Visa recently announced their plan to build a brand new Technology Center of Excellence in Bangalore, India. The center will open in 2015 and be fully staffed by 2017. The center will focus on easing global access to VisaNet, Visa’s proprietary transaction processing network, by developing key application programming interfaces and software development kits.
The new center is part of Visa’s growing focus on technology and innovation. Earlier this year, Visa opened a technology center to advance innovation in payments in San Francisco. That office now employs 500 people and benefits from a location close to the massive California startup community that Visa serves.
Bangalore is considered the innovation hub of India, much like the Bay Area in the US, and gives Visa the opportunity to attract top talent from the country’s universities and from around the world. The city continues is drawing foreign businesses and some of India’s most innovative domestic companies, and has garnered $9.3 billion in FDI in the past 10 years. This new growth is helping to improve infrastructure in and around the city, has alleviating what was once one of the main concerns for foreign companies.
Factors contributing to Bangalore’s growing success include a population growing at 21% each year, the city’s nine universities, and easy access to an international airport. The city boasts 1,000 IT companies as well as 150 multi-national giants, employing over 100,000 professionals.
Following Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the US in September 2014, US business investments in India have skyrocketed. After his trip, the US-India Business council announced $41 billion in investments from the US to India over the next three years. This is a huge increase, as FDI to India from the US was about $4 billion in 2012.
Visa and other tech companies, such as IBM and Microsoft, opening shop in India highlights India’s increasing attractiveness to industries across the spectrum. Besides Visa’s new tech center, US businesses including Gap, Jeep, and Wendy’s are set to start operations in India in 2015 as well.
Ethan Kannel is a Research Intern at the East-West Center in Washington and a junior at Cornell University