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entrepreneur and honorary Consul General

of the Republic of South Africa committed

to strengthening commercial and economic

relations between India and South Africa

recently stated, “With the leadership of the

current Chief Minister, the infrastructure

and developmental projects underway,

and the sheer size of the population Uttar

Pradesh is a prized possession and an

incredible window of opportunity for any


With the creation of a single-window

system UP has ensured that investors can

submit the required regulatory documents

at a single location and obtain all necessary

permits and clearances within this single

Government department. This single

window clearance system has been initiated

and implemented with the vision and desire

of the Chief Minister (CM), Akhilesh

Yadav, to attract international investors

and foreign direct investment (FDI) for

the many opportunities that exist in the

state. The initiative goes under the name

of Udyog Bandhu and can be accessed at

Jiwesh Nandan, Principal Secretary,

Information Technology & Electronics for

the Government of Uttar Pradesh, says,

“The first thing investors can do is to use

our telephone helpline or send an email to

us. We would then nominate an officer to

look after them. Once we have established

that they are a serious investor I would

personally call them and have a discussion

to establish which areas interest them,

when they want to make the investment

and how much they want to invest and

discuss if there are any potential areas of

collaboration with the state.”

The aim of this process is to ensure

that time wasters are removed from the

equation as early as possible so that serious

investors receive timely and personal

attention as FDI is very important to Uttar

Pradesh. “We then let you know what

sorts of documents you need to fill out.

Most of these documents are available

online and it should take about 30 days

to clear everything for you and have you

investment-ready, commented Nandan.

Investment is encouraged in all of its

forms, but to date, most investors in UP

have come in and set up on their own rather

than as a JV partner with an Indian com-

pany. “Examples of successful businesses

that have come and set up include Honda

from Japan. They make cars here in UP in

Greater Noida. LG is in Greater Noida and

Samsung is in Noida. They manufacture

domestic appliances and mobile phones.

Most of the phones that are manufactured

here are sold here,” says Nandan.

Success stories are not limited to

heavy industries and hardware as there

are also numerous foreign IT companies

like Adobe, which have successful

operations in UP. Equally importantly

there are still a raft of opportunities for

overseas companies wanting to join the

UP bandwagon. At present there is huge

demand for semiconductor wafers [used

in the technology sector] but little local

manufacturing thus representing yet

another big opportunity. Uttar Pradesh’s

most important cash crop, sugarcane, alone

offers an attractive investment prospect,

as do other sectors like infrastructure, IT,

minerals extraction, tourismand hospitality.

Local population offers a

market in itself

FDI has also been aimed at catering to the

needs of the indigenous population of over

200 million people. As Alok Ranjan, Chief

Secretary of the UP state says, “If UP were

a country by itself, it would be the fifth

largest country in the world. This means

that for anyone investing in UP, there is a

huge consumer marketplace. We are the

number one producer in India of a wide

range of foodstuffs like wheat and sugar

cane and we are among the top few in the

production of vegetables.”

It is clear that the agricultural sector

is at a stage where investment can help to

increase yields and output, supplying a far

wider area than UP itself and positioning

the state as the food basket of the entire

nation. Food production, food processing,

transportation and marketing are all areas

that are set to boom in the next decade in

UP and present limitless opportunities for

the globe’s leading food companies.

But it is not just about food. “We need to

step up our state domestic product because

this will lead to higher per capita income

for our people. We want to move people out

of being dependent upon agriculture alone

and move into other sectors like industry

and services. That is why we are focusing

on skills development,” says Ranjan. “We

need more investment in industry and

partners in food processing. We are also

looking at a lot of investment in IT and the

electronics sector. We already have two

hubs for these sectors.”

Naturally, such growth is best seen

in tandem with the state Government’s

increasing focus on augmenting and




Ranjan says, “We are looking for two

things. The first is that we need to

improve our infrastructure and that is

why the Government’s commitment to

infrastructure spend is up 80 per cent for

the year. But we are also looking at public

private partnership (PPP) opportunities.”

Together with roads, power and water

there is the increasingly important area

of urban development where industrial,

manufacturing and residential hubs are

envisioned alongside the corridors being

demarcated by the newly built expressways,

train lines and metro lines. Attracting

foreign money into these areas has been

challenging in the recent past with the rest

of the world still struggling to get to grips

with the fallout from the global financial

crisis. “The climate for PPP has not been

good for the past few years because of the

global financial climate. That is why we are

funding so many of the projects ourselves,”

says Ranjan but makes it clear that the door

is now open to overseas investors with an

eye on future growth markets.

