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Gift City Indias First Smart City

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Gift City is a futuristic city that aims to become a global destination for finance and technology businesses. It is India’s first greenfield smart city and international financial services centre, located in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about Gift City, including its history, features, benefits, challenges, and opportunities.

 

What is Gift City?

 

Gift City stands for Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, a name that reflects its vision and mission. It is a multi-service Special Economic Zone (SEZ) that houses India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and an exclusive Domestic Tariff Area (DTA). It also has a residential zone that offers a high-quality lifestyle for its inhabitants.

 

Gift City was conceived as a greenfield project by the Government of Gujarat in 2007, with the aim of creating a world-class financial centre that would cater to both domestic and international markets. It was also envisioned as a smart city that would use cutting-edge technology and infrastructure to provide efficient and sustainable services.

 

Gift City is spread over an area of 359 hectares (886 acres), out of which 106 hectares (261 acres) are designated as SEZ and 253 hectares (625 acres) are designated as DTA. The SEZ area hosts the IFSC, which offers various financial services such as banking, capital markets, insurance, asset management, bullion trading, aircraft leasing, ship leasing, etc. The DTA area hosts various non-financial sectors such as IT & ITES, engineering, fintech, automobile, capital market, pharmaceuticals, biotech, etc.

 

Gift City is located on the banks of the Sabarmati River, about 12 km from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport and 18 km from Ahmedabad Railway Station. It is well-connected by road through 4-6 lane State and National Highways. A metro station is also under construction, which will link Gift City to the Ahmedabad Metro network by March 2024.

 

What are the features of Gift City?

 

Gift City has many features that make it stand out from other cities in India and abroad. Some of these features are:

 

  • Smart Infrastructure: Gift City has a state-of-the-art infrastructure that uses technology to deliver efficient and reliable services. Some of the examples of smart infrastructure are:

    • Utility Tunnel: A 12 km long underground tunnel that carries all utilities such as power cables, water pipes, gas lines, telecom lines, etc., eliminating the need for overhead wires and poles.

    • City Command and Control Centre (C4): A centralised facility that monitors and manages the city’s operations, security, traffic, utilities, etc., using real-time data and analytics.

    • District Cooling System: India’s first district cooling system that provides chilled water for air-conditioning of buildings, reducing energy consumption and carbon footprint.

    • Smart Water Infrastructure: A system that ensures 24/7 water supply, quality monitoring, leakage detection, and reuse of treated wastewater for landscaping and flushing.

    • Power Infrastructure: A system that ensures uninterrupted power supply, smart metering, demand response, and integration of renewable energy sources.

    • Automated Waste Management: A system that collects, segregates, transports, and processes solid waste using pneumatic tubes and vacuum trucks, reducing manual handling and environmental impact.

 

  • Green Environment: Gift City is designed to be an eco-friendly city that minimises its environmental impact and enhances its natural resources. Some of the examples of green environment are:

    • Green Buildings: All buildings in Gift City are certified by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) or the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, ensuring optimal use of energy, water, and materials.

    • Green Spaces: Gift City has more than 50% of its area covered by green spaces such as parks, gardens, water bodies, etc., creating a healthy and aesthetic environment for its residents and visitors.

    • Green Transportation: Gift City promotes the use of public transportation, electric vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrian walkways, reducing vehicular emissions and congestion.

    • Green Initiatives: Gift City undertakes various initiatives to promote environmental awareness and conservation such as rainwater harvesting, rooftop solar panels, organic farming, etc.

 

  • Global Standards: Gift City adheres to global standards and best practices in terms of regulations, taxation, policies, governance, etc., to attract and facilitate businesses from across the world. Some of the examples of global standards are:

    • Single-Window Clearance: Gift City offers a single-window clearance mechanism for all approvals and permissions required for setting up and operating businesses in the SEZ and DTA areas.

    • Competitive Taxation: Gift City offers various tax incentives and exemptions for businesses operating in the IFSC such as lower corporate tax rate (9%), zero capital gains tax, zero dividend distribution tax, zero securities transaction tax, etc. It also offers lower GST rate (12%) for services provided in the DTA area.

