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Nagpur is the future of central India

The number of the rich has risen from a few crorepatis to 438 billionaires, reports Pradip Kumar Maitra.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2007 21:54 IST

Nagpur is shining and the number of rich is only going up. From just a handful of crorepatis about ten years ago, the figure has now grown to 438 billionaires.

The rise has been phenomenal and startling. And if the statistics is anything to go by, the city has outpaced other metros, like Kolkata in terms of rise in number of billionaires. It stands sixth in terms of crorepatis in the country.

Though the figure may look meagre when compared with Delhi (5,085) or Mumbai's 4,439 crorepatis, the rise in these metros has not as much as is the case with Nagpur.

That one street at Civil Lines – a famous address in Nagpur -- where over a dozen crorepatis reside and home to well-known Pendharkars of Vicco group and Sharmas of Baidyanath -- now has come to be known as Crorepati Galli among locals only attest to rise in number of billionaires.

The billionaire figure shows how the city has been changing fast and is an emerging business destination. More importantly, the city has the highest growth rate of millionaires in India.

In 2002, there were 10, 417 households with an annual income of over Rs 10 lakh in Nagpur as against 1,199 in 1996. In terms of percentage, it translates to 770 per cent growth – all in six years.

For matters of comparison, the number of millionaires had doubled in the national capital in the same period. According to the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), the Great Indian Market, Mumbai (319 per cent) and Delhi (274 per cent) were the third and second slowest respectively among the ten cities to have more number of rich households.

"Nagpur is a peaceful city in comparison to other bigger and medium size cities where extortions from businessmen, kidnapping and threat from mafia are common," says N Kumar, the city-based leading builder, film financer and one of the prominent crorepatis, "Apart from enjoying the advantage of location, infrastructure and quality life, better healthcare and good education have also attracted several businessmen and industrialists from Orissa and neighbouring Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to set up their business in the central part of the country to further their growth. This has led to almost to two-fold growth of the city in the last 5 years.

The setting up of the international airport, cargo hub and an MRO unit of Boeing have altered the city in a big way in the recent past." His only regret is the city was politically ignored by the successive state governments despite its tremendous potential.

"Though the city provides good quality life, better infrastructure, uninterrupted water supply, wide roads etc, the rate of real estate is still cheaper than other metros and mini-metros. This has also contributed to the impressive growth of the orange city in the last couple of years,” Kumar added.

Satish Goel, another crorepati, who shifted from Raipur from the neighbouring Chhattisgarh a few years ago, feels that Nagpur is the future city of the central India.

"Facilities apart, the city has an advantage of providing skilled and technical personnel which industrialists and businessmen often do not get in other parts in neighbouring states," he added.