The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Chatterjee group to shake up market for office space

Mumbai, Nov. 16: TCG Urban Infrastructure Holdings Ltd plans to set up technology parks in metros to cash in on the rising demand for office space by technology firms setting up operations in the country.

The Purnendu Chatterjee group company has earmarked Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Calcutta for the purpose. The company already has a presence in Delhi and Calcutta.

The strategy of creating office space before getting firm orders is dubbed as ‘speculative space’. Balaji Rao of TCG Urban Infrastructure said in Calcutta it is creating 3.5 lakh square feet of additional space in Bengal Intelligent Park as the group expects leading infotech companies to set up base there in the near future.

The existing complex is mostly occupied by the Chatterjee group companies.

TCG Urban Infrastructure has given a wide berth to real estate development for residential purposes. Instead, it plans to focus on real estate development for commercial purposes.

“The returns are not stupendous. But the market for commercial real estate is more stable,” said Rao. The returns could be between 16 and 18 per cent with a scope for capital appreciation of the real estate and a steady rental stream.

“We have started receiving some enquiries for space in Calcutta. It’s a moment of reckoning as lot of companies are interested in setting up a base in the city,” he said.

Rao was surprised when a CEO of a mid-sized software firm in Mumbai asked him about the availability of office space in Calcutta. “I did not prompt him nor was I making a presentation before him,” he said.

“Earlier, we always had to sell,” he added. Rao was merely indicating the changing scenario and why Calcutta could emerge as a leading contender for development centres and offshore facilities.

Analysts said the ready availability of skilled manpower and low attrition rates are the attributes favouring Calcutta.

The Chatterjee group has joint ventures with United Airlines and Computer Associates in Calcutta and operates from Bengal Intelligent Park in Salt Lake.

TCG Urban Infrastructure, in alliance with an outfit of the Maharashtra government, is setting up a Rs 250-crore international biotech park in Pune. The company will develop, promote and market the 110-acre biotech park. MIDC, a state government undertaking, will hold around 12 per cent of the paid-up capital, while TCG Urban Infrastructure will hold the remaining 88 per cent.

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