Monday, February 13, 2006

Coimbatore – Destination Next?

Circa 1998. Bombs ripped apart the city, and the unanimous opinion that everyone had about Coimbatore was that the city was doomed, forever. That was the time when I happened to be in my final days of schooling and I still can’t forget the terror we all went through. With endless rumors of unattended parcels and abandoned vehicles, days were dark. Even simple things like parking a car had to be done with utmost caution, we were told. Shops were closed, factories shut down, and economy was in deep trouble.

1998 wasn’t long ago.

It’s astonishing how things could change so fast. From being labeled as the ‘bomb city’, the only talk surrounding Coimbatore seems to be around the boom and whether the city is equipped enough to handle it. I wouldn’t have written this article if I hadn’t been spell-bounded by the unprecedented attention on the city. Even if there isn’t really much happening on the ground, I guess the buzz is a fair indication of the days to come.

IT’s destination Next?

Articles these days talk about Coimbatore being all set for a take off. Notables include L&T massive Engineering related investment, TCS, Wipro and CTS - Elnet’s existing IT operations and the coming-up of the Tidel-style IT park. The IT prospects of the city isn’t surprising considering the fact that PWC rated Coimbatore as among three other cities with considerable IT potential. What is surprising is how even IT companies from elsewhere are considering the city for entering India, very unlike how Indian IT giants consider it only after Tier-I city options are exhausted.

A 2003 Economic Times article on Coimbatore and its IT potential cited that the biggest problem with the city is the lack of air connectivity. But over the 3 years, the number of airline brands hopping into the city airport has increased from just 2 to over 7, with 4 low cost airliners connecting all important locations across the country. The total passengers using the airport were a record 62,000 plus in December 2005. More international connectivity is on the cards.

To sum it up, a Hindu MetroPlus article has a decent SWOT analysis on the city.

Part and parcel of the industry boom is the real estate boom: The availability of Rs. 1.5 crore apartments in Coimbatore, similar to metros.

The downsides

While it’s clear that the city might see some action soon, what is not clear is the downside such a boom will bring along. Absence of metro-style “hang outs”, pubs, party-houses, watering holes, gaming zones notwithstanding, will Coimbatore, in case of such a boom, really brace up to provide all the facilities to people coming along? Will the existing “culture” of the city blend with the mixture of culture an IT boom will typically bring in? Will other industries brace up to the challenge in the form of finding quality manpower? More importantly, will the city take the economic load and its side-efffects?

9 Comments:

At Tuesday, February 14, 2006 4:16:00 PM, Blogger God Krishna said...

Hey govar... I am having problems loading a webpage at the first attempt (from both Monzilla and IE).. It says "Cannot Find Server".. I am having to refresh the page 5 or 6 times... only then do the pages get loaded... have u faced any such problems with ur XP after making those changes??

Coming to the point that u r making,I too feel that Coimbatore is an ideal location for the IT industry to be moving.. but yeah.. infrastructure needs a do-over before this could really happen

 
At Wednesday, February 15, 2006 12:28:00 PM, Blogger harry said...

hey govar,
i dont understand how u come up with topics abt which i always seem to have some perspectives ..:lol: ..anyways i had been thinking abt the last 2 topics and u have blogged it..
i am happy that coimbatore is gonna be hep and developing.. but whats gonna happen to the sylvan avenues of mettupalalayam, perur ,eechanaari..hope in the name of development let them not make that also into a concrete jungle..

reg entertainment i too agree..CBE seriously lacks in alternative avenues..there are only 2 forms of entertainment - movies or $%$#%$# in RS puram..;)..hope these change for better ..

 
At Wednesday, February 15, 2006 9:15:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

@Krishna: You mean you are getting these errors after executing those Fasten XP tips? I executed some of those - not all - and am not facing any issue whatsoever. The only thing that's looks related to internet is the TCP optimizer. I have a feeling that did something to your internet/TCP settings. Try using the tool and setting to default - those options are listed there. I too ran the thing and am facing no issues.

@Harry: Hmmm.. guess CBE + Engg + MBA connection makes a lot of things common. Anyway, I hear some improvements to entertainment avenues, but not as much as metros (Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore). Lets see what happens...

 
At Wednesday, February 15, 2006 11:51:00 PM, Blogger V.E.N.K.S said...

Hey,

The place really rocks..
Cannot wait to get back home in April

Venks
IIM L (2007)

 
At Monday, February 20, 2006 11:16:00 AM, Blogger Chandoo said...

Hey...

I tag you to not tag anyone. Pass the joy to five people

 
At Monday, February 20, 2006 12:16:00 PM, Blogger Jam said...

Dood,

Although I couldn't feel any more happier for you, I really pity all the poor IT folks who are gonna end up in CBE anytime soon. Considering the amazingly boring things to do (or rather not to do), and the small town mentality that the city currently enjoys, the hi-fliers from the IT world will feel completely out of place at CBE.

Cheers........Jam

 
At Tuesday, February 21, 2006 1:15:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

@Jam: It's not that am all that happy abt the boom. There are good things alrite, but there are a fair share of negativee stuff that accompanies with a boom.

Regarding ur concerns of how boring it could be, these things have a way of catching up fast. Right after the news of the first IT company came the news of a watering hole and a pub, if that's what you mean. All these would sure catch up, no worry, it's just that there is a lag compareed to other 'metro' cities.

 
At Wednesday, April 05, 2006 7:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey ,

The Indrialists at COimbatore will never allow the City to Grow. To be particular, they will not encourage the IT companies to come to the city.

 
At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 12:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi,

this is pradeep , combatore no doubt will prove its point in IT. but what is holding up the city is the attitude of government, government has done nothing to coimbatore as they do for madurai or chennai, we need some govt support , it is shame on govt to be partial

 

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