bay Area and India have had strong ties for over 40 years, when engineers began immigrating here to obtain advanced degrees. Then they found Silicon Valley conducive to start their own companies.

"They've been responsible for a lot of leading tech innovations, things like Hotmail, Sun, lots of iconic companies, Brocade and others, founded by Indians who came here really looking for the opportunity we have here in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley," Sean Randolph said.

Randolph is president and CEO of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, which just released a major study of the growing linkage of India's economy and our own.

Among its findings:

  • India is Oracle's fourth largest global market
  • India hosts Symantec's largest engineering side outside the U.S. and works on more than 80 percent of its products
  • India accounts for one-third of Adobe's global engineering workforce
  • More than half of India's developer community works on Sun platforms
  • Hewlett Packard is the largest player in India's IT market
  • Levi Strauss has 450 exclusive outlets in 80 Indian cities
  • Cisco's second global headquarters is in Bangalore
  • eBay counts 2 million regular users in 780 cities and 10,000 dealers across India
  • San Francisco based Draper International launched the first India-dedicated venture fund
  • More than 40 Bay Area venture firms have Indian leadership and/or activity in India

"It has become a large consumer nation with some 300 million people, consumers and they want to consumer everything that the Western world consumes," TiE Silicon Valley President Vish Mishra said.

Mishra was CEO of four start-ups. He is now a venture capitalist helping other Indian immigrants start companies, creating jobs in both countries.

Experts in Silicon Valley do not seem to have a handle on exactly how many jobs have been created by immigrants from India.

There is one CEO who knows exactly how many jobs he has created. Vivek Khuller came to the U.S. in 1990. He founded a company called Divitas Networks in Mountain View four years ago.

"At the peak we were about 80 people and 30 of those 80 were in India and the remaining 50 were split between the United States and a few in Europe," Khuller said.

As India's technology know-how and economy mature, the country's image as a call center and cheap offshore labor source is expected to diminish.


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