Saturday, August 28, 2004

Business beyond IT

Financial Express on how the IT industry has sparked off a boom in several ancillary businesses:

Catering To A New Niche

• Five years back, Sanjeev Salimath started out his business by catering around 20 plates of food to Kshema Technologies, a Bangalore-based IT company. Today he owns two hotels into which he has invested over Rs 20 lakh and is setting up another in Bangalore for Rs 10 lakh.

• In 1987, Vishwanath V Katti invested Rs 50,000 in a security services business. Today his business turnover is over Rs 14 crore and has branches in Chennai, Hyderabad, Mysore and Hubli. He started his business with 100 people, providing security services to manufacturing companies. Today he employs over 4,000 people working for 325 companies.

• SRS Travels’ MD Rajshekhar, who started his business with 10 vehicles, today owns over 300 vehicles, which ply for companies like Wipro, Infosys, and Dell. His monthly income from each vehicle is Rs 35,000.

The IT industry in Bangalore has created millionaires not only within the industry but outside too. It has catalysed wealth creation in support bu-sinesses like catering, travel and security services as well.

Catering as a business started only in 2001. Today over 300 caterers are making money by supplying to over 800 IT companies, says Mr Chandrashekhar Hebbar, President of Bangalore Hotelier’s Association.

According to Mr Katti, “Ban-galore has over 80,000 security guards. Today, there is a short supply of people for this profession here.” With a growth of 35 per cent every year, the industry has been attracting agencies from Delhi, Chennai and Mum-bai to set up shops in Bangalore. Even Holland based Group-4 has started operations here.

Travel agencies too are making hay. Over 3,000 vehicles operate just for IT companies. “There are over 10 large travel agents operating in Bangalore and over 50 small time travel agents do business with IT companies,” said Mr Rajshekhar. On the air travel front too, Bangalore has over taken Chennai in generating more revenues. “Domestic air travel has shown a 25 per cent growth this year and Bangalore is the third city after Mumbai and Delhi in generating revenues,” said Shravan Gupta, MD, Travel Air Pvt Ltd.

“These industries existed before. But after 2000, with more IT companies in Bangalo-re, they have seen huge growth and opportunities,” said Anant R Koppar, President, Mphasis Technologies.


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