    • Liberal Regulations: Gift City has a liberal regulatory framework that allows businesses to operate with ease and flexibility in the IFSC such as 100% foreign ownership, free repatriation of profits, no exchange control, no stamp duty, no withholding tax, etc. It also has a unified regulator (IFSC Authority) that oversees all financial activities in the IFSC.

    • International Arbitration Centre: Gift City has an International Arbitration Centre (IAC) that provides a neutral and efficient platform for resolving commercial disputes between parties from different jurisdictions. The IAC follows the UNCITRAL Model Law and is recognised by various international bodies such as the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), etc.

 

What are the benefits of Gift City?

 

Gift City offers many benefits for various stakeholders such as businesses, investors, professionals, residents, etc. Some of these benefits are:

 

Business Opportunities: 

 

Gift City provides a conducive environment for businesses to grow and thrive in various sectors such as finance, technology, education, healthcare, tourism, etc. It also provides access to domestic and international markets through its strategic location and connectivity. Some of the business opportunities available in Gift City are:


 

  • Financial Services: Gift City offers a range of financial services such as banking, capital markets, insurance, asset management, bullion trading, aircraft leasing, ship leasing, etc. These services are offered by various domestic and foreign entities that have set up their operations in the IFSC. Some of the prominent entities operating in the IFSC are:

 

  • Banks: Gift City has 19 banks operating in the IFSC, including 11 Indian banks and 8 foreign banks. Some of the banks are State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Yes Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC Bank, etc. These banks offer various banking services such as deposits, loans, trade finance, treasury services, etc., in multiple currencies.

 

  • Stock Exchanges: Gift City has two stock exchanges operating in the IFSC, namely India International Exchange (INX) and NSE International Exchange (NSE IFSC). These exchanges offer trading and listing of various securities such as equities, derivatives, bonds, commodities, etc., in multiple currencies and time zones. They also offer products such as India50 futures and options, Masala bonds, green bonds, REITs, InvITs, etc.

 

  • Insurance Companies: Gift City has 11 insurance companies operating in the IFSC, including 7 Indian insurers and 4 foreign insurers. Some of the insurers are LIC of India, GIC Re, New India Assurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, HDFC Life Insurance, AIG Insurance, Munich Reinsurance, etc. These insurers offer various insurance products such as life insurance, general insurance, reinsurance, etc., in multiple currencies.

 

  • Asset Management Companies: Gift City has 9 asset management companies operating in the IFSC, including 6 Indian AMCs and 3 foreign AMCs. Some of the AMCs are SBI Mutual Fund, ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, HDFC Mutual Fund, Franklin Templeton Asset Management (India), BlackRock Asset Management (India), Schroder Investment Management (India), etc. These AMCs offer various investment products such as mutual funds, portfolio management services, alternative investment funds, etc., in multiple currencies.

 

  • Other Financial Services: Gift City also offers other financial services such as bullion trading (through India International Bullion Exchange), aircraft leasing (through GIFT Aircraft Leasing International), ship leasing (through GIFT Maritime Leasing International), fintech services (through GIFT Fintech Hub), etc.

 

Technology Services: 

 

Gift City offers a conducive environment for technology businesses to innovate and excel in various domains such as IT & ITES, engineering, fintech, biotech, pharma, etc. It also provides access to a large pool of skilled talent and a robust digital infrastructure. Some of the technology services available in Gift City are:

 

  • IT & ITES: Gift City has several IT & ITES companies operating in the DTA area, offering various services such as software development, testing, consulting, BPO, KPO, etc. Some of the IT & ITES companies are TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Technologies, Cognizant Technology Solutions, etc. These companies cater to various sectors such as banking, insurance, telecom, healthcare, etc.

 

  • Engineering: Gift City has several engineering companies operating in the DTA area, offering various services such as design, analysis, simulation, prototyping, manufacturing, etc. Some of the engineering companies are L&T Technology Services, Tata Consulting Engineers, ABB India, Siemens India, etc. These companies cater to various sectors such as power, transportation, industrial automation, etc.

