Asansol poised to emerge as an IT hub



With the
state capital seemingly getting saturated with IT parks and projects
in the vicinity, Asansol has emerged as a preferred choice for IT
following Siliguri, with real estate developers fast opting to build
upon the upcountry area. Taking the first opportunity in this aspect,
Bengal Shristi Group is on the verge of completing its township
project in New Asansol reserving at least 1 mn sq ft carpet area for
IT firms and BPO/KPOs to start operations in the area. Speaking about
the maiden project in Asansol, Sunil Jha, chief operations officer,
Bengal Shristi said, “There is an abundance of talent pool
available in the Asansol region with lower salary expectations.
Asansol has lower establishment and operational cost as compared to
Kolkata which is increasingly becoming saturated.” Adding to it,
Abhishek Bhardwaj, senior VP, marketing, Bengal Shristi, said, “We
have completed a phase of the central business district (CBD) in the
township and have equipped the area with all necessary amenities to
cater to the employees of the potential IT clients. Also, we are
going steady on the marketing and promotional activities of the
township and hope to finalize some deals soon.”

The project,
christened Shristinagar is a joint venture between Asansol Durgapur
Development Authority and Shristi Infrastructure Development
Corporation. Targeting mainly the BPO/KPO and software exporting
companies for the CBD, Bengal Shristi has also planned to opt for a
retail segment in the area with some outlets already operational. The
planned airport city, Aerotropolis, an integrated city with airport,
contemporary infrastructure for industries, logistics hub, IT,
hospitality, healthcare, education, retail and residential is
beingdeveloped by Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Limited (BAPL) at
Andal near Asansol which is expected to augment the growth of IT
companies in Asansol.

Considering
the sky- ocketing price of real
estate in Kolkata and the saturation point fast emerging in the
campuses of the software exporters, the upcountry area, namely the
townships having a history of industrialization and falling in the
strategic distribution line is holding the keys to the future of
business. Even the channel players in Kolkata have opted to expand or
focus on the upcountry for their distribution and retailing business.
On several previous notes, KL Lalani of Lalani Infotech commented,
“Increasingly, the channel market in Kolkata is getting soaked up;
although the largest chunk of my revenue comes in from Kolkata, I
would consider further expansion and focus on the upcountry markets
in the East.”

On a similar
tone, Asif Khan ofTechnocrat Infotech
said, “Upcountry market is huge and we (channel partners) have
began exploring the possibilities. Already, my branches in Ranchi and
Siliguri (upcountry markets) are fetching considerable amount of
revenues, and I would prefer to focus on the upcountry business
besides the regular one (Kolkata).” As a matter of fact, retailers
like Saboo Computers have also opted for the upcountry retail market
with divisions/showrooms in Barrackpore and Madhyamgram. With the
much awaited Shristinagar and the completed WEBEL project in
Durgapur on the horizon, West Bengal will soon be getting its next
second largest IT hub at the Asansol-Durgapur belt, providing for
another expansion spree for the IT channel space in the state well
equipped with the amenities for trade.

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