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Hyderabad: Top City to Hire Software Engineers

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The Karat Team

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With over six million software engineers, India is one of the largest pools of tech talent in the world. In addition to being home to nearly a quarter of the world’s developers, India also boasts some of the highest concentrations of top engineering talent. Six Indian cities made our list of the top cities to hire software engineers in 2024 – more than any country outside of the U.S. For the second consecutive year, Hyderabad stands out as being the highest ranked city in India for elite engineering talent. Elite candidates are software engineers who perform in the top quartile of all technical interviews globally, based on Karat’s dataset of more than 350,000 interviews.

Major companies like Google and Microsoft have a significant presence in Hyderabad. Many more enterprise companies are now opening global capability centers (GCCs) and centers of excellence (CoE) to take advantage of the city’s talent, favorable government policies and incentives, and well-developed infrastructure. 

Discover why Hyderabad is the best place in India for high-caliber software engineers and some of the hiring challenges that companies might face there.

Why Hyderabad

  • Government incentives: Hyderabad is the capital of the state of Telangana, where the government is constantly encouraging new business and investments in the region. The government states that Telangana has consistently been among the top three states for “Ease of Doing Business” since 2016. Among the incentives it offers, Telangana is the only state that offers a self certification-based system for approvals and clearances, allowing businesses to hit the ground running without waiting for paperwork to clear.  
  • Ongoing infrastructure improvement: Aside from policies that make it easy for companies to set up in the state, the government also continues to develop infrastructure for office space and transportation. Most notably, the IT park HITEC City was built as a result of the IT revolution in Hyderabad and inaugurated in 1998. Under the 2020 GRID policy, 11 industrial parks will be converted to IT parks to decongest the existing IT corridor and “allow Hyderabad to retain its cost-competitiveness among the top office markets in India.” In March 2024, the Ministry of Defence approved construction for elevated corridors across Hyderabad. These corridors are expected to reduce travel time and increase accessibility, thus facilitating business growth, especially for life sciences companies, and making the surrounding areas more attractive for investment and development.
  • Focus on emerging technologies: The Government of Telangana recognizes the importance of new technologies, setting up the Emerging Technologies Wing to capitalize on these innovations and establish Telangana as the leader in emerging technologies. In particular, the state is focused on becoming a major player in AI. The government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with 3AI, India’s largest platform for AI and analytics professionals, to “position Hyderabad and Telangana as a global hub for IT and AI development & innovation.” Additionally, the Department of Science and Technology and startup ecosystem enabler T-Hub have worked together to set up a Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Technology Hub (MATH), which will “foster AI innovation, create job opportunities, and provide a conducive ecosystem for AI and ML start-ups.” 
  • Highly ranked engineering institutions: Telangana is home to several top engineering colleges. In the India Rankings 2023 for Engineering, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad was ranked eighth, followed by the National Institute of Technology Warangal at number 21. The International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Hyderabad, University of Hyderabad, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, and SR University all ranked within the top 100. 
  • GCC hub: In the first half of 2023, Hyderabad surpassed Bangalore, which has been the leader in global services delivery since the 1990s, in the number of GCCs set up there. More than 40 global corporations expanded their Acceleration Centers, Centers of Excellence, Centers of Innovation, and Research and Development facilities in Hyderabad during this time. The city is an ideal place to set up a GCC due to many of the characteristics listed above, including its high-quality talent, world-class infrastructure, top-tier educational institutions, an affordable cost of living, and a diverse range of industries. Most recently, BlackBerry opened its largest CoE outside of Canada in Hyderabad. According to Mattias Eriksson, President and General Manager of BlackBerry’s IOT Business Unit, “the company decided to set up the facility in Hyderabad because of the good availability of skilled talent, progressive government policies that have driven a fast development of a thriving ecosystem that houses many of its customers and tech giants.”

Hiring Challenges in Hyderabad

  • Highly competitive: Although Hyderabad has a vast engineering talent pool, the market is extremely competitive. Small- and medium-sized businesses may find it particularly difficult due to lack of employer branding in the new market. Even those that see their work in emerging technologies as a way to compete with large companies that focus on software development are having a hard time finding and retaining talent. Industry experts say that small businesses face a constant talent crunch due to skilled workers preferring big name companies. In order to compete, smaller companies may need to offer larger compensation packages, and the same goes for larger enterprises. 
  • Job-seeker’s market: Professionals in Hyderabad are optimistic about the job market, as 92% of them are looking for a new job in 2024. With more companies entering Hyderabad or expanding existing operations, there’s no shortage of jobs and candidates may be able to easily find better offers. Even when employers are able to make a hire, employees may not stick around long if they believe there’s a more lucrative or interesting opportunity out there. This means that companies can’t just focus on hiring — they also need to prioritize retaining talent. 

If you’re considering tapping into global tech talent to rapidly grow, manage costs, or expand into new markets, see our full report on the top cities to hire software engineers in 2024

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