City of Surat to Improve Citizen Services with IBM Smarter Cities Program

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Surat - 12 Feb 2016: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the City of Surat today announced its plans to increase the efficiency of Surat’s services and enhance the experience for its citizens by building a digital platform for better urban livability in India.

As a successful recipient of IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge (SCC) grant, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) worked with IBM to study and prepare a blueprint designed to support the city’s growth, administration of its civic infrastructure and increasing demand on services.

With Surat’s population predicted to grow by 5 percent over the next 4 years*, the efficient management of existing and future civic infrastructure is essential to Surat’s long-term livability and sustainability.

 "As the fourth fastest-growing city in the world, Surat faces a real challenge to effectively administer and get maximum efficiency from its civic infrastructure and services in areas such as payment of property taxes and utilities. At the same time, we need to fully engage our citizens to partner with us and embrace the services available,” said Shri. Milind Torawane, IAS, Commissioner of Surat Municipal Corporation.

Using the IBM Smarter Cities grant, a team from SMC and IBM created a strategic framework and recommendations for the delivery of viable improvements to Surat’s citizen’s services via new and existing online channels, in support of the city’s rapidly increasing population and economic growth.

After a successful application, the City of Surat earned an IBM grant to have a global IBM team spend three weeks with local officials to provide strategic recommendations to establish and operationalize a smarter citizen engagement platform.

To establish a smarter engagement digital services platform for Surat’s citizens for a functional, livable and socially vibrant city, the IBM SMC team delivered the following recommendations:

  • Build a blueprint for a digital platform using Enterprise Architecture methodologies;
  • Establish a system to support data security & governance, information and stakeholder management
  • Appoint a Surat Transformation leader, reporting to the SMC;
  • Develop a marketing campaign to promote citizen engagement and facilitate community awareness.

"The recommendations presented by the IBM SMC team will help the SMC analyse trends, anticipate demand, launch new services, capture feedback on a more regular basis, and measure performance,” said Shashi B Mal, Industry leader, Government, IBM India. “A closer online connection with users that anticipates citizens' needs will make the city more proactive. This will enable the SMC to offer the kinds of online services that improve citizen engagement and experience.”

IBM Smarter Cities Challenge

Smarter Cities Challenge is a variant of IBM's Corporate Service Corps (CSC), a pro bono consulting program that assists government with projects that intersect business, technology, and society.  Since its launch in 2008, CSC has sent more than 2,000 of IBM's top talent based in 50 countries on more than 200 team assignments in 30 countries, including 13 CSC teams in the Philippines. 

The Smarter Cities Challenge is sponsored by IBM's Corporate Citizenship program and IBM’s International Foundation. IBM has been a leader in corporate social responsibility and citizenship for 100 years. To find out more about IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants, please visit and


*1 “The world’s fastest growing cities and urban areas from 2006 to 2020,” City Mayors Statistics,

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