City with latent economic potential
Nagpur measures well on various liveability indices in comparison with other cities. It has the lowest income inequality among various cities in the country. ‘India Today – R K Swamy BBDO Guide to Urban Markets’, also ranked the city as the tenth wealthiest, highestconsuming and most aware Indian city in 2004. Nagpur’s vantage location coupled with growth triggers like the construction of the east-west and north-south corridors, proposed investments in the multimodal transport hub, development of the special economic zone, and revival of industries in the Vidarbha region would stimulate economic growth.
In addition, Nagpur has all the ingredients for emerging as a high quality service centre. IT being a knowledge-based industry, quality human resources are one of its key requirements. The region around Nagpur has 27 engineering colleges with about 8,600 engineering students passing out of these colleges every year. (After the Pune region, Nagpur has the highest number of engineering colleges in the state of Maharashtra.) This would render Nagpur an attractive location for the IT-ITES industry. Low labour cost and the availability of highly skilled manpower would add to Nagpur’s attractiveness. Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) units would also consider Nagpur as a business destination, as they prefer locations with low cost of living. The figure for Nagpur is substantially lower as compared to most other IT destinations in the country. A Dataquest-IDC study of the top ten IT cites in India ranked Nagpur seventh, based on parameters such as manpower availability, information, communication and technology (ICT) infrastructure availability and usage, lifestyle and environment. Also, as per the KPMG – NASSCOM survey, Nagpur is one of the top four tier II cities that have a huge potential for information technology and IT enabled services. Nagpur holds a strategic position in international aviation routes. Its unique location at the crossing of the air route between Europe and South-East Asia as well as between South Africa and North-East Asia makes it a logical and ideal location for a passenger and cargo hub.7 Within India also, the fact that the trunk north-south and east-west highways and railways also cross at Nagpur makes it a natural choice as a transport hub based on multimodal transport principles.