With over 8 per cent growth rate, the southern Indian state of Kerala is growing faster than most economies around the world. Not just that, Kerala is perched at the top spot when one looks at the Human Development Indicators (HDI) of Indian states. Whether it is nutritional status of children, literacy levels or health of its population, the state has successfully harnessed and developed its human resource - one of the most critical ingredients for running a successful enterprise.
Ask any entrepreneur or CXO about the importance of quality talent and he can speak volumes about it. The state was chosen as the host state for this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. Being home to one of the largest expatriate communities from India, the state is also widely known around the world for its scenic beauty and warm hospitality. The Gulf region has a huge number of Keralites living and working there and a special session was organized for them in this year's
Over the years, Kerala has built a highly dense network of science and technology institutes in the state and leads the country in the field of primary education. The state has approximately 130 engineering colleges. In recent times, the education opportunities have expanded to cover varied disciplines such as management and pharmaceuticals. This has resulted in abundant supply of quality manpower, which has been one of the principle reasons for heightened investor interest in the region.
To simplify the process of investing in the region, the state government introduced the Single Window Clearance system, which stipulates a time-limit for clearance of projects. For large and medium scale industries, the time frame for clearance is 45 days and for small scale industrial projects, the time frame is 60 days. The state also has a number of industrial parks, where the application is cleared (or rejected with reasons) within 30 days. Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) has set up four Industrial Growth Centres (IGCs) in Kerala. Located in Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Alappuzha districts of Kerala, these centers have basic infrastructure facilities like roads, telecommunication, water supply, power and administrative buildings, in place.
Faster government approvals are complemented by the fastest broadband connectivity and excellent port infrastructure. Kerala is the only place in India where both submarine cables SEA-ME-W3 and SAFE land. Soon, it will be host to the second place in the world with a 1Gbps bandwidth internet connection. The Startup Village in Kerala is the world's largest technology incubator and was recently inaugurated by the Chief Minister. The state also offers excellent physical infrastructure. It houses India's first and only International Container Transshipment Terminal at Vallarpadam, Cochin. Besides this, the state has three international airports, with another international airport in the pipeline.
The state government is now working towards incentivizing NRIs/PIOs investment in the state by launching separate facilities for NRIs who invest in the service, industry, consumer and electronics space. In addition, the National Development Corporation has listed out projects like two knowledge cities, a waterway to transport goods and clusters for traditional industries which could transform the future of the state.