Mr Ram Walase, Chief Executive Officer of IL&FS Township & Urban Assets Limited, a subsidiary of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), India.Talks about the GIFT city’s role in the future of Indian Infrastructure

1. What are your thoughts on a mammoth project like the GIFT city and how will it be beneficial to India’s growth in the coming years?

GIFT is a transformational project with next generation urban planning and infrastructure. With its IFSC status, GIFT shall enable India to effectively harness opportunities in financial services sector and add 1 million direct and indirect jobs. The Project would enhance services sector contribution of Gujarat and set new standards for developing and maintaining world class infrastructure in our cities. GIFT is an ideal pilot for the Smart Cities Programme of Government of India and many lessons from GIFT could be used in planning, infrastructure development, urban governance and technology for our urbanisation

2. With promotion of financial services as the key outcome, how will this project help Indian markets to generate more business?

IT services sector has played a dominant role in the India’s economic growth in the last two decades. In the years to come, with appropriate policy enablers, the technology driven financial services sector could make a similar contribution to the growth of Indian economy and job creation. The rapidlygrowing cross-border financial flows and International Financial Services could add a multiplier effect on this contribution.

The global financial sector is undergoing a substantial churn in terms of regulatory and technology processes. An increasing share of financial services opportunity will lend itself to centralization. This combined with the growing Indian economy and its financial sector offer a number of opportunities for the diverse talent pool in India.

GIFT Project has been accorded an IFSC status and currently it is the only operational IFSC in the Country. GIFT will lay the foundation for tapping opportunities in capital mobilisation, insurance and IT enabled processes such as KYC, anti-money laundering, data analytics for the financial services industry. India should aim to tap about 6 - 8 million centralized jobs across multiple service roles in financial industry.

3. How will this project contribute in generating employment opportunities for the youth across the country?

GIFT Project has tremendous potential to create high value jobs in financial and technology sphere. GIFTCL (the joint venture company between IL&FS and Government of Gujarat created for implementation of the Project) is also planning to tie up with various educational institutions and vocational training providers to create a platform for access to high quality talent to various companies operating out of GIFT. IL&FS Education has already initiated a pilot project and trained around 1000 graduates from colleges around GIFT. This provides opportunities to academic institutions for absorption of talent and offers access to trained talent thereby saving costs and time for the businesses

4. How does this project align to the infrastructure business strategy of IL&FS?

IL&FS has played a pioneering role in showcasing PPP models for development of infrastructure on commercial principles. GIFT is an example of ahead-of-time PPP in development of smart cities on commercial principles and a natural extension of IL&FS’ role in urbanisation process of India

India is rapidly urbanising and needs the efficiency of private sector to meet our needs of urban infrastructure and services. The new programmes of Government of India such as Smart Cities and AMRUT Mission are aimed at addressing these challenges and IL&FS would look forward to play its part in such programmes and explore commercial opportunities.

5. What role does GIFT project play in enhancing IL&FS’portfolio of state of the art infra projects in the country?

GIFT Project is a unique development and it sets new paradigm in urban infrastructure and urban governance in India. It is the first green field smart city development project on PPP basis in the country and the First International Finance Service Centre (IFSC) to be developed in India. It reinforces our capabilities in successfully developing unique, complex and innovative infrastructure projects in the country and positions us in taking up similar initiatives

 

Mr. Ram Walase

Chief Executive Officer of IL&FS Township & Urban Assets Limited, a subsidiary of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), India.

 


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