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IT Emerges as the New Bombay for Dreamy Townies

Bengaluru: In early 2002, Tripurari Mishra took a train from Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh after an argument with his father and found his way to Bengaluru, where he started his career as a security guard. Ambitious and bright, he burnt the midnight oil to learn software coding, a most useful skill in India's technology capital. Today, he is a project manager at Mindtree and an example of how India's information technology industry has been a magnet for those looking to get ahead in life.

In the 12 years since Mishra's life-changing train journey, the software industry has been through a severe downturn, losing some of its charm, but it has grown from $2.7 billion to $108 billion.

Companies are using intelligent tools and automation to reduce dependence on humans. And the technology capital of India is now Bengaluru, not Bangalore. But the IT sector and Bengaluru are still a land of opportunity, drawing thousands of young people from across India.

Among them is Ajay, 23, who uses only his first name, and symbolises the "rags to riches" hope that the software industry engendered.

Until last year Ajay worked for nearly 20 hours daily--from waiting tables at a bar to scootering around as a McDonald's delivery boy.