Chennai - A Top Tier City
Chennai is situated in at the Bay of Bengal on the Coromandel Coast. The city was founded by the British. Formerly known as Madras, Chennai is the state capital of Tamil Nadu (picture below: new parliament building under construction; the shot was taken in 02 / 2012).
With a city population of 4.6 m Chennai ranks amongst India's top tier cities. It represents the center of India's forth largest metropolitan area with an estimated total of 7,3 m inhabitants (2009; extrapolation based on 2001 data).
The city is served by an international airport and two major ports. It has two railroad terminals and is connected to other major business hubs by several national highways.
Chennai boasts a highly diversified economy anchored by the automobile industry, software services, hardware and electronics manufacturing, healthcare and financial services. Numerous international financial institutions, including the World Bank, established back office in the city which is home to three large national level commercial banks, many state level co-operative banks, a wide variety of financial and insurance companies as well as the Madras Stock Exchange.
Noteworthy, the city is home to Asia's largest private healthcare provider as well as some other prominent medical centers. The excellent reputation of such institutions made Chennai a prime destinations for international medical tourists.
In terms of production capacity the city is home to approximately on third of India's car and car component manufacturing. Ashok Leyland, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Royal Enfield, Tafe Tractors, TI Cycles of India, TVS Motors, and Caterpillar are operating manufacturing plants in the metropolitan area. Economically important, too, are textile industries, apparel and footwear manufacturing. Chennai contributes more than 50 % of the country's leather exports.
The city has become a primary center of electronics manufacturing. Multinational corporations like Dell, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Flextronics and Foxconn have set up manufacturing facilities. Huge clusters of such plants are to be found in the Sriperumbudur Special Economic Zone. Top international telecoms, pharmaceutical and chemical brands as well as biotech companies are operating research and development centers in Chennai.
Many software companies and software services providers are active in Chennai, which contributes approximately one seventh of India's total software exports. Due to attractive location parameters Chennai has become India's second-largest exporter of information technology and ITeS.
Given the city's excellent connectivity, its gateway function, and the well diversified economy Chennai has a potential to become a globally known metropolis.