Ahmedabad get ready to snub Bangalore and Hyderabad in their face. For, the city stands on the threshold of becoming the next Mecca for IT-enabled services in the country.

The 2007 Knight Frank report recognises a distinct IT-flavour for the city and suggests that its western sprawl could soon catch on the wave.

The report states that a multi-locational peripheral development has opened the potential for IT/ITES projects. The promising western sprawl is endowed with developments on SG Road connecting with Gandhinagar. The report clearly points towards the fact that it will be IT/ITES that would propel the city's development in the coming years.

A severe crunch on CG Road and Ashram Road for office space has actually led new micromarkets emerging across the city, a substantial number in the western suburbs.

Another promising factor for Ahmedabad market is that it is a transition stage with the real estate sector getting more organised and user specific. Over the next one year, the sector is expected to get an investment of Rs. 1,500 crore, the report says.

As the cost for IT/ITES operations in Ahmedabad is lower by 40-50 per cent as compared to Tier I cities of the country, substantial potential is envisaged for future IT/ITES investment.

Currently, IT/ITES development in the city is at a nascent stage. Info City, an IT park spread over 150 acres in Gandhinagar, has tenants like Microsoft, ACI and TCS.

IT/ITES SEZ by the DLF Group, Mindspace IT Park by the Rahejas and Gandhinagar Electronics Estate by Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) are expected to be operational in the next few years.

Ahmedabad's strengths:

    Skilled labour
    availability of land in market
    quality real estate
    low operational costs
    good connectivity
    supportive government policies and
    entrepreneurial culture However, social infrastructure has still not matched the desired pace.

    Hence, self-contained and integrated projects will have better prospects. But where would all the highly skilled personnel stay? Post-2001 earthquake, the report says, there has been a tremendous demand for low-rise buildings, bungalows and row-houses.

    Suburban and peripheral locations like Bopal, Ambli, Shilaj, Satellite, Memnagar, Vastrapur, Prahlad Nagar, Vasna and Paldi are coming up with residential developments.

    - TOI, 15 Nov, '07
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