The huge population of UP has other

side benefits for investors. UP also has a

large number of educated students being

pumped out of the colleges, universities

and polytechnics every year. The state

education mechanism constantly produces

highly educated, trained and motivated

staff ready and willing to take part in the

challenge of building a new UP that has

moved several notches up the value chain

of production. As Ranjan says, “UP is

a giant that has woken up and we have

great potential. Things are happening now

in the state. We have an enabling policy

framework. We have a Government with

a vision. We have a bureaucracy that is

responding to the vision of the Government.

We are trying to make it easier for people to

do business.”

Opportunities are whatever the foreign

investor wants to make of them. “There is

a lot of opportunity for partnerships in the

infrastructure sector,” says Ranjan. “Any

investor wishing to come in here these days

only has to go to one website for all his

needs. He can apply online, check progress

online and receive his clearances online.

This is a big development for attracting

investors. Clearance has to be approved

within 45 days.”

With determination of the CM for UP to


policies, programs, and regulations have

become investor-friendly to invite and

accommodate foreign investors. In addition

there is an abundance of land, and water

with the power supplies being augmented

constantly. Combined with a variety of state

financial institutions also being set up to

provide institutional finance and a single-

window clearance system this has helped

to ensure an environment welcoming and

encouraging for investors.

Following the lead of other developing

regions, UP also offers special industrial

areas such as software technology

parks, electronic city, toy city, plastic

city, integrated agro park, leather parks,

chemical complex and textile city to cater

to the needs of investors with specialist

needs in fast growing sectors.

According to Sahney, “With the focus

on building partnerships and attracting both

investors and investment Uttar Pradesh

seems poised to be on the right track to

become a global investment hub.”

Continued from page 1


A new era dawns




has been chosen as the

site of a new 100-acre IT City, an ini-

tiative of the Akhilesh Yadav Govern-

ment to develop and promote the IT

sector in Uttar Pradesh (UP). This is

one of India’s most ambitious infrastructure develop-

ment projects and aims at developing a raft of new

age or smart cities by converging next generation

technologies across infrastructure sectors thereby

providing a major thrust to planned urbanisation in

India. The broad idea is that the city will be built us-

ing the latest cutting edge technologies with modern

infrastructure and will be housed on UP State Indus-

trial Development Corporation land. When the idea

for the city was first discussed some years ago it was

referred to as the ‘hi-tech city’ and morphed into a

‘Smart City’, finally to become IT City.

The idea for this IT City development is to

not only have offices and other workplaces but

also hotels, dedicated power, utilities and direct

connectivity to the airport with the state Government

playing the role of facilitator and the private sector

the developer.

Under this general scheme, private partners can

secure land from the Government at market rates

and then lease blocks or properties to tenants of their

choice. The newmodel also allows them the freedom

to develop their own infrastructure.

HCL, the Indian technology group, is one of the

first that showed early interest in establishing the

100-acre IT City in Lucknow leading to the creation

of new job opportunities for 25,000 people in Uttar

Pradesh. In October 2014 the UP Government duly

signed a memorandum of understanding with the

investment arm of HCL as a green light for setting

up the IT city.

HCL was established in 1976 as a joint venture

with the UPGovernment and has a larger presence in

the state of UP than anywhere else in India. Today,

HCL is the largest private employer in UP providing

direct employment to approximately 30,000 people

and generating export revenue of approximately $1


The first IT Special Economic Zone in North

India was set up by HCL in Noida as a 46-acre

campus and with a built up area of 1,125,000

square feet. The campus itself has approximately

13,000 employees and the project provides indirect

employment to four times the number of direct

employees. HCL is also launching a new campus

adjacent to the old one which, when fully functional,

will provide employment to an additional 12,000


“Four decades ago, we dreamt of positively

impacting the world with microprocessors and

the journey then began in partnership with the UP

Government. The development of IT City will

further the momentum for innovation-led growth

and social development in the state,” HCL founder

Shiv Nadar (


) said.

Speaking about Yadav’s IT City initiative Nadar

said, “No state Government in the country has come

up with such a unique concept of providing all IT

infrastructure at one place.”

In October 2014 the Chief Minister (CM)

laid foundation stones of three mega projects in

Lucknow, one of which was the IT City, which is

due for completion before the next state elections.

