Popular as the "Manchester of South India", Coimbatore is one of the fastest growing tier-II cities in south India. Referred as the industry and employee friendly destination in India, Coimbatore is a major textile, industrial, commercial, educational, information technology, healthcare and manufacturing hub of Tamil Nadu. Due to the presence of major MNCs, developed infrastructure, high literacy rate and best in class work culture, Coimbatore is set to become the next ‘Silicon Valley’ in south India after Bengaluru.
Industrial and Commercial growth
Post independence, Coimbatore has witnessed rapid growth due to industrialization. The city has been ranked 4th in investment climate by CII. Coimbatore houses more than 25,000 small, medium and large industries with the city's primary industries being engineering and textiles.
Coimbatore is often referred to as the "Manchester of South India" due to its cotton production and textile industries. It is also referred to as "the Pump City" as it supplies two thirds of India's requirements of motors and pumps. Coimbatore is one of the major manufacturers of automotive components in India with car manufacturers Maruti Udyog and Tata Motors sourcing up to 30 percent of their automotive components from the city.
The city has special economic zones (SEZ), the Coimbatore Hi-Tech Infrastructure (CHIL) SEZ at Saravanampatti and the TIDEL Park in ELCOT SEZ campus and KCT TechPark, KGISL Campus, Span Venture SEZ at Eachanari, Synefra Sez and at least five more SEZs are in the pipeline.
Robust educational infrastructure
Coimbatore's robust educational infrastructure, connectivity, excellent work culture, low employee attrition and high employee satisfaction have resulted in companies expanding their presence rapidly in the city. The city is known for its vibrant infrastructure in the field of education. Coimbatore has made giant strides in the fields of engineering, auto components, education, healthcare, motors and pumps and wet grinders. It has around 54 engineering colleges, over 70 arts colleges, seven universities, two medical colleges and 18 polytechnics. Every year, Coimbatore produces around one lakh arts graduates and 50,000 engineering graduates. This has been one of the major reasons for big companies such as Larsen & Toubro, Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions and Cognizant setting up large bases near the city.
City of Technocrats
The Information Technology industry has shown remarkable growth in Coimbatore and the contribution of the city in the software field has been recognized worldwide. IT companies that placed their faith in Coimbatore's potential have grown at a rapid pace. The city is the second largest software producer in Tamil Nadu, next to Chennai. Today, the IT software export from Coimbatore is close to Rs 150 crore. IT and BPO industry Coimbatore has grown rapidly with the launch of the TIDEL Park in ELCOT SEZ, and other planned IT parks in and around the city. It is ranked at 17th among the global outsourcing cities. Companies like Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Wipro, HCL, Bosch, Ford, Cameron International Corporation, Dell, IBM, Hexaware are having a presence Coimbatore.
Coimbatore also houses, lots of Start-up IT Companies and healthcare BPOs in and around Coimbatore serving the US Healthcare industry. Coimbatore is the largest non-metro city for e-commerce in South India.
State of IT Channel business
The IT Channel business has evolved in Coimbatore over the years and the channel business has seen a lot of transformations. The channel partners are also changing their perspective as per the industry demand. The city houses close to 350 resellers and SIs. Traditionally, wholly dependent on the box pushing, now resellers are seriously looking at the system integration and solution business. As the profit margins in the box selling are shrinking day by day, resellers are switching to other lines of business such as security and surveillance. Today, Solution business is rapidly growing in Coimbatore with a wide growth prospects.
The way ahead
Coimbatore has well-developed infrastructure for the IT and IT Enabled Services (ITES) industry. The city has a host of educational institutions, a traditional yet cosmopolitan crowd and pleasant climate. There is no shortage of human talent in the city. All these make the city an irresistible destination for IT companies to set up businesses. However, there is a need for more large IT companies to come and create the much-needed ecosystem here to make Coimbatore the next Silicon Valley in South India.
Coimbatore at a Glance
Number of Resellers: 350 (Approx.)
Key Verticals: IT/ ITeS, Education, Government, Textile,
Prominent Brands: HP, Dell, Acer, Asus, k7 Computing, Kasperskey, ESET
Prominent IT Association: Coimbatore IT Association (CITA)
Ketan Shah, President, CITA
What is the current scenario in the Coimbatore IT market? How has been the growth in the industry?
Ketan Shah: The industry is going through a transformation in Coimbatore. The trading business is going down day by day and solution business is gaining prominence. Like other cities, E Commerce has affected our business. However, resellers are also changing their traditional business style and they are now getting into other lines of business such as security and surveillance and mobility.
What are the prominent activities of CITA? What kind of initiatives you have taken for the benefits of your members?
Ketan Shah: CITA is one of the prominent IT associations in Tamil Nadu. We are very active members of Confed ITA. We are very aggressive association when it comes to raising the voice for the reseller community. We organize various programs to educate and train our members. Apart from that, we also conduct social activities for the benefit of our society.
Babu, Owner, Believe IT
What kind of challenges do you face in business?
Babu: The business is all time low in Coimbatore and the major reason is OLS. Apart from that, there are rising incidents of bankruptcy. Distributors are giving huge credits to resellers without judging their competency. It is not good for the industry as whole.