Bengaluru: If some states have brand ambassadors promoting their tourism, Karnataka could have its very own brand ambassador promoting its image as an industrial destination.
The last day of Invest Karnataka – 2016 saw the state government mulling the possibility. Medium and Large Scale Industry Minister, R. V. Deshpande said there could be a brand ambassador pitching for industrial investment in the state. He would have to be a known face from industry, who would play a crucial role in attracting investors to Karnataka and help its industrial growth.
But the state has not done badly even now. The investors’ meet, which took Rs 40 crore to organize, saw Karnataka entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with several companies , mopping up an investment of Rs 1.33 lakh crore in just two days (February 3 and 4) and a total investment of Rs 3.08 lakh crore since April 2015. While the energy sector bagged the lion’s share, the automobiles sector had no takers. The last day saw over a 100 delegates who had registered online for site visits, travel to various industrial parks like Devanahalli Industrial Park, Narasapura industrial Area in Kolar and Electronic City. A trip to Mysore was also organised for interested delegates.
Over 400 students from different schools and colleges across the city visited the exhibition where over 400 stalls were open to the public. As many as 30 stalls were of women owned businesses. Ten members of AWAKE, COWE, WEConnect and FKCCI exhibited their products at the exhibition. They were visited by Additional Chief Secretary, Ratnaprabha.
The products ranged from injection moulded plastics, resistors and transformers to food processing gadgets and textiles . While Shell Apparels , a large manufacturer of jeans for various brands like Lee and Levis, launched its own brand, American Bull, Udupi Ruchi launched its brand of ready-to-eat mixes and proved a big crowd-puller on the last day.
Precision Engineering, manufacturers of injection moulded plastics for the Railways, L&T and ABB and electronic component manufacturers, RMC Electronics and Magnatech also displayed their hi-tech products.
Investors cool towards infra projects
With both state and city infrastructure in bad shape, the cash strapped government was hoping to attract investors during the Invest Karnataka 2016 global summit to execute some of the projects. However, a close look at the investments that came through in the last two days reveals that there were not many takers for infrastructure projects across the city. The investors have evinced interest for less that 20 per cent of the projects.
The state government had displayed a slew of infrastructure projects, worth over Rs 40,000 crore, including elevated corridor which alone estimated to cost Rs 18,000 crore. Other major projects included peripheral ring road, construction of public toilets, skywalks and bus shelters.
The BBMP and state government had also wished to attract investors for Solid Waste Management (SWM), which has turned into a major crisis. Unfortunately, the response was poor. Only, one company, Essel group, has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state government.
The global summit could receive only responses from five companies for an investment opportunity of Rs 7,300 crore hoping to generate 21,170 jobs. The energy sector got a good a good support from various investors including Adani. Investments worth Rs 57,038 crore is expected for power sector. Sources in Urban Development Department said that some of the projects have been already tendered.
The summit helped the civic stakeholders to bring investment opportunities to the notice of investors. They can either participate in the tender process or offer their model for the project to be taken up on Swiss challenge method.
What is Swiss challenge method?
It is a new process of awarding contracts. Any person with credentials can submit a development proposal to the government. That proposal will be made online and a second person can provide suggestions to improve and beat that proposal.