Kerala had pioneered several concepts and ideas that was emulated by other States in the past. Yet another initiative sprang out from the think tanks of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with the conduct of a brainstorming session on ‘made in Kerala' here on Saturday. A distinguished array of speakers spanning industry, commerce, medicine, IT, politics and enterprise presented their viewpoints on generating a new brand image of Kerala's own products and services that could stand out.

Inaugurating the meet, Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary of the Department of Industries, said Kerala possessed a different topography; even the mineral wealth reflected the difference. While urbanisation is a non-stoppable phenomenon, the State should explore ways to convert value systems to take Kerala forward. The new image could be a compendium of quality, excellence, purity and harmony, considered as hallmarks of life in the region.

‘Unity in diversity'

T.T. Ashok, the chairman of CII Southern region, said Kerala symbolised unity in diversity. The State's scenic beauty, achievements in human development indices and a flourish of grassroot level democracy provided strong ground for evolving the ‘made in Kerala' brand. Tourism could branch out to adventure, pilgrim and other modes. Kerala could be the home for high end value added products, he said.

Rajiv Vasudevan, the founder and chief executive officer of Ayurvaid hospital network, said the ‘made in Kerala' initiative could be a springboard for next phase of industrialisation. Pointing out that Kerala's strengths have not been showcased enough, he said the concept could be the embodiment of green, non-polluting, eco-friendly, sustainable, balanced, organic products and services.

V.K.Mathews, the vice-chairman of the CII Kerala State Council, said the ‘made in Kerala' concept could represent clean, green, productivity, efficiency, inclusiveness, empowerment and egalitarianism. Better infrastructure and skill development should get due focus in the journey towards achieving the goal.

Jose Dominic, chairman of the CII Kerala State Council, welcomed the guests. Pulapre Balakrishnan, Director, Centre for development Studies; C.P.John, member, Kerala State Planning Board; were among those who spoke.

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