Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tharoor on Kerala.....

Shashi Tharoor, Kerala's almost-boss-of-the-UN, has written an interesting article about how the "labor militancy" in Kerala is fast becoming a myth which needs to be deflated fast. Sadly, it is other Keralites who most often stoke fires which power this view of our beautiful state. Nice to see a famous son of Kerala doing his bit to bring the truth out.

Tharoor has written about Technopark, which he visited recently, and the Cochin Shipyard, another success story in the State. He has put it in anecdotal form, and it makes easy reading, far from being a promotional monologue. About Technopark, he writes and I quote (You can read the article by clicking on the title of this post),

"A visit to Thiruvananthapuram’s Technopark confirmed my impression that the sceptics are behind the curve. CEO after CEO told me in glowing terms of their satisfaction with the work environment in Kerala, the quality of the local engineering graduates, and the beauty of the lush and tranquil surroundings. Indeed, Kerala’s past failures at attracting and retaining heavy industry are now working in the State’s favour.

Tranquil surroundings

One Technopark firm, US Technologies, told me of having bid for a contract with a Houston-based company which had drawn up a short-list of Indian service providers and placed the Thiruvananthapuram-based company last. The American executives making the final decision flew down to India to inspect the six short-listed Indian firms. After three harrowing days ploughing through the traffic congestion and pollution of Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi, they arrived in Thiruvananthapuram, checked into the Leela at Kovalam beach, sipped a drink by the seaside at sunset — and voted unanimously to give the contract to US Technologies. “If we have to visit India from time to time to see how our contract is doing,” the chief said, “we’d rather visit Kerala than any other place in India.”

As they say in the U.S.: Sounds like a plan! It is time that Indian investors took notice as well. God’s Own Country no longer deserves the business reputation of being the devil’s playground."

The author has offered to act as a sort of ambassador for Technopark and other ventures in Kerala and for the State as a whole. With his contacts in the international community, I am sure he will be able to make a significant impact. Imagine what the entire diaspora of Kerala - second to none in its importance in countries far and wide - could do. Let's hope they go from being detractors to promoters of Kerala's attractiveness as a business destination.

More of his writings can be read at

1 comment:

  1. Personally I am a skeptic of the prospects of Business in Kerala. The major reason being due to the unpredictability and the frequency of strikes and hartals which can impact my business anytime. Do I really have the energy and resource to take hartal and bandhs into my risk management system?
    How do u suggest we mitigate this problem?


Thanks for your comment, I will take a look at it and put it up at the earliest.