• Naveen Aggarwal, Partner |
4 min read

“I asked my soul: What is Delhi? She replied: The world is the body and Delhi its life!” - Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib

For a city and a region steeped in history, Delhi NCR today is a true definition of a place having a mix of everything, from ethnicity to diversity and everything in between. A region which has the extended urban agglomeration straddling several states and city jurisdictions, has the highest concentration of jobs and people in the country powering India’s growth and economic development journey. Being the political capital adds to its arsenal as a powerhouse of both policymaking and the nerve center for the government in the country.

Last few months we have seen the region taking centerstage across a multitude of marquee events. The most notable was the G20 summit in early September, where the city turned into a fortress and became the global capital of the world. The region remains a hotbed for activities across the spectrum, playing a key role in underpinning the country’s position as a top investment destination and in the process, emerging as one.

Delhi’s NCR growth story is inevitable, however in my view, there are four drivers which will help chart out the next phase of exponential growth trajectory.

First is the growing Promoter driven businesses – Family businesses in Delhi NCR have a rich history in driving growth, enabling development to become an indispensable part of the region’s economic landscape. Home to some of the most prominent and promising business establishments in the country, spread across sectors such as Manufacturing, Auto/Auto Components, Retail, Media, Telecom, Real Estate, amongst others, these enterprise businesses drive a significant portion of economic value, job creation and assisting in nation building endeavour. Historically, Delhi NCR has been the focal point for family businesses which is now seeing the rise of the next generation fueled by a mix of tradition and innovation, making defined investments in new-age technology to diversify product portfolios and explore newer markets.

Second is the shifting of gears by Startups – Delhi NCR today is one of the top ranked Start-up destinations in India and a preferred choice for enterprises in the Consumer/Digitech space, be it fintech, healthtech, edtech, Insuretech, amongst others. The region is home to some of the pioneers of the Indian startup who seem to have hit the right chord when it comes to addressing consumer's needs as opposed to chasing valuations, thereby in the process becoming more sustainable. While one side of this story is led by technology-led disruption, it has also been fueled by an uptick in deal flows with Private Equity / Venture Capital funds adding to the momentum. And with the government actively looking to improve efficiencies and coordination as a means of delivering growth, the current economic momentum will see M&A activities continue to flow, as foreign investors reinvigorate their interest in an economy that is beginning to meet its potential.

Third is the rise of Global Capability Centers (GCCs’) – GCCs’ in this region have rapidly transformed from process hubs to innovation epicenters, playing a pivotal role in their parent organisations strategic decision-making. Today, the region counts itself in the top 3 captive destinations in the country encompassing a diversified ecosystem spread across IT/ITeS, BFSI, and Consulting companies. Some of the key factors working in its favor are availability of skilled talent, collaboration with startups and connectivity, enabling captives to bring innovative solutions to major cities domestically as well as to global markets. There is little surprise that GCCs’ in the region are maturing at a rapid pace and moving up the value chain to become alternate headquarters for global corporations.

Lastly, building infrastructure today for a better tomorrow – Acting as the backbone is the state-of-the-art infrastructure which is probably unparalleled in the country. Seamless connectivity, strategic location and top-class amenities have made it a prime destination for the global investor community. Government’s efforts in enabling ease of doing business are also acting as a significant pull factor. Recent influx of new and revamped convention centers In Delhi NCR such as Bharat Mandapam and Yashobhoomi have strengthened India’s potential in Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector. Adding to this momentum are the upcoming landmark infrastructure projects such as Noida International Airport, Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transport System (RRTS) Corridor and Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor to name a few, all efforts to make the region a hotspot for global corporations looking to invest/expand in India.

India’s quest to become world’s 3rd largest economy by the turn of this decade will come from epicenters in its aspiration and Delhi NCR will be on top of the list. While the presence of decision-making nerve centers will play an enabling role, the firepower will come from how private entrepreneurship, public investment and academic research nurture a thriving culture of growth and innovation.

After all, the ability of transformation and ingenuity led by a world-class talent base is embedded in the region’s DNA. As we brace for the chilling winter season, there is a fire that burns bright pushing this region to go above and beyond the realms of possibilities. To achieve the impossible dream!

A version of this article was published on Jan 03, 2024  by RealtyPlus.com