HYDERABAD: The coronation of mana Hyderabadi Satya Nadella as CEO of the world’s largest software player Microsoft couldn’t have come at a better time for Brand Hyderabad, which has been grappling with the shame of having lost its erstwhile IT poster boy, Ramalinga Raju, to the Satyam scam in 2009 and gaining the dubious distinction of being a ‘city of scams’.
Of course, Brand Hyderabad’s image as a global investment destination and IT hub, built over the better part of the last decade, had taken a further beating thanks to the Telangana-turmoil that kept the city on the boil over the past five years.
So will Telugu bidda Nadella put Brand Hyderabad back firmly on the global IT map and resurrect its flagging fortunes? Corporate honchos feel that from its days of Satyam infamy to basking in Satya’s glory, Brand Hyderabad has come a long way and not only stands vindicated but finally gets the much needed credibility boost.
According to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd chairman and CEO GV Prasad, though several Hyderabad entrepreneurs have made a global impact, this is the first time that a professional from the city has risen to the position of CEO at such a large global organization. “I believe this appointment will help ‘Brand Hyderabad’ gain more respectability and credibility. We are a city of varied talent and it is great to see a fellow Hyderabadi go to such great heights,” says Prasad.
“Nadella’s news reaffirms the ‘fundamentals and ethos’ that Andhra Pradesh and particularly Hyderabad’s IT industry has stood for all these years. His success is a landmark because it will inspire young Indian techies to aspire for top jobs in IT firms and is also an important development for the IT sector as a whole,” feels Nasscom president Som Mittal.
Former JWT India CEO Tarun Singh Chauhan is of the opinion that the positive association of Hyderabad with Nadella will go a long way in helping the city shed some of the negative baggage of its recent past. “A lot of other negative issues related to the city now become irrelevant. Hyderabad is now a globally relevant brand as Nadella has bagged one of the most coveted jobs in the corporate world and it is the city that gifted this talent to the world. It is also about the victory of people from humble backgrounds.”
Raising a toast to yet another feather in Hyderabad’s cap, BVR Mohan Reddy, founder chairman of homegrown IT major Infotech Enterprises says this is “very positive” news for Brand Hyderabad. “There are quite a few high profile names in the corporate world with a Hyderabad connection such as Prem Watsa of BlackBerry, Adobe Systems chief executive officer Shantanu Narayen and now Satya Nadella. This will go a long way in boosting Hyderabad’s image,” he says.
Randstad India president Aditya Narayan Mishra too feels Satya Nadella is the much needed “feel good factor” for Hyderabad, which has been facing a lot of headwinds recently because of various reasons such as the ongoing political uncertainty in the state.
However, the city needs more of such “feel good” news to pump up Brand Hyderabad, points out Indian School of Business (ISB) deputy dean Deepak Chandra. “Whenever a son of the soil makes it to such heights, it is a matter of pride for the region. Nadella’s rise to the helm at Microsoft is a positive development and puts Hyderabad in the news for all the right reasons. The city needs many more such consistent and positive reinforcements to have an enduring impact on its brand,” he says.