World-class GIFT to the Nation: Dr Ramakant Jha

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Dr Ramakant Jha, MD and Group CEO, GIFT City

Designed to be at or above par with globally benchmarked international financial services centres (IFSC) GIFT City provides best suitable financial and IT services infrastructure, says Dr Ramakant Jha, MD and Group CEO, GIFT City, in an interaction with Nirav Soni of ENN

Tell us in brief about the GIFT City project.
Recognising the potential of the state as a centre for the financial services industry, GIFT City is a visionary project envisaged by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. The Government of Gujarat formulated the GIFT plan to realise this vision.

GIFT is conceptualised as a global financial and IT services hub, a first of its kind in India, designed to be at or above par with globally benchmarked international financial services centres (IFSC) such as Shinjuku of Tokyo, Lujiazui in Shanghai, La Defense in Paris, London Docklands etc.

GIFT will cater to India’s large financial services potential by offering global firms, world-class infrastructure and facilities. It aims to attract the top talent in the country by providing the finest quality of life. It is estimated that GIFT would provide 5,00,000 direct and indirect jobs which would require 62 million square feet of real estate offices and residential space. Like all leading financial centres, GIFT will target a 6-8 percent share of the financial services potential in India.

World class infrastructure development is currently under way at GIFT and the first phase of utility infrastructure will be completed by end of the year.

“The cost of running operations in GIFT city is almost 30 percent lower than in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and other metros. All utilities are laid in first of its kind Utility Tunnel touching all buildings in the city. This tunnel ensures highest uptime and secured operations for all utilities.”

GIFT City project is the first one to implement the Smart City initiative. Please describe.
First, we need to understand that there is no exact definition of Smart City. Every country has got its own set of infrastructure and cultural challenges and accordingly, every country comes up with its own definition of Smart City. The most effective definition of Smart City is a “City which is efficient, liveable and sustainable, and in the Indian context it also has to be affordable.”

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GIFT City is India’s first Smart City under development. GIFT City is a classic example of vertical development in terms of scope and size. This City has the first mover advantage. We studied various similar centres across the globe and adopted the best practices to provide a cohesive environment in a city for business and living.

We are building world class infrastructure for financial institutes and IT /ITeS business and residents of the city. We are not only coming with state-of-the-art city infrastructure, but also ensuring that this infrastructure is managed and kept in similar state during the operations phase as well. We, at GIFT are ensuring that every building, utility and all other support infrastructure are connected with fibre optics and equipped with modern technologies. Every building in GIFT City is an intelligent building which is armed with advanced infrastructure like CCTV surveillance, access control, fire fighting system and even intelligent elevators.

Among the multiple initiatives undertaken at the GIFT City, below are the major ones:
* Entire City is linked by fibre optic cable. Every office, building and home is provided with fibre optic connectivity, which ensures highest speed at the end user level for various services.
* Being a smart city, it will monitor and manage infrastructure using advanced technology. We have completed Phase 1 rollout of state-of-the-art City Command and Control Centre (C-4). All utilities, infrastructure, city wide safety and surveillance systems are being monitored and managed from C-4.
* It will have a web based “Citizen Portal” for providing various services to the citizens and users of the city. This portal is going to be the focal point for providing various municipal services.
* GIFT City managers will provide a safe and secure environment for the city using CCTV surveillance system spread across the city.
* For corporates, GIFT City is coming up with tier IV data centre with a capacity of 900 racks.

What is the value addition that GIFT will provide to an investor setting up his operations at the GIFT City?
GIFT provides ease of operations for financial institutes and IT/ ITeS companies. Various utilities like City level District Cooling Solution, readily available ICT infrastructure etc makes working in GIFT easy and cost-effective. The cost of running operations is almost 30 percent lower than in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and other metros. All utilities are laid in first of its kind Utility Tunnel touching all buildings in the city, this tunnel ensures highest uptime and secured operations for all utilities.

GIFT is India’s first government approved IFSC (International Financial Service centre) which means that financial institutes can carry out various activities like banking, insurance and capital market operations, like they do at any international location.

World class infrastructure of GIFT City ensures highest quality of work-life balance. GIFT City is built on “Walk to Work” concept which means that people working and residing in GIFT city will be able to spend maximum quality time with their family and loved ones. This is an integrated city which has all facilities like hotels, clubs, recreation facilities, school, skill development centre and hospital in the neighbourhood and on top of it, a responsive city management that ensures a safe, smooth, healthy and happy working and living in GIFT

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