Economy of South India

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Economic and demographic indicators[1]
Parameter South India National
Per capita net state domestic product (SDP) 29027.75 (US$440)y 23222 (US$350)
Percentage share in total FDI approved (1993–2003) 5.48 NA
Average annual growth of SDP 5.6 5.6
Percentage of population below poverty line 17.41 26.10
Percentage of urban population 32.82 27.81
Percentage of households with electricity 89.32 67.9
Literacy rate 72.87 61[2]

The economic scenario in south india is mainly driven by hi tech industries. South india is the second hub of IT after silicon valley in USA. Bangalore will overtake the silicon valley and will become the IT capital of the world in 2020. Chennai is already the automobile production hub of the world. Hyderabad is the center of all R&D in india. Most of the technology in India is based on south. Recent IT boom made Bangalore the richest city in India. The three southern states in India together contribute to the majority of induatrial production in the country. Kerala is also joining with its strong service based economy and is the state which has highest HDI in India. Goa is the richest state in India because of the tourism sector. South also got large agricultural base. Some of the main crops cultivated in South India include rice, sorghum, and ragi. South India was and still is the "promised land" as far as spice cultivation is concerned. Areca, coffee, pepper, tapioca, and cardamom are widely cultivated on the Nilgiri Hills and Kodagu.

Education is highly valued in the south Indian community, and is seen as a gateway to a better livelihood. Many of the nation's most prominent physicists and mathematicians have been South Indians.[citation needed] Kerala, while possessing a literacy rate above 98% also has the highest unemployment rates in India. The population growth rate of these states is also beginning to decline.

Information Technology is a growing field in South India. Bangalore is India's Information Technology hub, and is home to over 200 software companies. It is often referred to as the Silicon Valley of India. Four of the country's top seven exporters of software viz. Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Coimbatore are located in South India.

Chennai houses the automobile manufacturing giants in the country. More than 65% of heavy vehicles produced in the country, such as cars, buses, lorries, trains and bicycles, are produced in Chennai, and it is referred to as the Detroit of Asia. The manufacturing units of BMW, Flextronics, Motorola, Dell, TVS, Mitsubishi, Ford, Hyundai, Nokia, Nissan, Renault, Royal Enfield, Hindustan Motors, Mercedes-Benz

Daimler, Gamesa, Schneider Electric, Synopsys and Saint Gobain are some of the international players in Chennai. Chennai ranks first in producing heavy vehicles. Hosur also has some of the vehicle manufacturing units and bio technology firms.

Coimbatore (also known as "Cotton City" and "Manchester of South India") in Tamil Nadu is the source of nearly 35% of India's cotton production. Erode and Tirupur are the largest producers of cotton vests and textiles in India; it exports much of its production to South East Asian and European countries. Erode is also known as the "Turmeric City", since it has the Asia's largest market for Turmeric. Gobichettipalayam is one of the largest producers of White silk with the country's first automatic silk reeling unit established here. Namakkal is one of the largest producers of poultry in the country.

Currently Guntur district port NizamPatnam is being built up to implement this plan; the Czech company Skoda is investing Rs 100 billion in the project.[3]

Kerala is ranked as the best in Human Development Index and life standard of the people. The high standard of living of Kerala on a lower income level compared to western countries is known as "Kerala Phenomenon" or Kerala model of development by experts.

There is also a large amount of disparity within Southern India. As IT companies have entered the economic arena, their high level of pay has raised the economic standing of young and educated professionals, while the poor has become less and less able to afford basic necessities. It is not uncommon to see the shacks of homeless people propped up against the buildings of large multinationals. The poor, unable to afford sending their children to school, remain in a cycle of life completely separated from that of this more affluent upper class.

Andhra Pradesh[edit]

In 2012-13, the GSDP of Andhra Pradesh at current prices stood at 419391 crore (US$63 billion).[4] Guntur district is the major contributor 15082 crore (US$2.3 billion) to agricultural sector during the same fiscal year. While, Visakhapatnam district leads in Industrial sector and Service sector, which contributed 17598 crore (US$2.7 billion) and 31372 crore (US$4.7 billion) respectively. The per capita income of the state for 2012–13 was 42186 crore (US$6.4 billion).[4]

Agricultural sector is one of the chief sector contributing to the economy of Andhra Pradesh. Two important rivers of India, the Godavari and Krishna, flow through the state, which provide fertile soil favourable for agriculture. The state is the main producer of Rice and hence, it is also known as "Rice Bowl of India".[5] Poultry is another sector in the state contributing to the economy of the state. The state is a leading egg producer and also nicknamed as "Egg Bowl of Asia".[6][7]

The state has also started to focus on the fields of Information technology and Biotechnology. Cities such as Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada have shown growth in IT exports. During 2012–13, the contribution of Visakhapatnam was 1445 crore (US$220 million) while it was 115.26 crore (US$17 million) for Vijayawada.

