Under the Modi government, India has been aggressively looking to expand its manufacturing industries. Presently the share of manufacturing in the gross GDP is roughly ~ 17%. In contrast, the share of the service sector is nearly 54%. However, India has prepared a blueprint to raise the total contribution of manufacturing as a percentage of GDP to 25%, through concentrated policy efforts and an infrastructure push.
The country has all the potential to become a manufacturing powerhouse, as of right from a large pool of skilled professionals, affordable labor, and high domestic consumption of manufactured goods makes India the ideal ground for the industry to flourish. All it now needs is to translate the potential into actual on-ground investments. (Though there has been growth in manufacturing FDIs in recent years, the potential remains largely untapped.)
The manufacturing segment in India is also capitalizing on the changing global supply chains, as major international manufacturers are looking for alternate destinations apart from China. The pandemic has taught the risk of over-reliance on a single sourcing destination and India is a natural alternative in the new world order.
Dholera Special Investment Region – An Ideal Investment Destination
As India is emerging as a sweet spot for manufacturers, it is focusing on developing large self-sustainable industrial clusters, SEZs, and manufacturing communities. Such industrial townships and clusters with integrated infrastructure, plug & play facilities, and strong IT & technology backbone will be game-changer for Indian manufacturing ambitions.
One such industrial zone that will surely play a large role in India’s industrial evolution is Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR). Spread across a sprawling 922 Sq Kms, Dholera is located 100 Kms southwest of Ahmedabad, the capital city of the province of Gujarat. The Gujarat government is promoting Dholera as a smart city project to many companies around the world. The bustling industrial township is developed with the help of the central government, Gujarat state government, and JICA.
DSIR is cohesively linked to the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), which is also developed with the help of JICA. The DMIC, which is being built for USD 90 billion is creating a global manufacturing hub with 13 industrial areas and 11 investment regions and is also touted as one of the largest industrial infrastructure projects in the world. The industrial township of Dholera will be one of the first smart cities built on the DMIC corridor and already work is going in advanced stages.
Dholera – Ready-to-Operate Manufacturing Facilities
Dholera is all set to become a world-class city. It is strategically located between the industrial cities of Ahmedabad, Baroda, Rajkot, and Bhavnagar and is envisioned to be bigger than Ahmedabad city. This industrial city has all the potential to become a highly sought-after region for manufacturers, as it is already equipped with the required infrastructure facilities and technical support.
The futuristic megacity will be a major node for a range of industries including ICT, clean energy, electric vehicles, electronics, aviation, High-tech emerging technologies, pharmaceuticals & biotechnology, automobiles and auto ancillary, general manufacturing, agro and food processing, techno-textiles, metals and metallurgical products, etc.
DSIR will be pivotal in India’s ambition to become self-reliant in defense manufacturing alongside the two dedicated defense corridors in Tamil Nadu and UP respectively. Dholera comes with a 150 Sq Km firing range, which will be a great advantage for defense hardware and equipment manufacturers.
Dholera is also a key node in India's burgeoning clean energy ecosystem. By 2030, the region envisions achieving an installed capacity of 5 GW of solar energy. Presently, work is going on a 3500 MW of solar power generation plant.
Businesses can immediately start their manufacturing units as there is a single-window clearance system supported by the Government of Gujarat. DSIR will also be based on the plug & play model, wherein large parcels of technology-enabled ready-to-function industrial land will be provided to the investors.
The region is cohesively linked with the road, port, and air connectivity thereby augmenting supply line capabilities for upcoming manufacturers. A 250-meter-wide expressway is being built between Ahmedabad to Dholera reducing the traveling time between the two cities to fifty-five minutes from two hours currently. At a distance of 200 km from the city, there are two ports, Bhavnagar and Pipavav and the government is also taking the initiative to build an airport, 20 Kms from Dholera. The land has been acquired and the DPR is ready for the airport. The airport is expected to be operational in another 2-3 years.
The central and state government is also working on an extensive 100 Kms metro line connecting Dholera, Gandhinagar, and Ahmedabad. The project is developed under the name of the Dholera Metro Rail Project and will tentatively cost around USD 960 Million.
The Right Time to Invest
This is the right time to purchase industrial/ commercial land in DSIR. Presently the prices are available at a lowered price. Reliance already has shown interest to develop the manufacturing units of Jio Next, the smartphone device by the company, in DSIR. There are speculations that Tata Motors is also considering Dholera to set up its EV manufacturing unit.
DSIR with its self-sustaining eco-system concentrated support for numerous industries, and advanced logistic facilities will be a major pull for upcoming manufacturers and other industries in the country. Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Limited along with the Gujarat Government is also keeping no stoned unturned in developing Dholera into a socially balanced new-age city with world-class social facilities comprising schools, colleges, and healthcare facilities- offering quality living to the residents. The city will have smart and sustainable infrastructure spanning modern transport systems, water, power, wastewater, drainage, and urban design, along with efficient regional connectivity with neighboring cities and the rest of the country.