Talk about a milestone! Bengaluru-based Brigade Group, among India's leading real-estate developers, recently had an exclusive preview of Brigade Financial Centre (BFC), located in Gujarat International Finance-Tec City (GIFT City), which is India's first operational smart city and India's only International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). This visionary project is indeed a landmark development in the Indian infrastructure space. Vishal Mirchandani, CEO, Retail and Commercial, Brigade Group, speaks exclusively to the CW team on the possibilities opened up by a project of this magnitude, innovations adopted, other projects undertaken by
How will the Brigade Financial Centre at GIFT City at Ahmedabad cater to the futuristic needs of the global financial and IT services sectors?
We are close to completing this project, which is a visionary one. India's financial sector is booming; yet, the presence of a development with world-class facilities catering to the sector was missing. Brigade Financial Centre will be one of
the few buildings that will offer the finest quality in a workplace environment. If you look at the project, a large part of it is actually an SEZ development. Hence, it is a combination of all services and tremendous amenities. This project will expand the scope of SEZ development; at its core is the generation of an international and national financial service sector.
A project of this magnitude is being created for the first time in India. The government has poured in a lot of efforts and funds for the project, which will help optimise the country's engineering minds and infrastructure abilities. There will be massive job generation for the financial, insurance and banking sectors.
This is a big step in the right direction as it will lead to the formation of a new sector and create new types of jobs.
Tell us about the innovations adopted in design and architecture.
As the designer, we can answer this from a design point of view.
The project is a visionary one conceptualised by our Prime Minister when he was heading Gujarat. It was not seen as a smart city but a strategic and financially dominating project. The project is of vast spans, with the perfect land location and conceptualisation with a centrally arranged city. Such things are being done for the first time in India. We are coming up with the best technology. The concept of a service tunnel is also being developed for the first time in the country. All these innovations are being implemented on the basis of regular feedback, which is being carefully noted by the authorities. They are action-oriented. And even though the implementation of each of the points might not be possible, the ideas are not falling on deaf ears.
What is the total development of the project like?
This is our first building. We will be coming up with buildings of same size and design. We do not intend to make any changes in the way we are heading.
We are working on two office projects and one hotel project.
The hotel is a four-star hotel. For all three put together, we have an investment of over Rs 3.5 billion.
How do you see the project generating employment in the area?
This project will have a huge impact on employment generation. There will be a large number of direct and indirect jobs generated. This is also set to change the socioeconomic structure of the country, because the kind of jobs that are being created will be different than what you see today; they will be mid-level to high-level jobs. This project will have a multiplier impact.
Tell us more about the plan to construct an international brand business hotel at GIFT City.
As of now, we are working on just one single hotel and want to see how this plays out. There are no plans for anything extra in this.
While several builders in India do not readily accept technology, what has made you embrace it so readily and how has it helped in your projects?
We have office space of around 9 million sq ft and are targeting a further 14 million sq ft. We want to be a strategically placed company with around 20 million sq ft of office space. In terms of technology used, we are working on hard and fast ways to give the best. Our rental income is around Rs 7.5 billion and we plan to achieve the Rs 10 billion mark in the coming three to four years.
We have managed our customers and engineering sectors by using the best technologies available.
We have improved in our deliverables and believe technology is a must in today's time. Imagining a world without technology is difficult for us.
How has this fiscal been for you?
We are looking forward to the new fiscal and have a strong feeling that it will be full of projects and witness tremendous movement.
Partners in Development
'Brigade's BFC is a futuristic development, with two towers of about half-a-million sq ft of space. The first 315,000 sq ft has already been launched and is spread over 14 storeys. BFC will be a much sought after space within the ambitious GIFT City. It promises to be an iconic project that will set the stage for many corporates to establish themselves in GIFT City and set the benchmark for future developments.'
- MR Jaishankar, Chairman and Managing Director, Brigade Enterprises
'GIFT is experiencing immense interests from many domestic and global corporates from the financial services and other general services sectors. This has a direct impact on demand for quality office space in the GIFT SEZ and domestic areas. GIFT is delighted to have the Brigade Group as a partner. The launch of the Brigade Financial Centre in the GIFT SEZ provides the perfect platform to meet the surge in demand. GIFT City has differentiated itself by providing an efficient business platform for corporates, with world-class infrastructure combined with efficient use of technology and a developing social and residential ecosystem. The Brigade Financial Centre compliments GIFT as a world-class facility.'
- Ajay Pandey, Managing Director and Group CEO, GIFT City