This is a chart of trend of gross state domestic product of Andhra Pradesh at market prices by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with figures in crores of Indian Rupees. Accordingly, the state ranks fourth in terms of overall gross state domestic product and fourth in per capita gross state domestic product among the major states of India.[8]


Karnataka's net state domestic product is of $47 billion. Between 1992–2002, Karnataka attracted the fourth highest total Foreign Direct Investment approvals in India, to the tune of Rs.21,566 million. Karnataka accounts for one third of India's Information technology exports. For the year 2006, the state is expected to bring in 37% of all IT revenues amounting to Rs.370 billion ($8.2 billion). Nearly 35% of IT companies and 40% of bio-technology companies are based here. Agriculture in Karnataka, like most of India, employs 80% of the population. Agriculture and its allied activities account for 49% of the state's income. The coastal plains of Karnataka, which include Uttara Kanara and Dakshina Kanara are cultivated with rice and sugarcane. Coffee and Tea are also grown on the slopes of the Western Ghats in the district of Kodagu, Chikmagalur and Hassan. Karnataka produces 70% of India's coffee, of which about 50% is exported. The black soil in the northwest of the state, is hospitable for the growth of cotton, onion, course cereal, sunflower and peanuts.

The forests of the Malnad region produce timber, bamboo and sandalwood. Karnataka is the only exporter of sandalwood in the country. Most of the world's sandalwood oil is produced in Karnataka.

All of India's gold comes from the Kolar district of Karnataka. Karnataka is also rich in minerals which form the bulk of the raw materials for iron and steel industries in the state such as the one at Bhadravati. All of India's Iron ore comes from the Malnad region.

The first power station in Asia was set up in Karnataka at Shivanasamudra in 1902 to produce hydroelectric power. Karnataka has 18 power stations which generate annually 16,513 million units. The state, however generates insufficient power and is forced to buy electricity from neighbouring states.

Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, is home to several public sector undertaking aircraft companies, such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), HMT Hindustan Machine Tools, Bharat Heavy Electronics Limited (BHEL), National Aeronautics Limited and also Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Bangalore, often referred to as the Silicon Valley of India has the largest number of international and local Information Technology and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in the country. A number of "IT Parks" have been set up by the Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (KEONICS) including Bangalore's "Electronics City" and IT parks in Mangalore, Mysore and Hubli. Bangalore is also home to prestigious higher institutes of learning such as the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM Bangalore).


Hubli-Dharwad is the second largest city in Karnataka. It is one of the 49 Metropolitan clusters selected by McKinsey & Company as growth hotspots in India.[9] It is the second highest revenue (income tax) generator for Karnataka and 22nd for India[10] it is also the most important city in terms of Administration,Business and Commerce in Karnataka after Bangalore.[11][12][13][14][15] It is the nerve center for North Karnataka region. It is the fastest growing city after the capital, Bangalore and Mangalore.[16] It is the Headquarters of South Western Railway, and the Hubli Division of SWR is one of the highest revenue generating railway divisions in India. The High Court Of Karnataka is situated at Belur in Hubli-Dharwad, it also has the largest number of government offices outside Bangalore and hence called the second capital of Karnataka. The Agriculture Produce market at Amargol in Hubli is one of the largest markets in Asia and the cotton market is among the largest cotton markets in India. The city has earned the nickname of "Shikshana Kashi" due to the large number of educational Institutions. The city is home to over 4 Universities and 2 deemed Universities, and also has an exhaustive list of over 200 colleges. The University of Agricultural Sciences and the Karnataka Universities are internationally acclaimed Universities for the quality of research and teaching. The city is a major industrial center, the railway workshop setup in 1880 is one of the oldest workshops in India and is also the largest holder of EMD locomotives of Indian Railway, the city is home to Tata Motors, Marcopolo, Hitachi Construction Equipments, Telcon, Sankalp Semiconductors etc. Infosys is about to start its operations from Hubli with a campus of over 50 acres.

