The transformation of Coimbatore into an industrial hub is not a short story. In many ways, Coimbatore’s transformation is a self-made process which took the effort of many years. It was the textile mills which flourished at first at Coimbatore. It was even hailed as the ‘Manchester of the South’ owing to the large number of small and medium textile mills. But today only a few textile mills remain. But Coimbatore still secures its title as a industrial city. It is among the most industrially developed and commercially vibrant districts in Tamil Nadu.
One of the fastest growing tier II cities in India, Coimbatore is also referred as the “Pump City” as it supplies nearly half of India’s requirements of motors and pumps. Among the other sectors which thrive at Coimbatore include textile machinery, auto components, steel and aluminium foundries, gold and diamond jewellery, educational institutions and information technology (IT). If you check the manufacturing sector, the growing sector is largely MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) sector which takes a major share of the 45,000 manufacturing units located at Coimbatore-Tirupur-Erode industrial corridor.
When the textile industry got fragmented in Kovai, the focus was shifted to smaller units which manufactured spinning, weaving, finishing and apparels products. The government support was also crucial as it introduced and encouraged new technologies for manufacturing facilities. As the neighbouring cities of Tirupur and Erode flourished with the knitwear export and handloom export respectively, the spinning and weaving demand was supplied by Coimbatore. Nearly 40 per cent of the spinning units in the State are located in and around Coimbatore.
With the growth of textile industry, many found business opportunity in textiles machinery manufacturing. They assumed the possibility of textiles machinery manufacturing as nearly all major spinning units were based in Coimbatore. And today, some of the global brands in textile machinery and component manufacturing have established their base at Coimbatore.
Machinery manufacturing diversified into several sectors later.One prominent sector among them is motor pumps manufacturing. Now Kovai is home to many leading motor pump brands including CRI, Texmo, KSB, Sharp Pumps, Mahendra, Kirloskar, Crompton and V- Guard. Nearly half of India’s motor and pump requirements are supplied from this region. The manufacturing of etgrinders also saw a huge boast during the period. The typical food culture of south India consisting of dosa and idly, the flourishing of hotels and catering groups also made good business for wet-grinders. It is estimated that there are over 700 wet-grinder manufacturing units in the district. Coimbatore also turned out to be a hub for foundries, fabrication and machine shop works afterwards.
Another prominent sector which requires attention at Coimbatore is the manufacturing of automotive components. Many car manufacturers in India source up to 30%, of their automotive components from the city. The city is also a major centre for small auto component makers catering to the automobile industry, from personal to commercial and farm vehicles. The only two formula car manufacturers in the country are in Coimbatore. So, if you want to buy a race car or start a championship, Kovai is where you come down to. Every year, around 22 drivers who participate in the MRF Challenge Championship, drive Kovai-made Formula 2000 cars on tracks in Dubai, Bahrain and Chennai. Besides making cars race in European tracks, the city is also known for manufacturing the most affordable formula or race cars in the world.
Coimbatore is sure to witness more growth in manufacturing sector as the government has plans to set up as many as five industrial parks on the outskirts of the city to help engineering units in the city move to a common area. Codissia Industrial Park Ltd (CIPL) can house 350 industrial units. The city already has two industrial estates, both owned by SIDCO, at Kurichi and Malumichampatti with 271 industrial sheds. Netaji Industrial Park (near Koilpalayam), Anna Park (near Karumathampatti), COSIEMA Industrial Park, and COMSIA Indu strial Estate (Kaaliapalayam) are some of the projects in the pipeline for industrial parks. These industrial parks will have units of engineering, automobile, plastic industries, foundries, textiles and powerloom sectors.
Much of Coimbatore’s growth is attributed to government’s strong support to the industry. The initiatives like the single-window system for clearances, investment in infrastructure and development of industrial corridors were envisaged and made possible. By 2020, the Government has envisaged the current spend on engineering services to increase to $1.1 trillion.
Coming to the branding features visible at Coimbatore it is worth noticeable that hoardings aren’t as popular as it should be. The ban of ad hoardings at junctions by Madras High Court could be one reason for it.Variety of dealer signage board, bus shelter branding and in shop branding were seem to be exclusively used by advertisers to reach their target audience. Even though not plenty, wall painting advertisements are also seen in parts of Coimbatore.
The accessibility factor
The accessibility factor to Coimbatore also strengthens the industrial boost. For air travellers, Coimbatore International Airport, located at Peelamedu about 12 km from the city provides hassle free access. It is the second largest airport in terms of passenger traffic and cargo after Chennai International Airport in Tamil Nadu. Coimbatore is also well connected with railway and Coimbatore Junction railway station is one of the top booking stations in India for Indian Railways. One of the major train stations in South India, Coimbatore is also among the top in terms of revenue from both passenger and cargo movement. Coimbatore is also very close to Kerala and the nearest Palakkad district is just 50 km away from Coimbatore. Lot of Keralities especially merchants visit Coimbatore at least twice a month owing for purchasing products to their shops.