 

  • Fintech: Gift City has a dedicated fintech hub in the DTA area, offering various services such as digital payments, blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, cybersecurity, etc. Some of the fintech companies are Razorpay Software Pvt Ltd., Paytm Payments Bank Ltd., MobiKwik Systems Pvt Ltd., Zeta Technologies India Pvt Ltd., etc. These companies cater to various sectors such as banking, insurance, e-commerce, etc.

 

  • Biotech: Gift City has a dedicated biotech park in the DTA area, offering various services such as research and development, clinical trials, drug discovery and development, etc. Some of the biotech companies are Zydus Cadila, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Intas Pharmaceuticals, Sun Pharma, etc. These companies cater to various sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, animal health, etc.

 

  • Other Technology Services: Gift City also offers other technology services such as pharma (through GIFT Pharma Park), education (through GIFT Education Hub), healthcare (through GIFT Healthcare City), tourism (through GIFT Tourism City), etc.

 

Investment Opportunities

 

Gift City provides a lucrative platform for investors to invest in various sectors and products that offer high returns and low risks. It also provides various incentives and facilities for investors such as ease of doing business, tax benefits, regulatory support, etc. Some of the investment opportunities available in Gift City are:

 

  • Equity: Investors can invest in various equity products such as stocks, derivatives, ETFs, REITs, InvITs, etc., that are traded and listed on the stock exchanges in the IFSC. These products offer exposure to various domestic and international markets and sectors such as India50, US500, China50, Japan225, UK100, etc.

 

  • Debt: Investors can invest in various debt products such as bonds, debentures, commercial papers, certificates of deposit, etc., that are issued and traded on the stock exchanges in the IFSC. These products offer attractive interest rates and credit ratings from various domestic and international issuers such as corporates, banks, governments, multilateral agencies, etc.

 

  • Commodities: Investors can invest in various commodities products such as gold, silver, platinum, copper, crude oil, natural gas, etc., that are traded on the bullion exchange in the IFSC. These products offer diversification and hedging benefits for investors.

 

  • Funds: Investors can invest in various funds products such as mutual funds, portfolio management services, alternative investment funds, etc., that are managed by the asset management companies in the IFSC. These products offer access to various asset classes and strategies such as equity, debt, commodities, hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, etc.

 

  • Real Estate: Investors can invest in various real estate products such as residential, commercial, retail, hospitality, etc., that are developed and operated by the real estate companies in the DTA area. These products offer high rental yields and capital appreciation for investors.

 

Employment Opportunities 

 

Gift City provides a plethora of employment opportunities for professionals from various fields and backgrounds such as finance, technology, engineering, biotech, pharma, education, healthcare, tourism, etc. It also provides various benefits and facilities for employees such as competitive salaries, tax exemptions, skill development, career growth, etc. Some of the employment opportunities available in Gift City are:

 

  • Financial Professionals: Gift City offers employment opportunities for financial professionals such as bankers, brokers, traders, analysts, advisors, consultants, auditors, accountants, etc., who can work for various financial entities operating in the IFSC. These professionals can gain exposure to various financial markets and products and enhance their skills and knowledge.

 

  • Technology Professionals: Gift City offers employment opportunities for technology professionals such as software engineers, developers, testers, consultants, BPO executives, etc., who can work for various technology entities operating in the DTA area. These professionals can gain exposure to various technology domains and platforms and enhance their skills and knowledge.

 

  • Engineering Professionals: Gift City offers employment opportunities for engineering professionals such as design engineers, analysis engineers, simulation engineers, prototyping engineers, manufacturing engineers, etc., who can work for various engineering entities operating in the DTA area. These professionals can gain exposure to various engineering sectors and applications and enhance their skills and knowledge.

 

  • Biotech Professionals: Gift City offers employment opportunities for biotech professionals such as researchers, scientists, clinicians, pharmacists, etc., who can work for various biotech entities operating in the DTA area. These professionals can gain exposure to various biotech sectors and innovations and enhance their skills and knowledge.