Mysore is the third largest and a very important city in Karnataka. Being tagged as 'the Heritage City', tourism is a major economic driver and while it is among the top tourist attractions in India, it is said to rank next only to Madame Tussauds in London in the list of most-visited tourist attractions receiving more than 3 million tourists per year.[17] On the IT front, Infosys has developed the world's largest corporate training centre in the city.[18] Mysore is the second largest exporter of IT in the state[17] and it houses nearly 60 major and minor IT players registered with the Software Technology Park of India [STPI], Mysore[18] and this includes Infosys, WIPRO Technologies, IBM software, Paradigms India, WIFI Net, Logrosoft, Excel soft and L & T Infotech, Theorem etc.[19] Mysore figured high in the vibrancy index survey of Morgan Stanley India last year.[18][20] Mysore & Bangalore account for more than 60% of the incense stick manufacture & export.[21]

Mangalore is one of the biggest business centre in Karnataka.It is the best city to do business, after the capital Bangalore. It is the 13th best business destination in India.[22] One of the largest SEZ's in India, the ONGC MSEZ is in Mangalore, which is currently the fastest growing non-metro in the south. But still, the population is very much controlled in Mangalore (It is the 5th most populated city in the state). The way in which the city is growing can be gauged by pace of growth of real estate industry.[23][24] The total investment in the ONGC MSEZ is expected to cross 1000 billion. At least three IT SEZ'S are coming up in Mangalore with companies like TCS, Wipro, Lotus and others investing up to more than 30 billion and creating lakhs of jobs in Mangalore over the next three years. MRPL(Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited), the only refinery in the state. MCF(Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilizers), the only fertilizer factory in the state, is also situated in Mangalore. Mangalore is also known as the petrochemical capital of India. Mangalore is one among the only 5 cities in the country to have both a Major Port and an International Airport. Mangalore is one of the top 10 emerging cities of India for outsourcing.[25] It is the one of best connected cities in South India with 4 National Highways (17,48,13 & 169; all old numbers), apart from other roadways, railways, waterways and airways.

Udupi the temple city is contributing towards the higher education with large number of professional colleges in Manipal. It is also the home of the famous software company Robosoft Technologies.


The interior of a building in the Technopark, at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). 70% of the state's IT exports are from Technopark

Kerala's economy is predominantly agrarian. In terms of industrialisation, Kerala lags behind many of the Indian states, but in terms of Human Development Index and life standard of the people, Kerala is ahead of all other states in India. In fact, in certain development indices it is on a par with some of the developed countries. This peculiar paradox is often termed as the "Kerala Phenomenon" or Kerala model of development by experts.

Kerala follows a socialist welfare economy. Kerala's emphasis on social welfare also resulted in slow economic progress. There are few major industries in Kerala, but the per capita GDP is higher than the national average. Remittances from Keralites working abroad, mainly in the Middle East, makes up a large share in Kerala's Gross Domestic Product.

However, today, the state is emerging as a future IT center of India, owing to its high internet connectivity (undersea cable landing points at Kochi), along with skilled labour. The government has established three IT Parks in the state are Technopark in Trivandrum and Infopark in Kochi and Cyberpark Calicut. The Technopark at Trivandrum is the third largest IT park in Asia, and the largest in India.[26] In addition to Inforpark in Kochi, an IT park named as Smartcity by Dubai Internet City is under construction. Kochi is a safe natural harbour, and hence one of the most important ports of India. A new International Container Transshipment Terminal is commissioned at Vallarpadam, which is expected to be a major transshipment port in India.[27][28][29][30] In addition, the construction of the proposed mega Deep Water Container Transshipment Port at Vizhinjam near Trivandrum is expected to boost up the economy of the state.

Agriculture is still the most predominant economic activity in the state. Coconut, tea and coffee are grown extensively, along with rubber, cashew and spices. Spices commonly cultivated in Kerala include pepper, cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Much of Kerala's agriculture is in the form of home gardens.

Dusk in Kovalam beach, Trivandrum

Unemployment is typically high in Kerala,though a recent study by centre for development studies in trivandrum have shown unemployment rate down to 9%.Traditional low-wage cottage industries such as the processing of coconut fibre and cashew or weaving employ most workers. More than a fourth of Kerala's workers provide service.

Kerala boasts an Indian Institute of Management at Kozhikode. One of the major ship building yards of India is in Kerala at Kochi. The Southern Naval Command of India has its headquarters in Kochi, and the Southern Air Command headquarters is in Thiruvananthapuram(Trivandrum). There are three international airports in Kerala. They are Trivandrum, Cochin and Kozhikode. Cochin International Airport is the first International Airport in India that has been built with private participation, without the Central Government's stake.

