Kerala, a front runner in the promotion, adoption and usage of information technology, has shown a 31 per cent growth in the number of IT professionals in the last six years, according to a study.

From 78,000 in 2016, the number of IT professionals in the State has grown significantly to 2,50,000 in 2023.

The study on “Kerala Investment, Growth & Development 2018-19 to 2022-23” undertaken by the MSME Export Promotion Council jointly with Confederation of Organic Food Producers & Marketing Agencies was released by the MSME EPC Chairman D S Rawat.

It is expected that the Indian software product industry will touch $100 billion by 2025, and the State government is focusing on tapping the opportunity. The companies are focusing on investing overseas to expand their global footprint and enhance their global delivery centre.

Growth of digitization within State

Kerala’s digital eco-system is supported by a strong government commitment to digital transformation, a growing start-up and strong industry participation in the economy.

Kerala was recently adjudged the best performer among the states startup ranking 2022 by the Union Commerce Ministry.

The study said Kerala attracted over ₹91,575 crore new investment projects during 2018-19 to 2022-23 and completed projects worth ₹33,815 crore, generating new job opportunities direct and indirect for about fivelakh people.

According to the study, the total investment projects outstanding in 2022-23 were of ₹4,03,770 crore and under implementation worth ₹2,77,957 crore, and once these projects are completed, direct and indirect new employment opportunities are expected to be created for over seven lakh people.

During the period (2018-19 to 2022-23), the pending projects were revived of ₹12,240 crore.

Rawat stressed the need for setting up a high-powered committee under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary to expedite the projects languishing for clearances from different departments and avoid the escalation in cost.

Kerala which accounts for 2.8 per cent of India’s population and 1.2 per cent of land area contributes more than fourper cent to the GDP of India. Thus, the southern states’ per capita income is 60 per cent higher than India’s average. This has fuelled internal migration to Kerala especially for low-end jobs, even as a large number of Keralites have immigrated mostly to Gulf countries.

The study says that Kerala has recorded an impressive industrial growth rate of 17.3 per cent in the financial year 2021-22; the manufacturing sector growth rate of 18.9 per cent is higher than the national average. These achievements helped the State register an economic growth of over 12 per cent in 2021-22.

The new investment projects announced by the private sector between the FY 2018-19 to 2022-23 were of ₹23,232 crore and completed projects of ₹9590 crore.

The State government initiative to create one lakh micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) has led to the formation of around 1.34 lakh enterprises with an investment of ₹8,110crore and 2.87 lakh employment, according to the study.