Logistics

Great scope for logistics sector in Kerala, post-Covid: Falcon Infrastructures MD

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on May 28, 2020 Published on May 28, 2020

NA Mohammed Kutty, Managing Director, Falcon Infrastructures Ltd

NA Mohammed Kutty, Managing Director of Kochi based Falcon Infrastructures Ltd, the first integrated logistics hub in Kerala, sees great scope for logistics and logistics-related industries in Kerala, post-Covid. Besides investments in the logistics sector, the NRI turned businessman has successfully introduced several new projects for the first time in sectors such as tourism and education by imparting foreign professional courses. He spoke to BusinessLine on the potential of the logistics sector in Kerala. Excerpts:

What exactly are the possibilities for Kerala in the logistics sector?

There are infinite possibilities for the logistics hub being conceived by the Kerala Government. Today, the State lacks even a good warehouse with all the advanced facilities for modern supply chain management. If such facilities could be established with the involvement of the NRI returnees, it will go a long way in generating substantial employment opportunities and accelerating the development of the State.

How do you view the economic and industrial situation in Kerala in the wake of Covid?

Though there is a lot of concern and anxiety about the future of India in the post-Covid days, as far as Kerala is concerned, there are enough reasons to be optimistic. Apparently, there is a general feeling that we will overcome all these odds. The main source of this confidence is undoubtedly the several investor-friendly measures being taken by the State Government led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

As an entrepreneur, how do you evaluate the potential of Kerala for investments?

There is a big difference between an entrepreneur and a businessman. An entrepreneur is the one who invents a new model and runs it successfully, while businessmen are those who start existing prototyped industries/commercial activities in new locations.

In Kerala, the majority are entrepreneurs who have successfully introduced and run projects or models of their choice. They are the ones who have the initiative and could brave any odds to make their ventures successful. I have no doubt that Kerala can make a big change by establishing the industries which the government has mentioned.

However, for this, we have to slightly change some of our habits.

What is the present status of your integrated agro farming project?

A project for integrated agro farming was submitted. But for the last six months there has been no response from the government. When enquired last, the reply was to register in a particular website. Though the Kochi-Coimbatore corridor was announced, it could not be taken forward due to the Covid-19 epidemic. It we want to go forward in agriculture, we essentially need to have mega food parks, food processing zones and temperature-controlled warehouses.

Can you brief us about the agro-farming project?

There are thousands of acres of land lying unused and idle in various districts of the State after the brick kilns operating there in the past stopped operations. If these lands, presently in a very bad condition due to the operation of kilns for years, are restored to their old shape and agriculture operations are allowed, availability of agriculture land in the State will increase manifold.

This forced to me to think of the option of deriving optimum utilisation of the already purchased land, without alienating the restrictions imposed on land utilisation. This is one of the best and relevant areas for investment at this juncture, as Kerala needs to increase its agricultural productivity enabling the much-desired shift from consumer to producer State, utilising the new techniques of farming

As an NRI investor, what are your suggestions for Kerala which is trying to convert odds into opportunities?

The Kerala Institute of Entrepreneurship Development in Kalamasserry has not been functioning properly for the last many years. Though many nations have already started implementing industrial revolution 4.0, we are still way behind them in the area of automation. Many of the NRIs might have the experience of setting up industries based on such advanced technology or have worked in such establishments. We need to offer such individuals enough investment opportunities in Kerala.

The need for the hour is to get our institutions to gear themselves up for this. The officials of the Industries Department at various levels, including the ones who are with district industries and panchayats, need to be trained regularly to support the entrepreneurs, who also should have knowledge about the changes happening around the globe.

Long term sustainability of any product is limited to a certain period. Technological advancements pay the way for the introduction of new products and replacing, in the process, the existing products.

Published on May 28, 2020
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