 

  • Other Professionals: Gift City also offers employment opportunities for other professionals such as educators, healthcare workers, tourism workers, etc., who can work for various non-financial and non-technology entities operating in the DTA area. These professionals can gain exposure to various sectors and services and enhance their skills and knowledge.

 

Lifestyle Opportunities: 

 

Gift City provides a high-quality lifestyle for its residents and visitors that is comparable to any global city. It also provides various amenities and facilities for its residents and visitors such as education, healthcare, entertainment, recreation, etc. Some of the lifestyle opportunities available in Gift City are:

 

  • Education: Gift City has a dedicated education hub that offers various educational institutions and programs for its residents and visitors. Some of the educational institutions are Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN), Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU), etc. These institutions offer various courses and degrees in management, technology, law, energy, etc.

 

  • Healthcare: Gift City has a dedicated healthcare city that offers various healthcare facilities and services for its residents and visitors. Some of the healthcare facilities are Apollo Hospital, Sterling Hospital, Zydus Hospital, etc. These facilities offer various treatments and specialties such as cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, oncology, etc.

 

  • Entertainment: Gift City has a dedicated tourism city that offers various entertainment options for its residents and visitors. Some of the entertainment options are multiplexes, malls, hotels, restaurants, cafes, clubs, etc. These options offer various genres and cuisines such as Bollywood, Hollywood, regional, Indian, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, etc.

 

  • Recreation: Gift City has various recreation options for its residents and visitors such as parks, gardens, water bodies, golf course, sports complex, etc. These options offer various activities and facilities such as jogging, cycling, boating, swimming, golfing, cricket, football, tennis, etc.

 

What are the challenges of Gift City?

 

Gift City is not without its challenges and limitations that need to be addressed and overcome to achieve its full potential and vision. Some of these challenges are:

 

  • Competition: Gift City faces competition from other financial centres and smart cities in India and abroad such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Singapore, Dubai, London, New York, etc. These centres and cities have established their reputation and presence in the global market and have a larger network and clientele. Gift City needs to differentiate itself and create its own niche and value proposition to attract and retain businesses and investors.

 

  • Regulation: Gift City operates under a liberal regulatory framework that allows it to offer various financial services and products in the IFSC. However, this also poses some risks and challenges such as compliance with international norms and standards, prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, protection of consumer rights and interests, etc. Gift City needs to ensure that it has a robust and transparent regulatory mechanism that balances the interests of all stakeholders and maintains its credibility and integrity.

 

  • Infrastructure: Gift City has a state-of-the-art infrastructure that uses technology to deliver efficient and reliable services. However, this also requires constant maintenance and upgradation to keep up with the changing needs and demands of the businesses and residents. Gift City needs to ensure that it has adequate resources and capabilities to manage and operate its infrastructure in a sustainable manner.

 

  • Talent (contd.): Gift City requires a large pool of skilled and qualified talent to work for various sectors and services in the SEZ and DTA areas. However, there is a shortage of such talent in India and abroad, especially in the fields of finance and technology. Gift City needs to ensure that it has adequate measures and incentives to attract and retain talent such as competitive salaries, tax exemptions, skill development, career growth, etc.

 

What are the opportunities of Gift City?

 

Gift City has many opportunities and potential to grow and prosper in the future, given its vision and mission. Some of these opportunities are:

 

  • Innovation: Gift City has the opportunity to become a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship in various sectors such as finance, technology, biotech, pharma, etc. It can leverage its smart infrastructure, green environment, global standards, and liberal regulations to foster a culture of innovation and creativity among its businesses and residents. It can also collaborate with various academic and research institutions, incubators, accelerators, etc., to support and promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

 

  • Integration: Gift City has the opportunity to become an integrated city that offers a holistic and harmonious experience for its businesses and residents. It can leverage its multi-service SEZ, exclusive DTA, and residential zone to create a seamless and synergistic environment that caters to various needs and preferences of its stakeholders. It can also integrate with various other cities and regions in India and abroad through its strategic location and connectivity.

