The City that Never Sleeps, the City of Dreams, the Business Capital of the Country, and the Melting Pot of cultures, traditions, and lifestyles – Mumbai, has many names and as many feathers in its cap. The coveted cap, though, has had a shiny and sparkling feather added to it, in the form of the new age Terminal 2. A design inspired from the national bird Peacock, signifying the perfect marriage of the powers of flight and beauty; an ode to the science of design and architecture, an iconic blend of operational efficiency and customer convenience focused architecture – the Terminal 2 is indeed the most talked about construction project in the country in the recent times.
A few pages are not enough to encapsulate the wonders of Mumbai CSIA’s swanky new Terminal 2. We focus here on surfacing out the business impacts of this new terminal. There are already factions with financial stakes crying foul, and others that are rejoicing because of the business potential unleashed by the new terminal. Here’s a categorical treatment to all the stakeholders from different industrial quarters to bring out what’s in store for them.
Construction – The impact of Terminal 2 of Mumbai’s CSIA on the construction industry has already begun to surface out. The upgradation of existing roads is in full swing, and this has translated into employment for thousands of contractual laborers. Moreover, work on building a dedicated six lane elevated road to connect the main arterial Western Express Highway with the terminal has already commenced. Over the next few years, the metro project’s closest station to the new terminal will also, in all likelihood, have a dedicated road linking it to the terminal. It is not a farfetched idea to assume that merchants will be lining up for booking their commercial spaces at the metro station, whenever the bidding is opened.
Airport lounges – Frequent flyers who have grown used to flying with particular airlines because of their airport lounges might want to get over their brand loyalist behavior quickly. Even as airlines cry foul, the Terminal 2 will only host 2 lounges, one for first class travelers and other for business class travelers. This will unclog the area of the old terminal that hosted about a dozen lounges earlier. Whereas this means reduced business for airlines because of their airport lounge service packages, it means a more streamlines airport lounge area.
Metered 3 wheelers – The auto rickshaw drivers are certainly not too pleased with the swanky elevated road that leads to the Terminal 2. This is because it has been deemed dangerous for 3 wheelers to ply on the road because of its elevation. On a business scale, it means that people will only have to depend on their own vehicles or car taxis to reach the terminal, which is bound to leave 3 wheeler drivers high and dry. The coin has another side, however. Cab services have all the more reasons to devise their special airport travel packages, as they can expect increased business. Contractors who rent out vehicles will also have their reasons to rent out more cars!
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Museums – How in the whole wide world can a swanky new airport terminal impact the business of a museum! Well, when the terminal itself is technically the most magnificent and resourceful gallery of art and cultural artifacts, the aforesaid can certainly happen. One would not be wrong in treating T2 as a museum that houses more artifacts than any museum in India has ever done; a museum that is open 24 x 7, provided the guest has an air ticket; a museum that is set to witness a footfall of 40 million over a year, a number that all the art galleries of the country will not be able to record in a combined effort over the year. Why in the whole wide world will a traveler coming to India for the first time, with ample time to spare at the terminal, will want to spend a ticket to visit another museum when T2 welcomes him/her with the breathtaking art fest resulting from the hard work and creative inputs of1500 artists and 7,000 single and combined artistic installations! Certainly, the museums in Mumbai and other parts of the country are in for cold business days.
Artisans and craftsmen – Rajiv Sethi, the creative mastermind behind the iconic art face of T2 is pitching hard for having a shop named Jai Ho in the terminal, where art works and cultural artifacts from all parts of the country will be sold. Is these plans are affected, artisans and craftsmen around the region can expect widespread recognition along with financial benefits.
App Builders – Surprised? Don’t be. Rajiv Sethi has also talked about the plans of having apps that can guide visitors to the different parts of the terminal, imparting knowledge about the background of the art works. This will certainly excite mobile app development companies around the region.
GVK SkyCity – the future of business in Mumbai
We’re not yet done with the business impacts of the T2 yet, and have saved the best for the last. GVK, the infrastructure powerhouse, has acquired 200 acres of land almost hugging the airport, which is all set to be the playground for the business battles of tomorrow. Touted with the name of SkyCity, this ambitious project is expected to take the shape of a business district that would be bigger in scale than the Bandra-Kurla complex. Commercial establishments, hotels, malls, entertainment centers, theme parks – all will be singing out their tunes for the customers and clients to dance on, all at the SkyCity. Considering the fact that the airport is expected to witness footfall of more than 40 million annually, there is unsurpassed business potential for all industry players in the SkyCity. The availability of a new business magnet with no space constraints might have a relieving effect on the business class in Mumbai, as other business hubs will feel the pressure to reduce commercial land rates in order to remain lucrative. If the words from the company officials are to be believed, Mumbai should begin preparing to witness a new and enhanced skyline, with the 24×7 destination for everything luxurious, entertaining and contemporary called SkyCity ready to roll in the near future.