India’s Millennium City has seen a meteoric rise from a cluster of villages to a thriving metropolis
India’s National Capital Region, the huge metropolitan area that encompasses the city of New Delhi, stretches spoke-like into the surrounding states as a bevy of satellite cities. One of the most important of these is situated in the state of Haryana.
Once no more than a barren stretch of villages, today Gurgaon is home to more than 250 of India’s Fortune 500 companies, 26 luxury malls boasting outlets for the likes of Chanel and Louis Vuitton, lush golf courses, premium car showrooms and upmarket recreation venues.
Gurgaon has been nicknamed India’s “Millennium City,”reflecting the development the country aspires to. However, in an attempt to bring the citizens of Gurgaon closer to their heritage, the state government accepted a request in April for its name to be changed to Gurugram (“guru”translates as“teacher” and“gram”to“village”).
Before India gained independence in 1947, only a few hundred people lived in Gurgaon’s founding communities. By 1971 the population reached 57,000. Today, the city is home to more than 1.8 million people and has an impressive per capita annual income of Rs 446,000 ($6,670), compared with the national average of Rs 88,533 ($1,325).
Although commonly associated with Delhi, Gurgaon also has borders with the states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, making its location highly strategic for business. From Indira Gandhi International airport, a 40-minute drive along National Highway 8 brings you to the center of the city. Its proximity to the capital – and the country’s policymakers – proved to be very appealing to the visionaries and investors who saw the area’s immense potential.