 

  • Inclusion: Gift City has the opportunity to become an inclusive city that embraces diversity and equity among its businesses and residents. It can leverage its international financial services centre, domestic tariff area, and smart city features to create a cosmopolitan and multicultural environment that welcomes and respects people from different backgrounds, cultures, religions, etc. It can also ensure that it has adequate policies and programs to address the social and economic issues of its stakeholders such as poverty, education, health, etc.

 

Conclusion

 

Gift City is a futuristic city that aims to become a global destination for finance and technology businesses. It is India’s first greenfield smart city and international financial services centre, located in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It has many features, benefits, challenges, and opportunities that make it stand out from other cities in India and abroad. It is a city that offers everything you need to know.

 

FAQs

Q: What is the full form of Gift City?

A: Gift City stands for Gujarat International Finance Tec-City.

Q: Where is Gift City located?

A: Gift City is located on the banks of the Sabarmati River in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

Q: What are the main sectors in Gift City?

A: The main sectors in Gift City are finance, technology, engineering, biotech, pharma, education, healthcare, tourism, etc.

Q: How is Gift City different from other cities in India and abroad?

A: Gift City is different from other cities in India and abroad in many ways such as:

  • It is India’s first greenfield smart city and international financial services centre, which offers a plug-and-play infrastructure for businesses seeking unparalleled accelerated growth.

  • It has a multi-service SEZ that houses India’s first IFSC and an exclusive DTA that hosts various non-financial sectors.

  • It has a residential zone that offers a high-quality lifestyle for its inhabitants.

  • It has a state-of-the-art infrastructure that uses technology to deliver efficient and reliable services.

  • It has a green environment that minimises its environmental impact and enhances its natural resources.

  • It adheres to global standards and best practices in terms of regulations, taxation, policies, governance, etc.

Q: What are the advantages of setting up a business in Gift City?

A: Some of the advantages of setting up a business in Gift City are:

  • Single-window clearance mechanism for all approvals and permissions required for setting up and operating businesses in the SEZ and DTA areas.

  • Competitive taxation regime that offers various tax incentives and exemptions for businesses operating in the IFSC and lower GST rate for services provided in the DTA area.

  • Liberal regulatory framework that allows businesses to operate with ease and flexibility in the IFSC such as 100% foreign ownership, free repatriation of profits, no exchange control, no stamp duty, no withholding tax, etc.

  • Access to domestic and international markets through its strategic location and connectivity.

  • Availability of skilled and qualified talent from various fields and backgrounds.

Received

Q: How can one visit or live in Gift City?

A: One can visit or live in Gift City by applying for the appropriate visa and permit from the Government of India and the Government of Gujarat. Depending on the purpose and duration of the visit or stay, one can choose from various visa and permit options such as business visa, employment visa, tourist visa, resident permit, etc. One can also contact the Gift City authorities for any assistance or guidance regarding the visa and permit process.

Q: How can one get more information about Gift City?

A: One can get more information about Gift City by visiting its official website or by contacting its customer care number . One can also follow its social media handles for the latest updates and news about Gift City.

Q: What are the future plans of Gift City?

A: Gift City has many future plans to expand and enhance its offerings and services in various sectors and domains. Some of these plans are:

  • To increase the operational area of Gift City from 359 hectares (886 acres) to 886 hectares (2189 acres) by acquiring additional land from the Government of Gujarat.

  • To increase the number of entities operating in the IFSC from 265 to 500 by 2025, and to increase the cumulative business transactions in the IFSC from USD 125 billion to USD 250 billion by 2025.

  • To launch new products and services in the IFSC such as international bullion exchange, international clearing corporation, international banking unit, international financial data services centre, etc.

  • To develop new zones and hubs in the DTA area such as GIFT Aerospace Park, GIFT Agro Park, GIFT Media City, GIFT Sports City, etc.

  • To attract more domestic and foreign investments in various sectors and products in Gift City through various roadshows, events, campaigns, etc.

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