With Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Investment, India's Financial Capital Could Become a Digital Hub Over 20 co-investors, which include Cisco, Siemens, Corning, HP, Dell, Nokia and Nvidia have agreed to invest alongside RIL in the proposed industrial area.

By Vanita D'souza

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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While inaugurating an event in Mumbai earlier this week, Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani said that his company Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) along with other co-investors will invest INR 60,000 crore to develop the country's first integrated industrial area in Maharashtra.

Over 20 co-investors, which includes Cisco, Siemens, Corning, HP, Dell, Nokia and Nvidia, have agreed to invest alongside RIL in the proposed industrial area.

By far, Reliance Industries has invested around INR 250,000 crore across the country but Maharashtra has enjoyed most of the investment, which amounts up to INR 22,000 crore. Additionally, Ambani during the inauguration of Magnetic Maharashtra Summit added that RIL through Jio is looking at connecting every last person via a digital revolution in the state.

The Growth Factor

Maharashtra, home to the country's financial capital Mumbai, is one of the fastest growing states in the country at the current growth rate of 9.4 per cent. The state's Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is aiming at 15.4 per cent growth to make the state a trillion dollar economy by 2025.

During a previous interaction with Entrepreneur India, Subhas Desai, Industry Minister, Government of Maharashtra hinted at a similar project that is likely to be developed on the outskirts of Mumbai and would have state-of-art facility to support small & medium enterprises.

Additionally, he also said that the government is looking to set up around 10 incubation centers through a public-private partnership, something like the Telangana Government's T-hub or Gujarat's iCreate.

Can Maharashtra Outbeat Its Peers?

Prior to carving out Telangana as a state, the Andhra Pradesh State Government initiated a similar approach to develop the popular Hyderabad Information Technology and Engineering Consultancy City aka Hitech City.

The 151 acres industrial area, which was developed by the then Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and L&T, houses some of the largest and the newest tech-enabled companies in India. Hitech's development, along with initiatives undertaken by the present Telangana Government, has allowed Hyderabad to emerge as one of the start-up hotspots in the country and compete with the IT capital of India – Bangalore.

Similarly, the new Andhra Pradesh is also looking to develop Amaravati as one of the most sustainable capitals in the world alongside integrated townships. The new capital is being developed by Singapore government appointed consultants – Surbana International and Jurong.

The total cost of developing Amaravati is around INR 58,000 crore and World Bank with HUDCO has committed INR 14,000 crore. Whereas, the Central Government will support the state with INR 3,000 crore as a grant and bonds worth INR 2000 crore will be issued. Difference amount will be raised through monetizing prime location plots, reported Economic Times.

Ambani on various occasions in the past has expressed his interest to invest in sectors like agriculture, health and education to develop Andhra Pradesh. However, unlike Maharashtra, the billionaire hasn't committed a penny publicly.

Tables could soon turn for Maharashtra with investors like Ambani and Anand Mahindra, who is determined to invest INR 2,325 crore in the state. Mahindra also plans to set up a INR 1,700 crore film-based entertainment center in Mumbai

We have our eyes peeled for the next big billionaire who will sign up for investing in the financial capital of the country.

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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