Mahindra World City by Mahindra Lifespaces: Building Integrated Green Townships
Online PR News – 21-May-2015 – Mumbai, Maharashtra – Mahindra World City, Chennai ( www.mahindralifespaces.com ) has aspired to achieve balance between Life, Living and Livelihood. With 64 companies and 38,000 employees, the 1,500-acre Mahindra World City near Chennai has been a revelation of Sustainable Urbanization. The township has 285 acres of residential, social and retail infrastructure. About 700 families live within MWC, but once the residential projects are completed and sold, it will be able to house 8,000 families. Mahindra World City has been conceptualized and set up on the basis of three core pillars, Social, Economic and Environmental, thereby enabling the flexibility to accommodate changing dynamics of future market trends.
Mahindra Group began acquiring land in the southern outskirts of Chennai in 1996, the end goal was to set up an auto ancillary park. At the time, the conglomerate was Ford Motor Company’s joint venture partner in India, and their manufacturing facility coming up at Maraimalai Nagar (another southern Chennai suburb) required component makers to be located nearby. Before the auto ancillary park could actually take shape, however, the joint venture ended in 1998. But Ford’s loss has proven to be Mahindra’s gain as the break-up was instrumental in the birth of Mahindra World City (MWC)—one of India’s rare successes when it comes to building integrated townships.
MWC (www.mahindralifespaces.com/mwc-chennai-residences/index.html) houses three sector-specific special economic zones (SEZs): Information technology, auto ancillary and apparel and fashion accessories. It also has a domestic tariff area (space for India-focussed companies), and boasts of a railway station on site. Since its inception in 2002, 64 companies including Infosys, Wipro, BASF, Renault-Nissan, BMW, TVS Group and Capgemini have set up a base. There are about 38,000 employees, and the cumulative exports from MWC in 2014-15 (as of February) stood at Rs 7,062 crore. So far, Rs 4,100 crore has been invested into the township by both, the companies that have set up their units there and the Mahindra Group.
Ramdas Kamath, executive vice president, Infosys, is all praise for the township. “Infosys was the first company to set up its IT Park inside MWC Chennai. In a short span of time, we have grown to house 16,000 software professionals there. Its best-in-class infrastructure has attracted renowned corporations to set up their units. We are the happiest SEZ unit among them,” says Kamath, adding that Infosys wants to be associated with MWC in all future projects.
“What we have created is an economic nerve centre with strong infrastructure and connectivity,” says Sangeeta Prasad, CEO, Integrated Cities & Industrial Clusters, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd, the company that handles the real estate development business of the $27.84 billion Mahindra Group. “At the same time, we have ensured that many elements of a city are available, with respect to residential, retail and commercial aspects so that MWC becomes an all-encompassing place,” she adds. Some of the amenities include a 60,000 sq ft commercial centre, an MWC Club spread over 4 acres, the Mahindra World School with more than 600 students and a hospital (now limited to out-patient and diagnostic services). A hostel and a multiplex are also being planned.
MWC Chennai is a joint venture between the Mahindra Group (89 percent) and the government-run Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (11 percent). “The PPP model [public-private partnership] helped us focus on our core competence, which is infrastructure development. With the government being a partner, approvals and clearances were not time consuming,” says S Chandru, COO, MWC. The state government helped MWC bag clients like BMW India by throwing in incentives to deter the automaker from going to Maharashtra. “It is a symbiotic relationship,” says Prasad. MWC has repeated the formula in its second township in Jaipur, where it has entered into a joint venture with the Rajasthan government.