Marching towards progress
Chhattisgarh is making strides in socio economic development
Chhattisgarh is the 9th largest state of India in terms of area with 1,35,000 sq. kms and population of 2.6 crore as per 2011 census. With a per capita GDP is Rs 69,000, the state is one of the fastest growing states in India. Chhattisgarh is also among the richest states in terms of mineral resources. Moving forward, the State acknowledges that electronics, IT and ITeS sector will have an unprecedented impact on the Indian economy and its contribution to the country’s GDP. Towards this end, it has wholeheartedly accepted ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ programs which are propelling the growth of manufacturing and technology sectors in the state. Also, Chhattisgarh aims to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property and build best-in-class manufacturing and information technology infrastructure which will establish the state as a hot destination for high end businesses.
Chhattisgarh is now focussing on critical infrastructure sectors and keeping in view the advantages in terms of resources and business environment it offers to the industry, it is poised to become a major IT, ITeS and ESDM hub of the country.
The state also provides unique advantages offered by the state to the electronics, IT and ITeS sector:
Chhattisgarh provides for a unique locational advantage with direct physical access to markets of 7 states: Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Odisha. This gives the industry unique market accessibility to over 509 mn people.
The state also has amongst the soundest industrial infrastructure. For example, it has the highest freight loading capacity and generates 1/6th of Railways’ revenues; apart from excellent and seamless rail and road connectivity, the state has existing airport with new and modern terminal in Naya Raipur which has received the ‘National Tourism Award 2012-13’ for best airport in India in non-metro category. Two additional airports are also proposed in the state.
Energy is the most important resource when it comes to setting up an IT, ITeS and electronics manufacturing unit and Chhattisgarh it is one of the very few power surplus states in the country. It provides stable power at economical rates from redundant grids which results in availability of power throughout the year without outages and power spikes. Future strengthening the energy availability, the state is establishing new power plants to produce 1/3rd of national target of 90,000 MW as envisaged under the 12th Five Year Plan.
The state also has abundant land and available rental space options that can cater to both large IT industries and MSMEs along with support vendor ecosystem for smooth and continuous operations. An Electronics Manufacturing Cluster of 28.3 hectares is being built in Naya Raipur aimed at providing one stop integrated facilities with manufacturing support, welfare and common infrastructure facilities to the prospective electronics manufacturing industries. Naya Raipur Development authority (NRDA), a planning and development authority established by Govt of Chhattisgarh for the New Capital City has sent a Project Proposal for establishment of ITIR to the Central Government. The State already has a Software Technology Park of India (STPI) in Steel City, Bhilai with 17,000 sq. ft. state-of-art facilities. Additionally, a multi-modal logistics hub is being Setup by CONCOR in Naya Raipur which will add a new dimension to the logistics in state
One more resource which is the most crucial for success of any sector and industry is the human resource. The state has an excellent educational ecosystem with IIM, IIIT, NIT, AIIMS, National Law University which are successfully operational and an IIT and Centre of Excellence in IIIT under planning stage. Around 30,000 professionals pass out annually from these and other institutes of higher education which provides for a quality workforce with a significant wage differential. Chhattisgarh is the first state to have provided the ‘Right to Skill.’ The state is also setting up finishing schools for graduates in mission mode across the state.
Chhattisgarh has outpaced others by establishing Naya Raipur as the first greenfield SMART city of the 21st century, with a gross area of 237 Sq. Km. the highly planned and designed city is to focus on socio-economic and cultural life of Chhattisgarh. An investment of around $1 billion has already been done in Naya Raipur which is being followed by further investment of $2 billion in next 5 years.
Encouraging IT/ ITeS investment
With its best in class policy impetus and sound institutional framework for investment facilitation, Chhattisgarh has walked the extra mile to build a robust ecosystem for electronics, IT & ITeS industries so that they experience a hassle free, cost effective and value adding investment experience and continued ease of doing business.
Keeping pace with the fast growing startup culture in the country and world over, an Innovation Policy is slated to be released for making Chhattisgarh as a startup hub. Under the policy, there is an extensive plan of making Incubators, Accelerators, Co-working spaces and workshops with skill rapid prototyping, VLSI design tools, testing facilities and certification labs.
Because of the incentives provided by the state, multiple electronics, IT & ITeS companies like Patra Corporation and Forstar Industry Limited have confirmed investing into the State and setting up their business units. Leading insurance outsourcing expert, Patra Corporation is expanding its India BPO Wing by opening its new office at Raipur, Chhattisgarh. The set up in Raipur will be an addition to Patra’s current U.S. and India-based operations centres at California, Vishakhapatnam and Bengaluru.
Forstar Industry Limited is an innovative PC company which is qualified to design, manufacture, market, sell and support a range of computer systems and services that can be customized to customer requirements. Forstar is extending its manufacturing capability by opening a unit in Naya Raipur which will manufacture Tablet PCs.
The recent investments are promising forward strides by the prudent investors and the government of Chhattisgarh to achieve its vision of being among the top electronics, IT & ITeS investment destinations in India.