Kerala is also one of the tourist hot-spots of India. It was proclaimed as one of the ten paradises on earth by the National Geographic traveller. The state has also won a large number of awards for its ecotourism initiatives.[31]

Tamil Nadu[edit]

Tidel Park in Chennai is Asia's largest IT park.
Tidel Park— in Coimbatore one of the largest IT park in India.

Tamil Nadu's net state domestic product is the second largest in India.Tamil Nadu is the second largest state economy after Maharashtra. It is second most industrialized state in India next to Maharashtra. It ranks second in per capita income (2004–2005) among large states. It ranks third in foreign direct investment (FDI) approvals (cumulative 1991–2002) of Rs.225,826 million ($5,000 million), next only to Maharashtra (Rs.366,024 million ($8,100 million)) and Delhi (Rs.303,038 million ($6,700 million). The State's investment constitutes 9.12% of the total FDI in the country.[32] According to the 2001 Census, Tamil Nadu has the highest level of urbanisation (43.86%) in India, which accounts for 6% of India's total population and 9.6% of the urban population. It has 12 corporations, namely Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Salem, Tirunelveli, Erode, Tirupur, Vellore, Thoothukudi, Thanjavur and Dindigul.

Tamil Nadu has most number of engineering Institutions in India. Chennai is referred as the Gateway of South India. Chennai is the second leading Software exporter in India. Companies such as Cognizant, Covansys, Xansa, Verizon, iSoft, Ascendas, Invensys, Schneider Electric and many others are Chennai based companies in India. Infosys has set up India's largest software development centre to house 25,000 software professionals at an estimated investment of Rs 12.50 billion (Rs 12.5 billion) in Chennai.[33] Coimbatore is growing as a preferred IT destination in India. It already ranks among the top 7 IT exporters in the country. Unlike other States in India the state has many software tier II cities such as Madurai, Salem, Trichy and Tirunelveli. Chennai has become the most preferred BPO hub in India and South Asia. Chennai is sometimes referred to as the "Health Capital of India" or the "Banking Capital of India"[citation needed], having attracted investments from International corporations and the World Bank and it is called as Detroit of Asia.

Tamil Nadu has a network of about 110 industrial parks/estates that offer developed plots with supporting infrastructure.[34][35] Also, the Government is promoting other industrial parks like Rubber Park, Apparel Parks, Floriculture Park, TICEL Park for Biotechnology,[36] Siruseri IT Park, Agro Export Zones among others.

The heavy engineering manufacturing companies are centred around the suburbs of Chennai. Chennai boasts presence of global car manufacturing giants like Ford, Daimler, Hyundai, BMW, Mitsubishi, Komatsu, Yamaha, Nissan and Renault as well as home grown companies like MRF, JK Tyre, TI Cycles of India, Ashok Leyland TVS and Mahindra and Mahindra. Chennai is also home to one of the Indian Institutes of Technology, IIT Madras. The Koyambedu Bus Stand (Asia's largest bus stand) operated by CMDA is the first bus stand in India to get (The Global Positioning System) which will use sensors to track vehicles on the move.Kalpakkam nuclear power plant, Neyveli Lignite Corporation, and the Narimanam natural gas plants provide sources of fuel and energy for the nation. 55% of electricity from wind power produced in India from wind mills comes from Tamil Nadu. The Kalpakkam Mini Reactor(Kamini) is the only U-233fueled operating reactor in the world.

Coimbatore, also known as the "Manchester of South India", is one of the fast developing cities in India and the second largest city in Tamil Nadu. It is the largest city in the Kongu region, which contributes to more than 50% of the state's GDP. Now, most of the Indian Software companies have started their development centres in Coimbatore and it is already among the leading exporters in the field. Coimbatore is also known for its textile factories, engineering firms, automobile parts manufacturers, health care facilities, educational institutions, wet grinders and water pumps. 76% of India's total textile market is from Erode ("Loom City") and Tirupur ("Textile City"). It exports much of its production to South East Asian and European countries. Erode is also known as the "Turmeric City", since it has the Asia's largest market for Turmeric. Gobichettipalayam is one of the largest producers of White silk with the country's first automatic silk reeling unit established here. Namakkal is one of the largest producers of poultry in the country. Salem is called as steel city and has many sago producing units, mineral wealth.