“These projects… will increase the importance of

Lucknow as well as Uttar Pradesh and create more

job opportunities,” Yadav said at the foundation

laying ceremony in the Chak Gajaria area of the state


Sixty per cent of the city will be allocated to

information technology and information technology

enabled service (IteS), including a hi-tech skill

development centre with a capacity to train more

than 5,000 people. The remaining 40 per cent will be

used for support infrastructure. “IT City will play a

crucial role in the overall economic development and

boost the industrial growth of the state. Apart from

this, it will directly create approximately 25,000 job

opportunities for the youth of the state,” Yadav said.

Estimates suggest a further 50,000 indirect jobs will

also be created.

The creation of spin off jobs and support

services is seen as a major plus for the project.

This might include hardware manufacturing and

telecoms equipment and would help to stem the

brain drain of the state’s brightest young graduates

from moving elsewhere. The development of

IT City should also boost innovation-led growth and

social development in the state.

The state-of-the art IT City has been

conceptualised as a sustainable technology hub

with clean power and balanced environment that

will provide a modern work-life experience within

a single integrated campus. This campus will also

include IT delivery centres, a skill development

centre, commercial complexes, social infrastructure

consisting of a school, and hospital as well as

residential units, thus promoting the ‘walk-to-work’

philosophy supported by a complete lifestyle of

living and working experience for IT professionals.

The proposed campus will play a significant role in

the long-term economic development of UP and help

boost industrial growth. IT City, first conceptualised

by IBM, is set to be one of the first smart cities of

the country.

With this in mind the Government is keen to

involve forward-thinking players from the private

sector, one such player is Manpreet Singh Chadha

from real estate firm Wave Infratech. “Currently we

have two major projects underway in UP. Wave City

Centre, the first smart township of Delhi NCR spread

across 152 acres and in Noida, Wave City, spread

over 4,500 acres.” These are major developments

set to deliver jobs, workplaces as well as homes and

leisure facilities for budding young professionals.

“Any sector runs on four pillars: people, process,

technology and policy, with policy being the main

pillar.” But there is still room for improvement.

“Lack of single window clearance for all approvals

and the delays in approvals are the major bottlenecks

in the operations of the sector but Akhilesh Yadav is

fixing that,” says Chadha.

The Wave Group is comfortable that things are

moving in the right direction for the promotion of

industrial development in the state. “Opportunities

given by the Uttar Pradesh Government to

industrialists have been instrumental in shaping

our businesses into what they are today. Also, once

industrialists in Uttar Pradesh receive the necessary

approvals to undertake their business, the UP

Government is one of the least interfering when

compared to other states and hence make doing

business easy. Working in the state of UP has been

good for us,” says Chadha.

IT City is a unique initiative to provide an environment for the

growth of the IT sector in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The idea

involves attracting international players as well as fostering a

centre for excellence within the state.

Lisa Winters reports

Alok Ranjan, Chief Secretary of State

for Uttar Pradesh

Vikramjit Singh Sahney, Hon. Consul General of Republic of South Africa,

with Dr. Jacob Zuma, President of Republic of South Africa




Enables submission of applications online anytime from anywhere

Facilitates access, submission and processing of applications for setting

up of industries

Saves time and money as repeated visits to different departments not


Allows filling, saving, downloading and printing of applications online

Introduces transparency in granting approvals

Enables online payment of application fee

Reduces visits to departments, banks or treasury for payment of

application fee

Confirms payment receipt instantly

Provides elegant layout laced with eye soothing colour and design

Offers simple registration process

Brings all functionalities at one place for registered entrepreneurs

Furnishes two-way interaction on digital platform between

entrepreneurs and departments

Facilitates efficient monitoring at all user levels

Empowers analysis of pendency scrutinised any time by senior

departmental officers

Displays colour coding to track those exceeding the time limit

Enables entrepreneurs to view application status and respond to

clarifications online

Illustrates process flow charts with pre-requisites, procedures and


Sorts required application forms automatically based on industry type

Assists entrepreneurs through Help Manuals for filling forms and for

online payment

Generates SMS and e-mails automatically and sends to entrepreneurs

at each stage for tracking application status

Provides effective Grievance Redressal Forum

Acts as a comprehensive Information Hub

Enables easy access to Government schemes / policies / GOs through

search facility

Furnishes digital interactive platform through feedback and monthly


Publishes blog posts on UP specific significant issues at frequent


Connects public through social networking sites

Assists entrepreneurs through ‘Help Desks’ at District Industries




No state

Government in

the country has

come up with

such a unique


HCL founder Shiv Nadar