Strike shuts down India's technology hub
Oct 05, 2006
A daylong strike by local political groups shut down India's technology hub, Bangalore, forcing many outsourcing companies to shift work elsewhere in the country and abroad.
Wednesday's strike was called to press the southern Karnataka state's decades-old claim over a small town in a dispute with neighboring Maharashtra state.
Normal life was crippled across Karnataka with vehicles staying off the streets, forcing people to stay at home. Schools and colleges also were closed for the day.
Bangalore, Karnataka's capital, plays host to top multinational and Indian information technology companies like IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Infosys Technologies Ltd. and Wipro Ltd. Infosys and Wipro write software and handle back-office work for many Western companies.
Most companies in Bangalore declared a holiday Wednesday and asked their staff to work on Saturday, said Shyam Sunder, chief executive of India Relations, a public relations firm whose clients include about 25 information technology companies.
Outsourcing companies "either shifted work to centers outside Bangalore or asked some of their staff to stay overnight so to run critical operations," Sunder said.
Because the strike was announced in advance, the companies were able to make alternative plans, he said.