Bangalore has a lot going for it. India’s Silicon Valley, it’s the backbone of the country’s $118 billion information technology (IT) industry, churning around some 33 percent of India’s total IT exports.
So, for a few decades now, the IT industry’s brightest engineers and managers have been making a beeline for the former cantonment town, which has struggled to keep pace with the high-tech gold rush.
The result is that the city is perennially and painfully gridlocked. In 2011, IBM ranked Bangalore the sixth worst on its Commuter Pain Index, ahead of New Delhi, with some of the longest traffic delays in the world.
And for the city’s celebrated software industry, that translates into over $6 billion worth of man hours spent stuck in traffic.
That includes the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Infosys, Wipro, TCS and every other major technology company in the world, since they all have a presence in Bangalore.
There are, of course, several other industries in the city, as well as non-monetary costs to spending time in traffic. But here is a rough estimate of the cost of traffic in the context of the IT industry.
Bangalore had a total of 800,000 workers in the IT exports and the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sectors in 2012, according to the Karnataka ICT Committee. B.V. Naidu, co-chairman of the committee, estimates that the workers are evenly split between the both the sectors.