This is an eye opener; one can say that the picture of industrialization in the valley is not good at all. People have invested their money and money borrowed from financial institutions for setting up units in order to create employment for themselves and others.
All these efforts have gone in vain and have yielded them nothing. Instead they have inflicted suffering on them and brought miseries to them. Their capital has got eroded, bank borrowings have swelled with compound and penal interests resulting in utter frustration and a negative feeling among the entrepreneurs that nothing is achievable in a place like Kashmir.
There are many factors responsible for such an outcome .Government policies and involvement, tail end position of our valley, unstable situation are some of the reasons. But one important factor which has never been addressed needs attention and to be taken up seriously.
The telecom industry spent years surveying the market potential in Kashmir valley and came to the conclusion that it is worth investing in Kashmir and we now see telecom giants like Reliance, Airtel, Aircell, Tata Indicom , Vodafone etc making investments in the valley and all of them making good money.
The survey conducted by these industrial giants revealed that Kashmir valley is circle “C” in the telecom language which means having good market potential. Once the survey was comprehensively conducted by these companies, then only investments were made because the returns were sure to come.
Why all telecom giants are doing well viz a viz our local industry is a question to be answered.
Obviously market survey, We need to know
What is selling in the market?
How much do we consume?
How much is the consumption going to increase with the growing population?
What is the landed cost of the commodity?
How much would it cost if we produce it locally?
How much can we pump into the market?
What would be the required investment?
In how much time we would be able to recover investments?
All these questions need to be answered before an industrial enterprise is set up. Who is going to answer these questions? Obviously not the graduate who wants to create his own employment by setting up a small industrial unit. To find answers to these important questions will require lot of efforts, man power, technical people and a lot of funds. This would need a comprehensive market survey in a very organised manner. Once this survey is done the investment of an aspiring entrepreneur along with his borrowings from financial institutions would be safe and success of his enterprise would be guaranteed.
We have a well equipped department of Industries and Commerce in our state. This department is mainly responsible for registration of industrial units for the purpose of making them eligible for earning some incentives provided by the govt. If this department would also involve itself in identifying the viable lines of manufacturing on the basis of comprehensive market surveys in the most scientific manner the valley would in future see more and more successful enterprises.
The writer is the
President of Kashmir Flour Mills Association.