Nagpur: The Orange City Set To Shine As Investment Hub

Best known as the “Orange City” of India, Nagpur is a major commercial, political, industrial and defense center in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Home to several important industries, Nagpur is rapidly transforming into the most preferred industrial and commercial hub in India. The ambitious INR 2581 crore multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) project has further bolstered the economic growth of the city making it the most investment friendly places in India.

Defense and Military Significance

Nagpur has a lot of defense and military significance. The city is an important for the Indian armed forces. Maintenance Command of Indian Air Force has its current headquarters in Nagpur. The National Academy of Defense Production for Group A officer of ordnance factories are situated here. It is also the home of one of the oldest and most respected regiments in the Indian Army, the Brigade of the Guards. Indian Air Force’s giant IL-76 transport planes nicknamed “Gajraj” are also based in Nagpur. Other important units such as the Institute of Military Law and a military hospital are also situated here.

 Industrial, Commercial & Infrastructure Growth

Nagpur is the fasted emerging metropolis in the region of Vidarbha. Sitabuldi market in central Nagpur, known as the heart of the city, is the major commercial market area. The Hingna industrial estate on the western fringes of the city is a home of more than 900 small and medium industrial units, including Mahindra and Mahindra, NECO Ltd., Bajaj Auto group, Candico etc. The city is important for the banking sector and it hosts the regional office of Reserve Bank of India. Nagpur and the Vidarbha region is also a hub of power plants. Nagpur is also a health hub for Central India and is home to numerous hospitals, some run by the government and some private. AIIMS Nagpur is the latest feather in the cap of Nagpur health care services. The ambitious MIHAN project is expected to further fuel the growth of the city.

 Home to prestigious Educational Institutes 

Nagpur is a major education hub in Central India. The city has 3 state universities and more than 600 colleges are affiliated to Nagpur University. Nagpur is home to India’s only National Fire Service College that provides a graduation course in fire engineering. The city has IGNOU regional center. College of Agriculture, Nagpur is one of the first five Agriculture Colleges in the country. There are scores of engineering college in and around the city. The Priyadarshini College of Engineering, Nagpur is one of the best colleges in the Vidarbha region. Human Resource Development (MHRD) has approved to set up state’s first Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Nagpur.

 Growth of IT and Future Prospects

Nagpur has given a significant contribution in the growth of IT especially the growth of the software industry. The city is home to several Indian and MNC IT companies. Many IT giants are keen to set up their campuses in the MIHAN SEZ. TCS is building its campus on a 50-acre area in the MIHAN SEZ. Similarly, Infosys has commenced its construction work for its Nagpur campus at MIHAN SEZ. Other IT companies such as Wipro Technologies, Tech Mahindra, HCL Technologies, Hexaware Technologies and Zeon Solutions are keen to mark their presence in the SEZ. Adding wings to the dreams of hordes of future IT professionals in Nagpur, the government has announced a series of projects for the growth of IT in the city.

The current development in the IT is expected to clear the clouds of stagnancy in the industry and boost the business growth. The solutions and services business is emerging as the future of the channel business where partners could play a significant role in the ground level deployment of solutions. However, the traditional box pusher will need to come out of their comfort zones and explore the new line of business. Similarly, on the software front, encouragement to the local software development would not only generate the employment opportunities, but might create success stories like Tally in Nagpur. With a huge amount of investment pouring in, it would be interesting to see how the IT channel capitalizes on the emerging business opportunities.

Nagpur at a Glance…

Number of Resellers: 300 (Approx)

Key Verticals: Education, Defence, IT/ITeS, Power

Key Brands: HP, Lenovo, Dell, Canon, Quick Heal, Symantec

IT Association: Vidarbha Computer and Media Dealers’ Welfare Association (VCMDWA)

Interview 1

Prashant Ugemuge, president, VCMDWA

Considering the current IT business scenario in Nagpur, what are the new opportunities do you identify for the channel?

Prashant Ugemuge: As far as our market is concerned, we are quite hopeful that with the change in the political leadership Nagpur will be the center of attraction in terms of investment. The business is rapidly changing and trading is becoming almost non profitable. The future business will be led by the services and solution business. With several mega projects coming in the Vidarbha region, there are enormous opportunities in infrastructure and process related automation.

Despite of being a hub of IT/ITeS and several other important industries, the IT growth in Nagpur has still not got its momentum. What is a reason behind slow pace of growth?

Prashant Ugemuge: The major reason behind the slow pace of IT especially in the channel business is that partners are hesitant to come out of their shell. VCMDWA organizes various training seminars and program to enhance their skills and knowledge. However, the participation is very less. There is a need to think out of the box and come out with a vision to upgrade skills.

Interview 2

Vinod Verma, Owner, Key Computers

What is a current IT business scenario in Nagpur?

Vinod Verma: The growth is slow and the retail business is the worst affected business. The growth is slide ok in other industries like Government, Defence, Power etc. But the demand in the education has drastically come down. As far as software the industry is concerned, there is a very less scope for local software development as majority of software professionals are engaged in the software export business.

Apart from the OLS issue, what are the challenges faced by the channel?

Vinod Verma: Decreasing demand for IT products is obviously the major issue of concern for the channel. The other issue is a direct billing by distributors and vendors to end users. The practice is affecting the business hygiene in Nagpur and must be stopped.

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