Serious business

A rising business hub in India: New Town, Kolkata

JUSTIN HEIFETZ reports on how a district on the outskirts of Kolkata has gained a reputation as India's leading business hub

New Town is an emerging business district on the outskirts of Kolkata, the commercial hub and largest city of eastern India. While Kolkata has its traditional CBD, it also has an established IT hub called Sector Five. New Town, built mostly to alleviate traffic congestion in other parts of Kolkata, is slowly becoming a second IT centre, offering much needed space. Major technology companies like IBM and Hewlett-Packard are now operating out of New Town.

The area is also India’s first-ever business district that has space dedicated solely to financial and legal services, in the form of the New Town Arbitration and Financial Hub. The zone, still to be developed, sprawls over 40 hectares, and so far more than 22 domestic banks have purchased plots there. A regional commercial court is in the works topull in the legal sector and handle business arbitration.

High-rise residential complexes and upscale gated communities are being built in New Town. Some Indian universities have recently set up satellite campuses there, including the University of Engineering & Management. Major hotel brands like Westin and Novotel are already there to accommodate business visitors.

And the district has plenty of room to grow. A report from Jones Lang LaSalle last year found that one in three property units there are still unoccupied. This has made New Town’s commercial and residential property some of the cheapest in India

New Business Hub in Kolkata, India

Uniworld City

This large residential complex, now being built, is envisioned as one of the district’s high-end, gated suburbs.

Biswa Bangla Convention Centre 

Now almost complete, this convention centre will include a 3,000-seat auditorium and host major events.

New Business Hub in Kolkata, India

DLF IT Park

This campus with state-of-the-art office facilities has attracted companies such as Vodafone. Located near Novotel Kolkata Hotel and Residences, the complex also houses retail, dining and entertainment venues.

Eco Park

This massive park features numerous themed areas, such as Tropical Tree Garden and Artist’s Cottage, with a lake and an island to visit at its centre.

Cathay Dragon flies to Kolkata from Hong Kong six times a week

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