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Kolkata Office Space Guide

[Updated Oct 2020] A guide to serviced offices and office space for rent in Kolkata as well as general information that may be useful if you are considering renting office space in the city.

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History & Geography

As well as being India’s oldest port, Kolkata is also the country’s third-largest city. Located to the east of the country on the left bank of the Hooghly River the city is in the Ganges Delta in what used to be a wetland area. While Kolkata has been occupied for centuries its recorded history starts in 1690 with the arrival of the English East India Company. The founder of the city was Job Charnock, an administrator for the company. Three local villages were incorporated into the city, Kalikata, Gobindapur and Sutanuti. The British constructed Fort William on the east bank of the Hooghly River during their conflict with the French. In 1756 the Nawab of Bengal attacked and captured the fort, imprisoning the British captives in the famous Black Hole of Calcutta. The city was recaptured in the following year by Robert Clive and became the headquarters of the Bengal Presidency. In the early years of the 19th century, the marshes around the city were drained and many more buildings were constructed. In time Calcutta became the centre of the East India Company’s opium trade. In the 1850s the city was industrialized and the textile and jute industries blossomed. A large railway station was built, telegraph lines installed and a host of other infrastructure improvements initiated. In the late 19th century the city became the birthplace of the first Indian nationalist movement. Calcutta was bombed several times by the Japanese during WWII, but the damage was quickly rebuilt. During the partition of India, Calcutta saw widespread violence and many Muslims flee the city for Pakistan. During the Bangladesh Liberation War thousands of refugees fled to Calcutta, significantly boosting the population of the city and straining the infrastructure. From the 1970s to the present day Calcutta has been the base of the Indian Communist Party and has been under the sway of a communist city government.


Kolkata has a varied and thriving economy. The city is the economic hub of the region and one of the most dynamic in the country. Traditionally Kolkata was India’s wealthiest city, though this changed in the years after partition when the local economy became stagnant. However, in the last decades, Kolkata’s economy has revived. The city’s informal industry is a major employer, with thousands earning money as roadside hawkers. Over 80 percent of Kolkata’s workforce are employed in service-based industries such as banking and customer service. Approximately 22 percent of the city’s workforce are employed as casual labourers. From the late 1990s, the IT sector has been growing exponentially in Kolkata and recently a gamut of IT parks have grown up around the city and there has been an influx of foreign investment. Kolkata is also the home of India’s second financial hub, the foundation of which was laid in 2010. The hub is a 300-acre complex which will house a selection of banks and financial services companies. There will also be insurance companies, stock exchanges, educational facilities and hospitality services housed at the complex. Banking and finance is already a bulwark of the city’s economy, with major Indian banks such as Allahabad Bank, Uco Bank and United Bank of India based in the city. Other prominent companies headquartered in the city are Tata Steel Processing & Distribution, Coal India Limited, Hindustan Motors, Britannia Industries, Damodar Valley Corporation and Berger Paints Industry Ltd.

Tourism & Culture

Kolkata is not the most popular tourist destination in India, however, the city does have a thriving cultural scene. Kolkata is home to many venerable cultural institutions and sites, including the Academy of Fine Arts, the Indian Museum, the National Library of India and the Victoria Memorial. Moreover, the city is home to the Bengali film industry, one of the largest film industries in the world. The city is also famed for the ‘Kalighat’ style of painting which has its origins in the 19th century and often depicts scenes from Indian mythology as well as everyday life. Bengali music is also a large part of the city’s cultural scene and folk ballads called ‘baul’ are very popular. Kolkata is also known for its distinctive cuisine, among which its fish curry, macher jhol, is preeminent.


Kolkata’s international airport is located in Dum Dum, northeast of the city centre. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport has both domestic and international flights and is currently being significantly refurbished and upgraded to handle increased traffic. Public transportation in Kolkata is provided by Kolkata Suburban Railway and Kolkata Metro, which runs trams and buses. The city’s metro is the oldest underground mass transit system in the country. Buses are the most commonly used form of public transport and are operated by both government agencies and private contractors. Cycle rickshaws and hand-pulled rickshaws are also popular with residents of the city.

Office space for rent in Kolkata

Rising inflation and interest rates have slowed economic growth in India of late, however, analysts and credit agencies have a positive view of the country in the medium term. Because global companies are expanding cautiously leasing activity has been relatively low in Kolkata recently. However regional corporate companies have shown quite a high demand for office space in the city. The overall vacancy rate in the city is approximately 27 percent, with the CBD vacancy rate at about 11 percent. Rents in the CBD are approximately 120 INR per square foot per month. The outlook is fairly positive for the office market in Kolkata, however, fears over the state government’s land acquisition policy mean both clients and developers are worried.

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