Chennai is one of the top metropolitan cities in the country and also one of India’s biggest business hubs. In fact, the city has a thriving economy and dominates the country’s output in several sectors. Being the capital of Tamil Nadu, Chennai is the biggest commercial and industrial hub in South India. Chennai reportedly has the third highest GDP per capita in the country and key industries include software and IT, automobiles, hardware manufacturing, medical tourism, textiles, apparel, petrochemicals, financial services and more. The city has the important Ennore and Chennai Ports along with the Madras Stock Exchange.
Chennai offers excellent liveability as per surveys and is one amongst the top 30 cities in Asia to live in. The city is often known as the Detroit of Asia. Chennai is one of the biggest hotspots for IT and ITeS sectors. Top companies in the city include Capgemini, Cognizant Technology Solutions, DX Technology, Cisco Systems, SAP AG, Aricent, Hewlett Packard, Accenture, HCL, Mahindra Satyam, Tata Consultancy Services, IBM, Symantec, Infosys, CSS Corp, Wipro, Verizon, Patni, IGATE, Tech Mahindra, Intel, Ford Sync, Mindtree, Amazon, PayPal, Bosch, Microsoft, Adobe Systems, AT&T and Deloitte to name a few. The city has its own dedicated IT corridor on the OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road) and Tidel Park along with the Siruseri IT SEZ. Several SEZs like Mahindra World City have come up in Chennai. Chennai is also a major manufacturing hub for South Asia as far as leading MNCs like Cisco, Dell, Samsung, Sony-Ericsson, Motorola and Flextronics are concerned. There is the Sriperumbudur electronics SEZ and the city is the biggest exporter of electronics hardware in the country.
Top companies have research and manufacturing facilities in Chennai like Nokia, Huawei, Xerox, Siemens and Samsung among many others. Chennai is also the headquarters for some of the biggest engineering procurement and construction entities in Asia including BGR Energy Systems Limited, VA Tech Wabag and L&T Construction. Chennai is also a hotspot for offshore engineering with major institutions like IIT Madras, Center of Wind Energy Technology, National Institute of Ocean Technology and Indian Maritime University located here.
Chennai also contributes a whopping 60% of automobile exports from India which makes it the Detroit of Asia as mentioned earlier. The city is home to several companies like Ford, BMW, Royal Enfield, Renault, TVS Motor Company, Caterpillar, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hyundai, TAFE, Ashok Leyland, Yamaha, MRF, Dunlop, Daimler and more. Several petrochemical companies have operations in Chennai along with some of the biggest automotive research and development facilities including BMW, Daimler, Caterpillar and Hyundai among others. The city is home to several leading financial institutions like the World Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered Bank, Goldman Sachs, Barclays and ING Group along with other global financial institutions and domestic private and public sector banks and NBFCs. Chennai is also called the Health Capital of the country and is home to some of the best and biggest healthcare institutions in all of Asia including Sankara Nethralaya, Apollo Hospitals and many more. Chennai leads in medical tourism and caters to almost half of all health tourists coming to India from other countries. Other key industries include traditional arts and crafts, textiles, apparel, footwear, auto ancillary components, petrochemicals and many others.
The Tamil film industry is the second biggest in the country after Bollywood and is based in Chennai. The aerospace industry is also thriving in Chennai along with multiple start-ups, SaaS companies and other service sector entities. Chennai is known for its reputed educational institutions which ensure a ready talent pool for these companies. In our next portion, we will take into account some of Chennai’s most famous residents, entertainment and leisure options and special attractions in the city.