Mumbai: Projecting India’s small towns and cities as better investment destinations, an Indo-UK trade body on Wednesday said Pune, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh among others are more likely to produce economic miracles on the back of a growing middle-class.
India is increasingly seen as a source of value-added goods and services and an important business partner, the UK India Business Council (UKIBC), which promotes trade between the two countries said in a report.
The report, “Emerging Cities of India”, identifies Pune, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Jaipur as the top four emerging cities followed by Vadodara, Goa, Indore, Kochi and Nagpur.
“While India’s urban giants may dominate the business agenda in the short-term due to the sheer size of their human capital clusters...we believe it is the country’s lesser known small towns and cities that are more likely to produce the economic miracles,” the report said.
The key areas of consumption include healthcare, education, transport communications, food and entertainment, consumer durables and travel, UKIBC added.
“India’s middle-class today numbers 50 million but is expected to reach 583 million by 2025 to account for 41% of the (country’s total) population and 75% of the urban population,” it added.
“Despite the global slowdown, the continued expansion of the Indian economy is well recognised and many UK companies are keenly aware of the need for an increasingly entrepreneurial approach to do business in India,” the report observed.
Benchmarking Pune as a premier business hub, UKIBC said the city could help create potential linkages with UK industry capacity in the financial services, ICT and creative and media sectors.
While Ahmedabad presented plum opportunities for UK companies to invest in media and creative sectors, Chandigarh showed potential for software, IT and BPO.
“In Kochi, opportunities exist for tie-ups in food production, especially technical know-how,” the UKIBC report said.
“A common feature across emerging cities in our research is the active role of state and state agencies in promoting economic development. These include steps taken by state governments to allow privatisation of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) to promote employment,” it said.
UKIBC took into consideration social and economic indicators like population and infrastructure in its study covering 200 surveys.