Economy of Coimbatore

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Tidel Park, one of the largest software parks in India
CODISSIA Trade Centre, Coimbatore

Coimbatore (About this sound pronunciation  is a city in southern India, a major commercial and business hub in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is the highest revenue yielding district in the state even ahead of Chennai, thus making it one of the fastest-growing metro cities in India.

Economy of Coimbatore is heavily influenced by Information Technology, Engineering & Textiles. Coimbatore is called the Manchester of South India due to its extensive textile industry, fed by the surrounding cotton fields.[1][2] The city has two special economic zones (SEZ), the Coimbatore Hi-Tech Infrastructure (CHIL) SEZ and the Tidel park coimbatore, and at least five more SEZs are in the pipeline.[3][4] In 2010, Coimbatore ranked 15th in the list of most competitive (by business environment) Indian cities.[5]

Coimbatore has trade associations like CODISSIA, COINDIA and COJEWEL representing industries in the city. Coimbatore also has a 160,000 square feet (15,000 m2) trade fair ground, built in 1999. It was named COINTEC due to its hosting of INTEC (Small Industries Exhibition)[2]. The Trade Fair complex, one of the country's largest, was built in six months, and is owned by CODISSIA (Coimbatore District Small Industries Association)[3]. It is also the country's largest pillar-free hall, according to the Limca Book of Records.[6]


Lakshmi Mills, established in 1910 in Avinashi Road

Coimbatore houses a large number of small, medium and large textile mills. It also has textile research institutes like the Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR)- Southern Regional station, South Indian Textiles Research Association (SITRA) and the Sardar Vallabhai Patel International School of Textiles and Management. The city also houses two of the Centers Of Excellences (COE) for technical textiles proposed by Government of India, namely Meditech, a medical textile research centre based at SITRA, and InduTech based in PSG College of Engineering and Technology.[7] The Coimbatore region is famed for the quality of its cotton and dyed fabric. Documented records reveal that the traditional weavers perfected the art of quality dyeing and that woven fabric from here was known for its colourfastness and vivid patterning. Today, Coimbatore is hailed as the region with the highest concentration of textile activity in the world. It has numerous centres that specialize in spinning, weaving, powerlooms and knitwear. A large produce of the manufacture is exported to different countries. Exports include knitwear, woven apparel and home furnishings.

A textile mill in Avinashi Road)

The growth of textiles naturally led to the inception of textile machinery manufacturing. Today, some of the best known global brands in textilemachinery and component manufacturing are home – grown enterprises. Even in the late 1800s, Coimbatore district had cotton cleaning and pressing factories and was exported to Mumbai (then Bombay) and England. A spinning mill was established around this time and even back then, the textile industry employed over 300 people. The Southern India Mills' Association (SIMA) was established in 1933, is very active in the Coimbatore region and governs most of the textile industry in South India. SIMA has a membership spread across the southern states and protects the interests of the textile mills and its workers.[8]

The neighbouring town of Tirupur is home to some of Asia’s largest garment manufacturing companies, exporting hosiery clothes worth more than 50,000 million.

Information technology and BPO[edit]

The city is the second largest software producer in Tamil Nadu, next only to Chennai. IT and BPO industry in the city has grown greatly with the launch of TIDEL park and other planned IT parks in and around the city. It is ranked at[9] 17th among the global outsourcing cities. Companies like Cognizant Technology Solutions, Wipro, HCL, Robert Bosch GmbH, IBM, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Elxsi, Dell, K Technologies, Softelectronet Solutions, Helium Info Tech, Cameron International, CSS Corp and KGISL having a presence in the city. Software exports stood at 1710.66 Crores (77.1 billion) for the financial year 2009-10 up 90% from the previous year.[10]


Coimbatore has a large and a diversified manufacturing sector facilitated by the presence of research institutes and large number of engineering colleges producing about 50,000 engineers.[11] Some of the prominent industries in Coimbatore include L&T, Robert BOSCH, PSG, Sakthi Group, Lakshmi Machine Works (LMW), Premier Instruments & Control Limited (PRICOL), Premier Evolvics, Janatics, LGB, Revathi Equipment Ltd, Craftsman Automation Pvt Ltd, ELGI Equipments, Shanthi Gears, Roots Industries and ITC Ltd (PSPD).

Wind Energy major Suzlon has set up a foundry & machine shop in Coimbatore. Along with it Hansen Transmission, a Belgian Company which manufactures gearboxes for windmills is setting up a plant here with an investment of 940 cr.[12]

Auto components[edit]

CODISSIA Trade Fair Comples, Coimbatore 2014

Coimbatore has emerged as one of the most trusted outsourcing destinations for the auto component industry. Several factors have contributed to this growth, including ready availability of resources and skilled technical talent.[13] Technical Partnerships and strategic alliances with global manufacturers have given the Coimbatore auto component industry more mileage in the international market. Today, auto majors with a growing presence in India source both major components and sub assemblies from the city. Several international automotive manufacturers source components ranging from exhaust systems to braking systems, seating, electronic and electrical components, mechanical engine parts, body components and suspensions and radiators among others. Many auto component manufacturing companies are OE partners to multinational brands. Textool offered a prototype of Sten Guns to the Indian Government after independence. They developed the first in-house-designed car in the 1960s, which never saw the light of day due to the license raj. They made several prototypes until the 1990s. They successfully manufactured India's first indigenously developed diesel engines in 1972 for cars and their own CNC lathes in 1982. Today their spin-off company, Jayem Automotives, offers R & D services to Mahindra, Tata Motors and Hindustan Motors. Maruti Udyog and Tata Motors source up to 30% of their automotive components from Coimbatore. Some of the auto component makers in Coimbatore include Robert Bosch GmbH, PRICOL, Craftsman Automation and Roots Industry.

