Having already emerged as a hub for electric vehicles (EV) and electronics manufacturing, Hosur will soon house a self-contained ‘Tech City’ spread over an area of 500 acres to host IT/ITES firms and Global Capacity Centres (GCC) with the Tamil Nadu government planning to diversify one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.
Foundation for the new project in Hosur, the industrial city located just outside Bengaluru, is expected to be laid in a year’s time with the state government asking the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) to identify a land parcel close to the National Highway connecting the state capitals of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The aim is not just to diversify Hosur and develop it as a hub for sectors of all kinds but also to attract fresh investments in the Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services, besides garnering the spin-offs from Bengaluru, the country’s IT capital. To be implemented by Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT), the Tech City project will be developed by a third-party firm which understands the requirements of MNCs.
“The plan is to build a self-contained city, not just a few buildings to house IT companies. The Tech City, which will offer ‘A’ grade office space for IT/ITES firms and GCCs that are making their way into India, will be built in a way that everything that people working there need is accessible within 20 minutes,” a source in the know told DH.
From hotels to convention halls to recreation facilities to plazas to schools to possibly a helipad – the TN Tech City will be self-sufficient, the official said, adding that they plan to offer three kinds of facilities to those coming to set up their shops. They can choose between empty land for companies that want to construct their own buildings for purposes like Research & Development, plug and play mode, and warm shell properties.
The source added that efforts will also be taken to extend the metro connectivity being planned from Bommasandra in Bengaluru to Hosur.
The move to attract GCC firms to Hosur comes close on the heels of global shipping firm United Parcel Service (UPS) choosing Chennai to set up its first technology centre in India. Hosur’s proximity to Bengaluru which has excellent rail and air infrastructure will also play a major role in attracting GCCs into the industrial city, the state government feels.
“Any manufacturing process now has an IT element into it. And we feel a Tech City in a city that is known for manufacturing firms of all kinds and EVs will only add to its advantage. We will acquire the land from SIPCOT soon and start work on a master plan for the new city. We hope to break the ground in a year’s time,” another source in the know said.
\Welcoming the move, Suresh Sambandam, CEO of Kissflow, one of India’s top SaaS companies, told DH that Hosur should be developed as a twin city to Bengaluru, ushering in a “big mind shift” in policymakers in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
“Hosur has roughly the same climatic condition as Bengaluru with a lower cost of living. Its proximity to Electronic City will also come to its advantage. The government needs to build the infrastructure of the new city in a massive way. The buildings should be on par with the World Trade Centre (ETC) to attract tech companies from across the globe,” Sambandam said.
He said the goal of the Tech City should be to massively improve the quality of life in every way and advocated the need for a “paradigm shift” in the way governments think.
“We should follow the National Capital Region (NCR) model under which cities like Faridabad, Noida, and Gurugram which have benefitted largely due to their proximity to Delhi. We should use Bengaluru to Hosur’s advantage,” the Kissflow CEO said.
He also felt the Tech City in Hosur will help Tamil Nadu surge back from no.4 to no.2 state in the country in the field of IT/ITES next only to Karnataka.
The Hosur-Krishnagiri-Dharmapuri (HKD) region is already home to EV majors Ola, and Ather, and Tata Electronics and Delta Electronics who have built massive manufacturing facilities. Hosur was ranked number 13 in a 2021 list of cities with fastest population growth in the world published by Visual Capitalist.
Besides Ola, Ather, and TVS Motor Company manufacture electric two-wheelers from their plants in and around Hosur. Simple Energy is building a massive plant including a testing track in Dharmapuri district, while Sri Varu Motors and another start-up Bharat Alt Fuel (BAF) has pledged to invest Rs 250 crore in the region.
Hosur, the industrial city situated at 3,000 metres above the sea level, has been one of the favourite addresses for investors. Besides wooing investors to Hosur, the government is also planning to launch air operations from the city with industrialists giving a thumbs-up citing the huge potential of freight traffic.
The availability of a skilled workforce, cheaper land prices and the presence of over 3,000 diverse micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) have transformed Hosur into a sought-after destination for investors.