Hyderabad: the New Hub of India’s Maker Movement

Maker News
Hyderabad: the New Hub of India’s Maker Movement

The ancient city of Hyderabad is now known as India’s emerging “tech city” star, home of Microsoft’s largest campus in India as well as offices from most other global tech brands; nearly 40 incubators and co-working spaces; tens of universities; and a flourishing startup scene.  And this year—this weekend!—Hyderabad takes the stage as the host of the largest Maker Faire in India in 2018.

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Maker Faire Hyderabad is co-hosted by two hardware prototyping accelerators:  T-Works in Hyderabad, and Workbench Projects of Bengaluru – organizers of 2017’s Maker Faire Bengaluru (Bangalore).

The festival takes place at HITEX Exhibition Centre from 10 am – 8 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday November 9-11.   The debut Maker Faire Hyderabad will have three different tracks: Play, Passion and Purpose. “Each track represents a stage in the evolution of a maker — creative children to curious makers to innovative entrepreneurs,” explained Sujai Karampuri, CEO of T-Works.

The event will feature 200 exhibits, and a stage with several panel discussions with local entrepreneurs and makers.  There is also a lineup of workshops, including hands-on sessions on the internet of things, drones, leather craftsmanship, pottery, soldering, lamp making and more.

Maker Faire Hyderabad’s Zambot – half robot and half Nizam (historical ruler of Hyderabad) – taking physical shape on the streets of India’s 4th largest city.

Anand Rajagopalan, Project Head at T-Works, shared a bit with us on how Maker Faire got started in India’s 4th largest city:
What was the impetus for organizing a Maker Faire in Hyderabad?

Our goals were to bring the local maker community together and to popularize maker culture in Hyderabad.  Further, by bringing the national maker community together here, we position Hyderabad as the epicentrer of the Maker Movement in India.  We at T-Works also wanted to gather more information about how our prototyping facility —a 78,000 square foot space outfitted with sophisticated equipment and supplies—can better help the maker community.

How has the community response been so far?

Over 100 makers, makerspaces, incubators, artists, artisans have come together to organize the event! And we have over 100 more volunteers have signed up for the event days.  Also, T-Works is hosting a makers and makerspaces federation meeting on Saturday of the event to start a dialogue around a potential federation/association of makers and makerspaces. Finally, the support so far from the Government of Telangana and corporate organizations will help create fertile ground for the emerging ecosystem to take hold and thrive.  The response on all fronts has been very encouraging.

What are you most excited about for this first ever Maker Faire Hyderabad?

T-Works’ aim of hosting the Faire was to bring the current ecosystem together. What excites us the most is to see the diversity of interactions during the journey of organizing the event—artists, architects, farmers, artisans, makers, makerspaces, engineers, corporate employees —all coming together because they either love to make or love the idea of making.

T-Works leveraged the experience of Workbench Projects, a makerspace in Bengaluru, to host the event in Hyderabad. “Workbench Projects conducted the first set of Maker Faires in India before coming to Hyderabad as the ecosystem here attracted the right synergies to democratically bring to the forefront all makers as heroes.” Said Pavan Kumar, Founder and CEO of Workbench Projects.

And true to Maker Faire tradition, Maker Faire Hyderabad promises a vast range of making across art, craft, theater and new tech and hardware.

  • Start-ups like PurEnergy, YZThings, Firefly Automation, Dhama, Hug Innovations, Nanospan, Centaur, Intech, Pure
    Energy, Flowrhex, Fogr, Gamitronics, Epickbikes, and Global 3D Labs
  • Social impact agents like PalleSrujana and Bamboo House
  • Artists, artisans and makers such as SurabhiTheater, Makers Asylum, Collab House, MakersHive, PreLab, Kalaachakra, Banaao, Technolexis, Kilkaari, The Art & Co., Into Fablab, TinkerHub, Foxlab, RiidlFablab,  Fablab Nagpur, and Curosity Innovation Labs
  • Life-sized installations such as Surabhi Theater, Metal Unicorn (pictured below), Metal Steam Punk Biryani, digitally fabricated furniture, handloom weaving, kinematic puppets, an augumented gallery show, virtual cycling, nail and thread art, graffiti and skateboarding
The Metal Unicorn, an installation for Maker Faire Hyderabad by http://makershive.io

It’s not unusual for Maker Faires to be supported by government economic development organizations.  Maker Faire Rome, the largest Faire in Europe, is organized by the city’s Chamber of Commerce.  But here in Hyderabad, the regional governing body of Telangana state is going further, investing in both the development of the facilities and the culture.  Their press release states their point of view and their intention extremely well:

It is a “create or perish world”. There are many opportunities… Hyderabad has a significantly strong software industry. A boost to the hardware ecosystem will strengthen its position as a hub for product startups… The key to success for hardware startups is quick prototype development and a short time to market. With T-Works in place, what we need is an ecosystem of makers.  Maker Faire contributes immensely towards that direction.

Wishing all the best to all the makers this weekend in Hyderabad!   For more information on the show, visit hyderabad.makerfaire.com.

[feature image Ancient Ruins in Hyderabad, India. Photo by Prasanth Dasari.]

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Sabrina is the Maker Faire Program Director. She works on stage content for the flagship fairs (Bay Area & New York), and also runs Maker Faire's global licensing program for locally and independently produced Maker Faires. She also co-creates the East Bay Mini Maker Faire in her town, Oakland, CA.

View more articles by Sabrina Merlo
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