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Microsoft Collaborates with Hyderabad’s T-Hub to Develop Startups

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microIn the last week of December, the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, Satya Nadella visited the     T-Hub in Hyderabad. On his second visit to the city where he grew up, after he took over as CEO, the head of the global software giant interacted with budding entrepreneurs. Furthermore, as scheduled, he had a breakfast meeting with the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu. He primarily came to Hyderabad to attend a family function.

During his visit in September the year before last, he addressed Microsoft’s employees at its India Development Centre (IDC). T-Hub is essentially a technology incubator built with collaborative efforts from the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT-Hyderabad), the Indian School of Business (ISB) and NALSAR University of Law, along with various other organizations. On his first visit, Nadella could not meet Naidu as the latter was away in Visakhaptnam but had called on Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao. Certainly, this time it was a balancing act.

Previous Collaborations with Microsoft

Microsoft built its India Development Centre here in the year 1998. It is the largest facility of Microsoft outside of its headquarters in Redmond, US. An earlier statement issued by the office of the advisor, communications, Andhra Pradesh, stated that Nadella had agreed to set up a centre of excellence in the south city of Visakhapatnam. However, it later issued an updated release, according to which the government asked him to establish a centre of excellence in its own state. In the year 2015, Microsoft Ventures had expanded its partnerships in India, bringing on board Kyron, Citi India and Patni Healthcare, in order to link them to startups as they were in search for innovative and customer-oriented solutions. Following its #CoInnovate programme launched in June last year, Microsoft Ventures is working with ISDI Creative Accelerator, Reliance and Deshpande Foundation. #CoInnovate brings together mature startups and corporates who get access to creative and revolutionary solutions for their business needs while providing wider market access to the startups.

What Was The Outcome Of His Visit?


The meeting over breakfast at Naidu’s residence lasted for over an hour. It mainly focused on how Microsoft could help in providing impetus to development process in Andhra Pradesh via the deployment of information technology. Satya Nadella responded quite positively to Telangana’s request for setting up a startup ecosystem in Hyderabad in partnership with T-Hub and hence, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Microsoft India and Andhra Pradesh to develop cloud technology for the state’s development and growth. During the meeting with Naidu, the 47-year-old expressed his strong desire to visit his native Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh. Born in Anantapur, he was brought up and studied in Hyderabad.

During the interaction with startups at T-Hub, he revealed that his energy comes from the interaction with entrepreneurs all across the world. According to him, there are three key points to success – concept, capability and culture. Learn from day one, chase your concept or idea. Improve your capability to chase the idea and then, curate the culture. Responding to a query, he said the importance of failure lies in learning from them. During the meeting with Telangana’s Information Technology Minister K.T. Rama Rao, Satya Nadella said that his company under its initiative Microsoft Ventures would help in developing accelerators and startups here. The minister later told reporters that it was only one of the several avenues of collaboration they explored.

Rama Rao further requested him to set up a cloud data centre in Hyderabad. Nadella promised that he would like to be an enabler for cloud services to small and medium enterprises. This public cloud for SMEs could help in creating a sustainable business environment so that other eco systems could also leverage it. The IT minister further said Nadella also agreed to consider his request to implement Microsoft’s white spaces technology in Telangana. The Microsoft CEO said the company would like to work closely with some local entrepreneurs to bring about the last mile connectivity. The state government also sought Microsoft’s to digitize classrooms in government-run schools across the state. The minister said the government was focused on providing best education to children who shall benefit from best technologies.

Future Prospects

Nadella showed interest in the ambitious E-Pragathi project, an e-governance initiative, recently taken up by the state government worth Rs 2,500 crore. The Microsoft CEO invited the state to send its IT team to Seattle, U.S., to study how the technology giant’s services could be leveraged for better implementation of this project. Under the MoU, the state government would make use of the technical knowledge provided by Microsoft India. Microsoft India will support building of up to three proof-of-concept (POC) solutions in order to apply Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and Advanced Visualization in the fields of education, agriculture and eCitizen services.

The Microsoft CEO believes that Indian talent in the area is dramatically growing and everyone can see their dominance in the field. Nadella further said that Microsoft’s goal is to empower budding entrepreneurs to resolve the persisting problem of last mile connectivity.

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