Software professionals in India, traditionally, have found themselves attracted to tier-1, metropolitan cities, namely Bangalore, New Delhi, and Mumbai. This is often credited to the rapid growth and high salaries that jobs in these cities promise. However, taking recent development, growth factors and change in perception into consideration, we believe that the list of the top three cities in India preferred by software engineers has changed slightly. 

Now, software engineers are also concerned about the quality of living, work environment and commute, apart from growth and pay. Keeping this in mind, here’s our list of the top three cities in India preferred by software professionals. 


It is obviously not easy to dethrone the reigning champion on the list. Bangalore, also known as the Silicon Valley of India, continues to be one of the top cities in India preferred by software engineers. It has always been an IT hub for the Indian subcontinent. It houses the biggest Indian IT giants like Infosys, TCS, HCL, Tech Mahindra. Not just that, it has offices of some of the leading IT companies across the world like Dell, HP, Accenture, Cognizant, Apple, Intel, Capgemini, to name a few.  


In addition to that, the city is breeding the largest share of tech startups in the country. Bangalore proudly boasts of being home 24% of the 7100 tech startups in India. [Nasscom 2018- The number has grown since then, but Bangalore still manages to have the largest share]. Not to forget, startups from across the world, as finding the city as an attractive option to set the tech centres in, Go-Jek being a primary example of this. 

With so many IT companies to offer, Bangalore easily becomes a lucrative option for software professionals. The cherry on this cake is the amazing infrastructure and facilities that the city offers. It has areas dedicated to IT like the Software Technology Park of India (STPI), Electronics City, International Tech Park of Bangalore (ITPB) and more. So much so that it exports over 18,000 crore rupees worth software every year. So, professionals not only get to work in leading companies but also in some of the finest IT spaces in the country. 

Last and the most enticing factor that makes Bangalore a leading choice for IT folks is the pay it offers. A LinkedIn study revealed that Bengaluru is the highest paying city in India with the average salary for software jobs being 12 LPA. What more can a techie want? Best companies, best infrastructure, and the best pay, Bangalore serves it all. 


A new addition to the list, Pune had lurked at the fourth or fifth position for a long time, until recently it finally found a place in the top three cities in India preferred by software engineers. This can be credited to the rapid growth the city has witnessed in the recent past in various aspects related to IT. First of all, Pune recorded the fastest growth rate (11%) in IT exports signifying its growing value internationally. 


And just like Bangalore, Pune is growing to become a leading startup hub in India with over 2000 startups already present in the city. This number has increased by more than 80% in just two years. Not just that, Pune is giving a tough competition to Bangalore in terms of infrastructure too. It is home to the biggest IT park of India, Rajiv Gandhi IT Park at Hinjewadi along with numerous others such as EON Free Zone, Magarpatta, Hinjewadi, Aundh IT park, Commerzone and Business Bay. 

Needless to say, the city has the right IT environment to attract software professionals. And that’s why, according to a recent study by Catenon, Pune has emerged as the most preferred city by senior tech professionals. And it is not just because of the IT infrastructure. Pune has been able to beat Bangalore in these preference race due to other factors like lesser traffic congestion and low pollution too. The city has a vibrant culture, growing infrastructure, welcoming atmosphere and lesser cost of living as compared to cities like Mumbai and Banglore. For professionals, it becomes a wiser choice, especially, if they are planning to settle down in the city. 


Well, we definitely had to put the world’s most dynamic city on this list. Hyderabad has emerged as the world’s most dynamic city amongst 130 cities across the globe. It performed better on parameters like socio-economic and commercial real estate, according to the study by global property consultant JLL India. The same reasons make this rapidly growing city, a complete package for software professionals. 


Not to mention, the added benefit of working with big players like Amazon, Google, and Facebook who’ve recently set up their office in the city. According to the Catenon report, Hyderabad was one of the top two choices for more than 50% of the senior tech professionals, especially those who were planning to migrate to a new city. It has become a viable option of techies, mostly located in Bangalore, to move to Hyderabad. The short distance between the two cities making it easier for them to make this decision. 

Another reason for the city being preferred is the Quality of Living it offers. With a lower cost of living, better air and water quality, rich cultural heritage coupled with fast-pacing technological advancement, Hyderabad manages to even defeat Bangalore in many aspects. 

Next In Line

With that said, Mumbai and New Delhi have not completely lost their appeal. In fact, they are next in line, along with Chennai in the race. Delhi-NCR appeals the tech crowd due to the vast number of multinational corporations it houses including Infosys, Cognizant, Mphasis, Accenture, ThoughtWorks, Oracle, SAP and HCL Technologies. Mumbai, the financial capital of India has India’s largest IT company, 3i Infotech Ltd, Mastek and Oracle FinServ to offer. And Chennai has a world-class IT infrastructure and it’s reputation as the safest city in India to attract the IT professionals. Not to mention, the high pay and higher hike rates that these cities offer making them a lucrative choice. 

In The End

cities battling for talent catenon study
Source: Catenon

Overall, each city has its pros and cons and preference may vary on a personal level. So for those looking for high hike rates, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and even Chennai seem like a suitable choice. For those looking for a cost-friendly and healthy living, Pune and Hyderabad seem to be a better option. 

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