The large workforce employed in this belt, and preferring to live in the vicinity, is pushing up demand for residential options here.
From a serene suburb steeped in English history to the Silicon Valley of India, Whitefield’s story was shaped primarily by the information technology revolution that transformed the sleepy landscape with Asia’s first tech park springing up in 1994.
The Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) acquired large tracts of land to earmark the Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP) zone where multiple companies across varied segments such as IT, IT enabled services, healthcare and engineering, invested in land to set up their large-format built-to-suit offices.
“This was also the time when the entrepreneurial wave in the ITITeS sector resulted in first generation wealth creation and owning a villa in a gated community became a hallmark of the successful entrepreneur,” says Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailer’s Association of India.
Hubs of industry
The serene surroundings of Kadugodi in Whitefield were the perfect backdrop for the ashram of Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the multi-speciality charitable hospital. The locality sprang to life with these two spiritual iconic structures and social infrastructure improved.
The EPIP zone which gradually took shape around the vicinity with a mix of industries is spread over an extensive 570 acres. Areas which were hitherto sleepy hamlets, became hubs of the IT and ITeS sectors. Most of the action was centered around the tech parks within Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and on Kundalahalli Village in Krishnarajapuram, Nagavara, Varthur, Doddakanahalli, Kadubeesanahalli, Sadarmangala, Bellandur, Mahadevapura, and Kaggadasapura.
According to Sumit Jain, National Director Residential Services, Colliers International India, these SEZs and EPIP attract many companies, both large and small, to set shop in these areas, as the government encourages them to do so by giving them many benefits. “These companies then provide job opportunities. For example, Whitefield grew from a sleepy suburb to a bustling area when industries began operating out of the region. This stretch became industrialised and in the 1970s, it became one of the fastest-developing industrial areas, with several medium and large-scale industries setting shop here,” he points out.
The tremendous development that Whitefield and the EPIP zone have seen over the years seems like a page from a science fiction film. Mammoth towers in glass and chrome stand high amidst natural greenery preserved by the developers of these MNC office spaces. Many hitherto heavy manufacturing factories have given way to these bright tech parks housing the best of social infrastructure.
It is no wonder then that the areas in the vicinity of these tech parks have begun to mushroom into high-end gated communities of residential activity. Villas are the new lifestyle additions here for the globally-travelled IT employees working out of these tech parks and business parks.
Lure of East Bengaluru
While the ITPB has singularly driven the demand for residential property options in its vicinity, the other tech parks and business parks in the EPIP zone too have drawn a high demand for housing options ranging from mid-segment apartments and highend homes enclosed within well-appointed gated enclaves, to villas and plots.
“Whitefield, Electronics City and the EPIP zone were the key initiatives of the State government that transformed Bengaluru into a Silicon Valley, which attracts new IT professionals to the city for jobs every year. These employees then make the city their home. Eventually, the demand to stay near the workplace rises. Hence, it is increasing the demand for residential property in these areas,” adds Jain.
While areas around the Outer Ring Road and Old Madras Road have both single commercial buildings and tech parks, mixed development is being observed here too.