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Smart Cities Business Opportunities


Smart Cities Business Opportunities

31 per cent of the country’s urban population currently contributes to roughly 60 per cent of the GDP. This figure is expected to rise to 75 per cent in the next 20 years. This is the reason cities are referred to as the engines of economic growth. ‘Smart Cities Mission’ is one of the key programs initiated by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi wherein innovative solutions will be introduced to recast the urban landscape of the country and make the cities more inclusive, liveable and to drive economic growth.

The Smart Cities program has 2 major components; area-based development in which real estate developers and construction companies would play a major role in constructing new townships/retrofitting old spaces in areas ranging from 50 to 500 acres and ICT based pan-city solutions wherein possible areas of interventions could be energy management, water management, mobility and transport management etc. The pan-city interventions would require the expertise of IT and infrastructure companies to provide innovative, scalable solutions at competitive costs.

The program taps a range of approaches ranging from public-private partnerships, urban planning best practices, digital and information technologies, and policy change – to make a difference in the urban landscape. Public and private investments to the tune of 30- 40 billion dollars over the next 7-10 years are being envisaged to make this dream a reality. This scale of incremental investment and the need to leverage available assets would require the know-how of business, proficiency of experts and knowledge of emerging technologies. Since the entire program will be broken down to a number of projects for ease of implementation, small and medium-sized construction and IT companies would avail businesses related to the implementation of the scheme. Service providers with the requisite domain expertise and experience will be in high demand for the same.

Programming, data analytics, IT consulting, system and network integration services will be the order of the day and professionals and students in this area can expect great opportunities. Some types of services/ companies that could avail business directly from the smart cities mission are mentioned below.

  • IT solutions firms
  • Network service providers and integrators
  • Data analysis firms
  • Infrastructure developers
  • Real estate companies
  • Construction companies
  • Solar energy firms
  • Transport engineering companies
  • Product vendors
  • Project and program management firms

Startups, innovation centres and accelerator programs has provided with a huge impetus to indirectly give a boost to the economy. Knowledge-based services like consulting and advisory services would be in high demand. Tremendous new opportunities have created due to the program and the need of the hour is to leverage opportunities through entrepreneurship in the sectors mentioned above. Direct and ancillary benefits including ease of doing business, improved relations with the government along with new sources of revenue can create a compelling case for the active involvement of businesses in smart city opportunities.

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