Sivakasi is the leader in printing, fireworks, safety matches production in India. It contributes to 80% of India's total safety matches production, 90% of India's total fireworks production and 60% of India's total offset printing solutions and ranks as one of the highest tax-payer towns in India.

Tamil Nadu is leading producer of kambu, cholam, ground nut, oil seeds and sugarcane in India.

Biovalleys in Tamil Nadu include Biotechnology Incubator Park Near Chennai, Women's Biotechnology Park Kelambakkam,[37] Medicinal Plants Biotechnology Park, Madurai,[38] Marine Biotechnology Park, Mandapam and Bioinformatics and Genomics Centre (BGC), Chennai[34]


Ramoji Film City- The world's largest integrated film studio complex.
iLabs Centre and iLabs OVAL, HITEC City

Telangana state has two important rivers of India, the Godavari and Krishna, flow through the state where agriculture is one of the main source of economy. Rice, tobacco, cotton, chilli pepper, and sugarcane are the local crops. The state has also started to focus on the fields of information technology and biotechnology.

Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana, is the sixth-largest cosmopolitan city in India, rich in culture, enduring history and industrial growth.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Also A Head For Numbers. Outlook India. 16 July 2007
  2. ^ India. World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 20 March 2008
  3. ^ Czech firm Skoda set to participate in Nizampatnam port project, The Hindu, 20 January 2006
  4. ^ a b "Economy" (PDF). AP state portal. Retrieved 21 June 2014.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "economy" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  5. ^ India Today. ABC-CLIO. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-313-37462-3. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Sally, Madhvi (14 December 2012). the Economic Times (Ahmedabad) Retrieved 27 June 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Mohanty, Muktikanta (2010). Macmillan's General Knowledge Manual 2010. Macmillan. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-230-32874-7. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ SRIVATS, K. R. (30 October 2014). "McKinsey identifies 49 metropolitan clusters that could be growth hotspots". The Hindu Business Line (New Delhi). Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Ranking business towns by bank deposits or I-T collections". The Hindu Business Line. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Yesh Developers - Affordable Plots - Scenic Properties - World Class". 
  14. ^ P.R. Sanjai. "Air Pegasus starts commercial operations". 
  15. ^ "Business Hotel in Hubli - The Gateway Hotel Lakeside Hubli, part of The Taj Group". 
  16. ^ Air Pegasus Pvt Ltd. "Air Pegasus - Our Route Map". 
  17. ^ a b BS Reporter (24 October 2011). "Mysore too may host mass rapid transit system". 
  18. ^ a b c Kumar, R. Krishna (28 April 2012). "Welcoming the investor to Mysore". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  19. ^ "Bangalore IT majors eye Mysore option". 
  20. ^ "Morgan Stanley - Press Release - Morgan Stanley Launches India Urbanization Index; Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune Ranked "Most Vibrant"". 
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ "India's 21 best cities for business, Bangalore tops". Rediff. 23 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "Real Estate Industry in Mangalore". 
  24. ^ "South India tops North for tier-III realty development". timesofindia-economictimes. 
  25. ^ Alsbridge (28 March 2007). "Alsbridge Names Next Top 10 Indian Cities for the Future of IT Outsourcing". 
  26. ^ "Technopark to become India's biggest IT park". INRnews. 15 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-17. 
  27. ^ "Kochi terminal handed over to Dubai Ports International". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2 April 2005. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  28. ^ "Vallarpadam phase I by early 2009: DP World". The Hindu. 2 April 2005. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  29. ^ "Vallarpadam ICTT: Set to make Kochi a key hub". The Hindu Business Line. 27 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  30. ^ "Statement by the Government of India" (PDF). Press Information Bureau, Govt of India. 27 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-14. [dead link]
  31. ^ "Kerala becomes first Indian state to win top UN Award in Tourism". IBNLive. 
  32. ^ Tamil Nadu ranks third in FDI, favoured destination The Hindu, Retrieved on 1 January 2008
  33. ^ Infosys setting up giant centre in Chennai and in Coimbatore, Retrieved on 1 January 2008
  34. ^ a b Tidel Park
  35. ^ "International Tech Park Chennai". 
  36. ^ Bio Park
  37. ^ "Golden Jubilee Biotech Park for Women Society: Existing units". Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. 
  38. ^ Indian firms embrace biotechnology BBC News Retrieved on 1 January 2008

External links[edit]