The financial capital of Andhra Pradesh, Vizag, has been in the spotlight of late. With news of global fintech (Financial Technology) start-ups flocking to the city, the city has been in the papers quite a bit. This is of course not an overnight phenomenon. Let’s consider the reasons why Vizag has now become the financial hub for fintech start-ups over the years. Here are some of the reasons why the city is a hotbed for finance companies to open a base there:
Where It All Began
In December 2016, the Andra Pradesh state government launched Fintech Valley Vizag, an initiative to promote the business structure of the state. The programme offered a global Fintech ecosystem to produce growth through industry-enablers, innovations, entrepreneurship and world-class infrastructure. From the very start of the operation, the programme had an ambitious plan to expand as a global Fintech hub.
The Fintech Valley Vizag rolled out numerous initiatives to develop a thriving Fintech ecosystem in the city. A few of them are listed below:
- The launch of BFSI case repository program: Collaborating with leading banks, insurance companies, capital marketing companies and NBFCs, the valley launched a Hackathon and Innovation Challenge to operationalize the use of case repository.
- Blockchain Business Conference 2017 – We know that blockchain is considered to be the solution for existing security woes of Fintech sector. Valley conducted a conference regarding this technology to pave a path for new business models by revolutionizing the current expensive systems.
- Fintech Valley Accelerator Program – This program was conducted to provide a chance to the start-ups of the valley to find success by connecting them with bigger players of the industry. It gave the selected startups an opportunity to access technology resources, mentoring on fundraising and legal guidance.
All these initiatives helped the valley to boost its image as a sustainable fintech ecosystem not just in India but on a global level.
Under the Designated Technology Park Scheme, the Valley offers government-backed support facilities at subsidized rates. The Valley welcomes resident fintech courses, fintech start-ups, incubators, accelerators and innovation hubs to use the facility as a co-working space. The infrastructure facilities of the valley include Millenium Towers with an area of 300,000 square feet, 40 acres for an IT park in Rushikonda and a 600-acre IT park that’s coming up at Kappulapada. The facilities of connectivity in the state are remarkable.
The Andhra Pradesh Fiber Grid Project is under construction which is aiming to bring optical fibre network to all part of the state. This project has been implemented at a cost of ₹333 Crore and it will make Andhra Pradesh the first Indian state to make all its citizens digitally active.
In October 2018, The Valley conducted a 5-day festival named Vizag Fintech Festival. The conference hosted various leading start-ups, corporates, investors and academia from around the world. The fest ended with such success that it was proof of the global recognition to the valley. The first day of the fest witnessed the Andhra Pradesh government signing pacts with Whub of Hongkong, SOSA of Israel, Singex and Bizforce among others. The launch of Vizag operations of Cadlytics, DXC and First American Corporation was announced later during the fest.
It is clear that the government is making huge efforts to make Vizag a global hub for Financial Technologies. With the current rate of success, we can expect Vizag to turn out as a one in the upcoming years.