Moving to Bengaluru
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Although it's often compared to Silicon Valley, expats moving to Bengaluru may need some convincing that the city is leading India's rise in all things computer related. At first glance, the metropolis is a patchwork of bad roads, low-slung buildings and general urban sprawl, but, as those who move to Bengaluru know, in the many software industrial parks there is enough microchip, software, computer and brain power to make the whole city spin out to space.
Compared to other Indian cities like Delhi and Mumbai, Bengaluru enjoys a reputation for being relatively clean and cosmopolitan. It has also long enjoyed a reputation for being cool – both in terms of its agreeable temperature and the generally open-minded attitude of the populace. In the city centre, cafés and shops offer an agreeable lifestyle, presenting the city as modern as any other, but farther out the city’s character is shaped by the large population of indigenous poor.
As Bengaluru copes with accommodating the needs of a growing IT industry, it is caught providing for a substantially less affluent population. The result is often that neither community is satisfied with their infrastructure – power cuts, for instance, are an intermittent problem affecting both sides of the wealth divide. Yet an educated workforce, low overheads and a welcoming business culture have continued to support the rise of Indian companies and attract foreign departments.
Like other Indian centres of industry, Bengaluru is in a transitional phase. A leading business centre trying to pull away from its former role as a traditional backwater, expats moving to Bengaluru often have to contend with poor government oversight, under-developed infrastructure and occasionally confusing cultural norms.
The city can be a hardship posting for many expats, while for others it presents a real chance for career development and an opportunity to discover an exciting new country.