Microsoft CEO promises help to promote startups in Hyderabad (Roundup)

Hyderabad, Dec 28 (IANS) A meeting with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu over breakfast and a visit to T-Hub, the technology incubator developed by Telangana was all Microsoft chief executive officer Satya Nadella did on Monday during his private visit to Hyderabad.

On only his second visit to the city since he became CEO of the global tech giant last year, Nadella did a balancing act to keep both Telugu states happy and had an informal interaction with budding entrepreneurs.

On his first visit in September last year, he could not meet Naidu as the latter was away in Visakhaptnam but had called on Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao. This time, he met Naidu over breakfast and also visited T-Hub, billed as India’s largest technology incubator.

While a MoU was signed between Microsoft India and Andhra Pradesh to harness cloud technology for the state’s growth, at T-Hub Nadella responded positively to Telangana’s request for setting up a startup ecosystem in Hyderabad.

During the meeting with Naidu, the 47-year-old promised to visit his native Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh. Born in Anantapur, Nadella was brought up and studied in Hyderabad.

During the interaction with startups at T-Hub, he said that his energy comes from the interaction with entrepreneurs across the world.

“There are three points to success – concept, capability, culture. Learn more from day one… chase after your concept or idea. Improve your capability to chase the idea… Curate the culture,” he told the entrepreneurs in an inspirational talk.

To a query, he said the importance of failure lies in learning from it.

During the meeting with Telangana’s Information Technology Minister K.T. Rama Rao, Nadella said the tech giant under its initiative Microsoft Ventures would help develop accelerators and startups here.

He responded positively to a request by the Telanana government to build a startup ecosystem in Hyderabad in partnership with T-Hub.

“Indian talent in the area is dramatically growing and we can see their dominance in the field,” the Microsoft CEO told budding entrepreneurs.

Nadella said Microsoft’s goal and dream is to empower local entrepreneurs to solve last mile connectivity.

The minister later told reporters that it was one of the several avenues of collaboration they explored.

Rama Rao also requested him to preferably set up a cloud data centre in Hyderabad. Nadella promised that he would like to be enabler for cloud enablement of small and medium enterprises.

This public cloud for SMEs can help in building a sustainable business environment and other eco systems can also benefit from this.

The IT minister said Nadella also agreed to consider his request to implement its white spaces technology in Telangana. The Microsoft CEO said the company would like to work with some local entrepreneurs to bring about the last mile connectivity.

The state government also sought Microsoft’s help in digitizing classrooms in government-run schools across the state. The minister said the government was focused on ensuring best education and wanted children to benefit from best technologies.

Microsoft has its India Development Centre here since 1998. It is the largest facility of Microsoft outside its headquarters in Redmond, US.

Earlier, Nadella met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu over breakfast at the latter’s residence.

On this occasion, Andhra Pradesh government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Microsoft India to harness Microsoft cloud technology for the state’s growth.

An earlier statement issued by the office of the advisor, communications, Andhra Pradesh, said said Nadella agreed to set up a centre of excellence in Visakhapatnam.

However, it later issued a revised release, according to which the government requested him to set up centre of excellence.

The meeting over breakfast at Naidu’s residence lasted over an hour. It mainly centred on how Microsoft could help accelerate development process in Andhra Pradesh through deployment of IT.

Nadella showed interest in the ambitious Rs 2,500-crore e-pragathi project, an e-governance initiative, recently taken up by the state government.

The Microsoft CEO invited the state to send an IT team to Seattle to study how the technology giant’s services could be utlilised for better implementation of this project.

Under the MoU, the state government would use technical knowledge provided by Microsoft India.

Microsoft India will support building of up to three proof-of-concept (POC) solutions to apply Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and Advanced Visualization in the fields of education, agriculture and eCitizen services.

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