Wet grinders[edit]

Coimbatore has more than 700 wet grinder manufacturers with a monthly output, as of March 2005, of 75,000 units.[14] The term "Coimbatore Wet Grinder" was given a Geographical indication for wet grinders manufactured in Coimbatore and Erode in 2006.[15] Coimbatore is also home to a common facility for the manufacturers of wet grinders.[16]

Motor and pumps[edit]

Coimbatore is also called as the pump city of Asia. The City houses large number of small scale engineering companies. The first motor to be manufactured in India came from a small engineering shop in Coimbatore. Today, the pump and motor manufacturing sector is among the largest engineering activities in the city. The pump manufacturing industry in Coimbatore holds a major portion of the total Indian market share. Over the years, the city has become as well known for its pumps as it has for its textiles. Many brands in the international market are Coimbatore based companies and the quality and technical superiority of the products has helped the sector cater to both domestic and global demands. Apart from a leading presence in the water pump market, the city's manufacturing houses also specialize in the manufacture of industrial pumps. The motor and pump industry supplies over 40% of India’s requirements.[17] Major pump manufacturers include Texmo Industries, Aquasub engineering, COTATEX Enterprises, Deccan Pumps Private Limited, EKKI PUMPS, Mahendra Pumps, Suguna Pumps, Sharp Industries, CRI Pumps, Flowserve, Kirloskar Brothers, Deccan Industries, Karvel Pumps and KSB Pumps.[18]

Jewellery and gems[edit]

Coimbatore is one of the major gold jewellery manufacturing hubs in India, renowned for making cast jewellery and machine made jewellery.[19][20] The city is home to about 3000 jewellery manufacturing companies and to over 40,000 goldsmiths.[21][22] The jewellery manufacturers have an active association called Coimbatore Jewellery Manufacturers' Association, and have also jointly established Coimbatore Gem and Jewellery Industries Private Limited (Cojewel), which is a common facility with niche goldsmith machinery to be used by the members of the association.

Several jewellery retail chains like Kirtilal's are based in Coimbatore or have their manufacturing base in Coimbatore.[23] Owing to the presence of a large number of jewellery manufacturers and the strong engineering base, the city is home to a number of companies manufacturing jewellery making machinery.[24] The city is also a major diamond cutting centre in South India. For example, Kirtilal's Jewellers alone have 5 diamond cutting and polishing centres in Coimbatore.[25][26]

Engineering procurement and construction[edit]

More than 50,000 engineering units function in and around Coimbatore city. What began as a focused centre for the manufacture of textile motors in the early 1900s has today become a multi – disciplinary entity that is capable of catering to voluminous demands in the international market. Tooling Divisions were incepted primarily as captive units for manufacturing houses and have become a major engineering activity in the region today. With time, many tooling divisions became profit centres of their own, owing to the consistent investment in technology. Today several corporate houses offer precision tooling services to global industries. The light engineering industry in the Coimbatore region also specializes in offering customized engineering solutions for diverse requirements.

Poultry and food products[edit]

Coimbatore has a large number of poultry farms and is one of the major producers of chicken eggs and processed meat amounting to nearly 95% of the chicken meat exports from the country.[27] Major companies include Suguna Foods and Shanthi Feeds.

Coimbatore has some of the oldest flour mills in India. The large-scale flour mills, which cater to all the southern states, have a combined grinding capacity of more than 50,000 MT per month. The city houses many famous high-capacity flour mills like India Roller Flour Mills (now closed) and Coimbatore Roller Flour Mills.[28]

Retail and e-commerce[edit]

There are a number of retail outlets, supermarkets and shopping malls in Coimbatore. Indias oldest multiplex KG cinemas is a world class movie theatre located in the city. The food chain Sri Krishna Sweets is based in Coimbatore while the Nilgiris supermarket has branches in the city. The Chennai Silks,[29] Nalli,[30] and Naihaa have showrooms in Coimbatore. Coimbatore is already the largest non-metro city for e-commerce in South India, due to growing online shopping, e-ticketing and e-billing adaptation in the city. [31]

Several e-commerce companies are based out of Coimbatore including &

Real estate and hospitality[edit]

In the recent years, the city has seen growth in the hospitality industry. Five star hotels like Vivanta by Taj-Surya, Taj Residency, Le Royal Meridien, Trident, four star hotels like Aloft and several three star hotels like clarion hotel, The Residency, CAG Pride, Heritage Inn, Jenney Residency, Alankar Grande, Rathna Residency, Hotel City Tower and aarvee hotels have presence in the city.[32][33][34][35]


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