What was proposed back in 2010 during the erstwhile Left Front regime, is fast taking shape now as the international financial hub planned in New Town gathers momentum. The second such financial hub in the country after the Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai, it will showcase fintech at its sparkling best, further elevating New Town’s growing stature as a vibrant, modern township.
The project that was relaunched by the ruling party in 2017, laid a sharp focus on the financial technology industry, as more than 24 financial institutions are already present in New Town, with others casting admiring glances. The relaunch has cleared the decks for sustained activity towards developing the township as one of the most sought-after destinations for fintech businesses.
Fintech is one of the fastest-growing domains in the financial services sector which has majorly disrupted the traditional value chain of this sector. Consequently, investments have come pouring in and both the state government and WBHIDCO are buoyant that New Town won’t be any different.
“If Mumbai is geographically close to New York and London, Kolkata is even closer to Singapore and Hong Kong – the two international financial and business centres in Asia,” Debashis Sen, Managing Director, WBHIDCO, had told a CII event. The financial hub is eyeing business from South-East Asia using Kolkata as the eastern gateway for trade and financial institutions, it is understood.
A study by McKinsey Global Institute had predicted that Kolkata would emerge as one of the epicentres of global financial activities. The New Town fintech hub certainly augers well for that forecast. The township has already become the preferred hotspot for businesses, national and MNCs, to set up shop as support infrastructure continues to develop and attractive incentives offered.
The New Town advantage
There’s a lot going for New Town. From proximity to the airport and Sector V, the IT district, to existing and upcoming Metro connectivity, wide roads and ample modern residential accommodation, the pluses are plenty.
Add to that swank shopping malls like Axis Mall, City Centre 2, Reliance Central and DLF Galleria, besides luxury business hotels like Novotel, Fairfield by Marriot, Pride, Ibis, The Westin, Vedic Village and more, and we are talking about more reasons to embrace New Town.
The township also offers a plethora of quality educational and healthcare institutions, including DPS New Town, DPS Megacity, New Town School, Narayana School, Techno India College, Amity University, St. Xavier’s University, the Tata Medical Center, Sankara Nethralaya, Bhagirathi Neotia Hospital, Ohio Hospital, Apollo Clinic New Town, Glocal Hospital, among others. Then there is the international-standard Biswa Bangla Convention Center, the Mother’s Wax Museum and the sprawling campus of the Eco Park with its emerald golf course to add further value to New Town.
The infrastructure for the fintech hub is being developed by the government and the project is being executed by WBHIDCO. The financial hub is blessed with dedicated power supply and bandwidth. Overseas institutions like the Brooklyn National Laboratory and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency have been consulted to ensure a uniformly environment-sensitive development through the green-building concept.
WBHIDCO officials estimate that the New Town financial hub, once fully functional, can generate over 200,000 jobs. The clamour for commercial and residential real estate space is already rising in sync with this scenario as fintech companies rush to grab a slice of the New Town pie. The financial hub is expected to become a potent energizer to take the township’s development to another trajectory altogether.
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