Centre will accord economic thrust to region: IIM-T Director

As a way of rendering corporate responsibility, Indian Institute of Management – Tiruchi (IIM-T) has plans to offer free consultancy through its proposed incubation centre once it moves into permanent campus along the Tiruchi-Thanjavur National Highway.

In the process of providing free consultancy in the areas of finance, branding, human resource management and marketing, the incubation centre will accord an economic thrust to the region, IIM-T Director Prafulla Agnihotri said. The district administration, he said, was quite forthcoming to the proposal for starting the incubation centre in the vicinity of the permanent campus.

“The incubation centre will be akin to OPD (Outpatient Department) in hospitals. Prospective entrepreneurs will be provided space to operate at a very nominal cost and centralised facilities will be made available free of cost. Even after they move out after establishing their businesses, the incubation centre will continue to render hand-holding support,” Prof.Agnihotri said, advocating entrepreneurship in manufacturing sector for growth of the regional economy. Faculties will visit the incubation centre on a daily basis and render free consultancy for small and medium enterprises.

The Institute, he said, was open to having a tie up with the National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) and provide guidance on feasibility of agro processing businesses. Likewise, the scope for value addition to the cashew fruits cultivated in large quantities in neighbouring districts of Ariyalur and Pudukottai will be explored. The Cargo Complex at the Tiruchi Airport will help in giving the region an economic thrust.

Only through economic development can the region attract better domestic air connectivity. Leave alone the absence of connectivity to cities such as Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai, the timing of the first flight to Chennai is also disadvantageous as people from Tiruchi can reach the destination only in the latter part of the day.

The airlines cannot be faulted for the situation as they cannot operate in the absence of load. Economic development was the only way for increasing patronage for air travel, he said.

The positive factors like good road connectivity between Chennai and Tiruchi and availability of sunlight must be utilised well by way of starting Special Economic Zones and generating solar power. When Gujarat could install solar panels on the Narmada canal with the twin purposes of generating power and preventing water evaporation, there was no reason why Tamil Nadu cannot replicate the same over the Cauvery. If not power surplus, there was enormous scope for Tamil Nadu to be a power-sufficient State.