Projects Info | 14 - 20 January 2008

Industry Project

Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT)

Fast Foot Forward

Gujarat takes the lead over Maharashtra in building a financial hub.

Gujarat is one of the fastest growing states of India with an annual Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of over 14 per cent per annum over the past 10 years. People of Gujarat are quite popular for their entrepreneurial skills and investment acumen, which is far superior, compared to other people from other Indian States. A recently conducted talent study for the State also established that the manpower pool available in Gujarat, including non-resident Gujarati's, is amongst the largest pools available in the country.

Gujarat is competing with Maharashtra in many ways, be it attracting foreign direct investments (FDI), setting up manufacturing units, infrastructure spending, education, power projects and the latest entrant in this competition is the financial services industry. As Maharashtra aims to make Mumbai - an International Financial Centre, so do Gujarat wants to realize its potential in this sector.

Government of Gujarat has formulated a mega project to setup a Central Finance and Business District (CFBD), named as the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT).

Approximately 27,000 acres (approx 104 sq.kms) of land between the commercial capital of the State, Ahmedabad, and the Administrative Capital of the State, Gandhinagar, have been earmarked for the development of a Central Finance and Business District (CFBD), Institutional areas, Knowledge parks, Integrated Townships, etc.

On the occasion of laying the foundation stone of GIFT in July 2007, Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat had said, "The finance Tec-city will be the icon of modern Indian economy. For centuries the Gujarati community has earned a name in trade and commerce and has also shown the richness of civilized society by creating well planned towns and civic facilities as seen in Lothaj and Dhoiavira. Gujarat has now become the propelling force of economy with the highest growth rate in the 21st century and striding for the development of 33 SEZ's with port related facilities including agriculture and industrial development. The state has become the most attractive destination for investment in the global economy".

GIFT will use 500 acres of land, out of this Multi Services SEZ and Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) will share it equally. Multi Services SEZ will comprise of Processing and Non-Processing Areas. Processing Areas in turn would include International Financial Service Center (IFSC), International Techno Park, STPI Units - Technology, International Market Zone, Exchanges, Service Units and Inter. Education Zone. Non-Processing Areas on the other hand would include Utilities, Integrated Townships, Entertainment Zone, Hotel/Convention Centre, Shopping Malls, Health Services and Schooling. Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) will comprise of Domestic Financial District, Techno Park, Fin/Tech Services EoU Park, Markets Zone, Education Zone and Utilities.

Fast Forward Approach
Government of Gujarat is adopting a fast forward approach with regard to setting up GIFT. It has already formed a Joint Venture Company, "Gujarat International Finance Tec-City Company Limited (GIFTCL)", through its agency Gujarat Urban Development Corporation Limited (GUDCL) and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS).

Project Location
GIFT is strategically located at Shahpur village and would ensure convenience for its inhabitants and visitors. The site is 12 kms from the Ahmedabad International Airport and 8 kms from Gandhinagar. The site abuts a four lane National Highway (NH8) which connects Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar on its western side. The Sabarmati river demarcates the eastern boundary of the Project site.

Project Concept and Design
GIFTCL proposes to implement GIFT as a globally benchmarked International Finance City as well as to develop, finance, implement all infrastructure in and around GIFT on a turnkey basis to ensure that all conceivable services in relation to connectivity, communication, technology, security, services for quality of life, etc, are established and sustained. Domestic and international experts have contributed to the project design keeping in mind the key requirements of the financial service sector.

Gujarat International Finance Tec- City (GIFT) will have access to superior infrastructure, state-of-the-art connectivity and modern modes of transportation and will provide an enabling framework for financial service industry to thrive. Mass Rapid Transit system linking the Project to the cities of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar are also planned. The hitech, self-sustaining financial city will have a fully-integrated data centre, data landing gateway and environment friendly energy conservation measures including use of solar and wind energy, cooling systems and mass transport services. A 12 km dedicated Expressway to the International Airport is being built as part of the Project.

The project is divided into an international financial city where offshore banking units and global financial firms are expected to set shop; a domestic financial city to attract local investment companies and capital/commodity market players; an e-technology park with an integrated data centre and a township for support activities.
Its investment outlay has been pegged at approximately Rs 24,500 crore ($6 billion).

Panel of consultants engaged for GIFT include ECADI/Fairwood, McKinsey & Company, Hewitt, IL&FS Ecosmart among others.

Employment Potential
GIFT will serve as a Global BPO and IT hub for financial services, R&D hub and financial center for select product markets. Project is estimated to generate over 4 million jobs by 2020.

Initial Anchor Occupants of GIFT

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) have been signed with the following companies who have expressed willingness to take up at least one million square feet of office space in GIFT. IL&FS Limited / ORIX Corporation (Japan) Chescor Capital Corporation Limited Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (India) Sembawang Engineers and Constructors Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) Fairwood Associates (India) ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) (India)

Project Current Status
1. Land acquired and transferred to JVC
2. Detailed master plan completed
3. Built from engineering underway
4. Approval of Government of Gujarat received
5. Approval of Government of India received for SEZ
6. Infrastructure planning completed
7. DPR's under preparation
8. Site preparation activities have commenced

Project Potential
GIFT aspires to capture a modest 6 to 8% share of business opportunities to be created based on the following strengths:

1. Strong Location Advantage
2. Its Proximity to Mumbai and strong connectivity by air and road
3. Robust Urban Planning
4. Well Designed Urban Form in Place
5. High Quality Infrastructure
6. State of the art physical, ICT and social Infrastructure at affordable prices
7. Availability of Talent Pool
8. Plan Under Implementation for smooth operation of business
9. Business friendly Regulations and Policies
10. Special Economic Zone Approved
11. Firm Implementation Plan

In terms of scale and sheer physical scope, GIFT is being designed to be at or above par with presently acknowledged globally benchmarked financial centers such as Shinjuku (Tokyo), Lujiazui (Shanghai), LaDefense Paris), Dockyards London).

*Credits: Sandeep Ravidutt Sharma, Foundation of Infrastructure Research Studies and Training (FIRST)



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