There are over 500 units in the Mysore-Nanjangud corridor
The identification of Mysore-Nanjangud corridor as an electronics hardware manufacturing hub is testimony to the emergence of knowledge-based industries in the region.
The State Government on Monday launched the Karnataka Electronics Hardware Policy with a thrust on tier-II cities, and the Mysore-Nanjangud corridor is among the three major regions identified for propelling electronics hardware manufacturing in the State, with a focus on medical electronics.
The region is expected to compete with Tamil Nadu, where major brands such as Samsung, Cisco, Sony Ericsson and Nokia have established manufacturing or research bases.
Stakeholders here have welcomed the Government's policy. They hope it brings benefits by way of relaxation of duty and tax, and simplification of land acquisition norms.
Over two decades
However, Suresh Kumar Jain, general secretary, Mysore District Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Association, said the emergence of Mysore as a hub for electronic manufacturing units had nothing to do with government policy.
He pointed out that there were over 500 large, medium and small electronic manufacturing units in the region.
“Electronic manufacturing units have emerged in Mysore over the last two decades owing to the entrepreneurship of local industrialists, availability of trained labour for lower wages than in Bangalore, conducive industrial environment and Mysore's reputation as an educational hub, among others. It is akin to the growth of the information technology industry in Bangalore, which evolved on its own. The government policy came later,” Mr. Jain said.
Nonetheless, the new policy was an acknowledgement of the rise of Mysore as a centre for knowledge-based industries, he said.
Bhanuchandran, business analyst and consultant, told The Hindu that Mysore had a good support system for major original equipment manufacturers (OEM).
“Mysore has slowly evolved as a major electronics manufacturing hub with the emergence of companies such as Vinyas Innovative Technologies Pvt. Ltd., which started in 2001 with an employee base of 600. There are other renowned groups here such as AT&S and L&T medical equipment division.”
Mr. Bhanuchandran said a memorandum had been submitted to the State Government over 10 years ago, seeking subsidies and recognition of the region's potential as a manufacturing hub. “But it has taken the authorities more than a decade to recognise this potential,” he said.
Although the government policy is to promote medical electronic manufacturing in Mysore, observers say growth cannot be confined to a specific sector.
“There is bright future for electronics manufacturing units to scale up and benefit from the Union Government's offset policy, as per which 30 per cent of the country's defence orders normally placed with foreign companies have to be locally invested to create jobs. With the defence sector opening up for private participation, opportunities are immense for growth and specialisation,” Mr. Bhanuchandran said.
The electronics industry here reportedly provides direct employment to more than 10,000 people, with potential to create additional job opportunities.