India’s southern part is largely recognised as the birthplace of modern retail. Across all the middle and high-income classes, except the super-rich, the highest growth in retail has been witnessed in the South of India. The Tier I cities of the regions, namely Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai, are growing at an exceptional rate, with the retail buzz in these cities becoming more pronounced by the day. Aside from this, the emerging Tier II cities with the likes of Trivandrum, Coimbatore, Kochi, Vizag, Vijayawada and Madurai are contributing more than $7,000 million worth retail activity to India. One city which has made a deep impact on this growth is Trivandrum.
Referred to as ‘Evergreen city of India’, Trivandrum is on its way to becoming one of the most definitive retail markets in India as far as Tier II cities are concerned. With a population of 2 million people in the urban areas and 2.5 million in the agglomeration core, Trivandrum has an extended catchment of over 10 million people. It recently bagged the tag of top-ranked ‘Smart’ City and constantly receives federal and state funding for its urban development.
What Makes Trivandrum Special A huge retail revolution is all set to storm the city. New shopping malls housing outlets of various international brands are planning to open their facilities in the capital city. Apart from this, the other distinctive features which are making Trivandrum the new retail hub are:
TECHNOLOGY HUB: In the last 5 years, Trivandrum has seen some massive and explicit technological changes, which have paved way for it becoming a major technology hub in India today. Trivandrum is now home to some of the big names in Technology like Oracle, Nissan, EY, Allianz, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, TCS and Hitachi. In the year 2017-18, Trivandrum went through a whopping $2 billion worth of IT export transactions; a CAGR of over 20 percent, while the overall tech industry has successfully expanded at ~10percent.
It has also seen the emergence of over 350 firms in diversified segments of the BPM industry, from start-ups to Fortune 100/500, serving all key markets including Asia, North America, Europe and the Middle East. Currently, there are 65,000 technology professionals in the city; and it is expecting to reach up to 100,000 by the year 2020.
TRANSPORT: Being the second busiest rail hub in the southern hemisphere of the country, it strives to provide great connectivity to all major Tier I and Tier II cities across the longitude. As a matter of fact, it houses India’s eighth biggest international airport with hassle-less connectivity to all major Indian cities and to major global hubs. Due to its congestion-free road network, it has been the recipient of numerous international awards for its innovative execution as well.
LIVEABILITY QUOTIENT: According to a report by Jaanagraha, Trivandrum packs a punch with a great Liveability Quotient. When compared with Tier I south cities of Bangalore or Chennai, it has significantly lower costs of living for employees and lower total cost of operations for employers. The quality of life here is viably better as it has lower congestion, minimal pollution, better safety and infrastructure and ensures higher employee engagement and thereby, lower levels of attrition. It was in fact been ranked the #1 city in India for Urban Governance based on a composite score study.
WELL-DEVELOPED TECH ECOSYSTEM: Trivandrum accounts to be one of the earliest start-up ecosystems in India and also one of the first incubators that started in the early 2000s. It caters to a well-developed tech ecosystem including major verticals such as: IoT, SaaS, robotics, Artificial Intelligence, enterprise applications, biotechnology and medical technology. Additionally, it has been getting funds from investors including Blackstone Carlyle, Accel Partners, Schroeder Capital Partners, Incubators and Accelerators, along with various academic and industry linkages.
GOVERNMENT SUPPORT: The government also has played a key role in making Trivandrum reach its current state with key reforms by the state government including:
The Information Technology department is directly overseen by the Chief Minister – the top Executive of the State.
Kerala has a very supportive Information Technology Policy and was the first State to establish a technology business park, in 1989. The Policy is revised annually based on the industry inputs.
Government has prioritized the further development of key infrastructure facilities including a metro system, commuter rail stations, a 80Km Outer Growth Corridor project with multiple satellite towns, roads, power and water supply and the expansion of the International Airport to support the ongoing development of the technology industry, with an investment of over $2 billion.
Taurus Zentrum at Downtown Trivandrum – Taurus Zentrum, an upcoming mall in the city is going to be the next big thing for the people of Trivandrum. The mall, which is owned and managed by Taurus Investment Holdings will be one of the largest malls in the country with a total built-up area of 1,200,000 sq.ft. The mall is designed by the international architectural firm, Benoy.
Zentrum is part of a mixed-use project, Taurus Downtown Trivandrum, based on the live-work-fun concept. The mall is surrounded by a non – SEZ office space of 4 lakh sq. ft., a hotel of 210 keys, co-living space of 114 units and 187 units of serviced apartments and an SEZ office space of 3 million sq.ft in a joint venture with Embassy Group