Thrissur: Thrissur is known as the land of poorams (temple festivals), and the world-renowned Thrissur Pooram is the grandest of them all. The rare visual treat that Pooram offers every year could not be avoided. However, the cultural capital of Kerala is not only limited to temple festivals but is also a hub for a wide range of economic activities, including jewellery, trade and commerce.
Little wonder, then, that a recent national media survey found the city, which stretches from the port city of Kodungallur in the south to the sandy shores of Bharatapuzha in the north, home to many of the country’s wealthiest people. According to the report, the wealth of the local rich is a whopping 40,000 crores. Thrissur’s achievement was considered some of the richest and smallest towns in the country.
Surat in Gujarat tops the list when big cities are considered. The rich there together have 52,000 million. There are 19 people from the city who are in the 1 billion club. In Thrissur, there are four individuals with a net worth of over Rs 1,000 crore, the survey found.
Small scale industries ranging from textile industry, banks, financial institutions, small scale chit fund companies to Nidhi companies, traditional Ayurveda centers to super specialty medical colleges, furniture stores, roofing tile business to joss, where the jewelry trade is expanding. stick manufacturing, – Kerala city has it all. Even the first Indian Coffee House, a chain of restaurants run by worker cooperative societies, the fourth in the state and the country, was established in the region. In short, the enterprising people of Thrissur sell anything from tea to gold, making a fortune.
Thrissur was always a super brand in the emerging commercial sector in Kerala. It is one of the prominent business centers of the state.
There are many contributing factors. Thrissur had an entrepreneurial culture from the good old days.
The city is the hub of gold ornaments, furniture and Ayurveda medicine industries. Its Kunnamkulam is known for several notebook manufacturing companies.
Not only in trade, Thrissur also leads when it comes to manufacturing industry.
Many machine parts manufacturing units are located in different parts of the city. Proximity to Coimbatore ensures easy availability of raw materials.
Entrepreneurs from the land not only create successful businesses and commercial activities in the state, but also succeed abroad.
For example, the Gulf countries. Thrissur locals claim to constitute almost 70 percent of the Gulf traders. Even in the commercial hub of the state, Kochi, most of the jewelry shops, textile shops, automobile showrooms and stationery shops are owned by Thrissur locals. Traders include associations made up of traders from Thrissur.
Prosperous gold trade
Thrissur has a rich history when it comes to gold business.
The people there were the first to realize the great potential of gold reductions introduced in the 1960s and economic liberalization in the 90s. Only gold ornaments with a fineness of 14 carats could be sold in jewelry stores.
But jewelry enthusiasts insist on having 22 carats. This trade secret also attracted those outside the gold business to it. Soon after, jewelry, until then limited to traditional goldsmiths, spread to other sections.
The dominance of mechanization, modern technology and fashion design accelerated the trend. Within a short time, jewelery saw a boom with many houses in former cities like Ammadam, Perumbillisseri, Cherpu and Ollur taking up activity, akin to a cottage industry. In due course, the practice of employing goldsmiths in jewelry stores ceased and was replaced by outsourcing.
When the demand for gold ornaments increased, large workshops were created that manufactured ornaments.
Some of them even brought in skilled workers from North India en masse to make jewelery according to the latest fashion to cash in on the trend.
Initially, these large units made ornaments from the gold provided by traders and returned the finished products. Advantages include low manufacturing costs and less finishing work. Then they left the practice and immersed themselves in the jewelry industry, buying the gold themselves. Gold ornaments from northern India also began to flood the local markets.
The massive migration to the Gulf region not only inflated the demand for gold, but also resulted in its easy availability.
Imports eased after economic liberalization. As the profit share decreased, jewelers began to establish more branches to increase sales and makeup. The rise in gold prices, however, leads to a decline in sales. Here, it is worth noting that Thrissur traders are ahead of others in opening branches both within the state and outside.
Thrissur dealers are also distinguished by their services
The “Thrissur touch” can be experienced not only in jewelery making but also in sales.
Just look at the vendors behind the counters serving customers with smiles, adding to the sophistication of the giant ornament neatly displayed on glass shelves.
The way you talk and the way you behave are unique to Thrissur and have a huge impact on buyers. However, the rise in jewelry stores and the increasing importance of regional relations in sales have caused a change in that image.
Here the question arises: the fact that a large proportion of jewelery owners are from Thrissur has resulted in sellers from the region dominating the gold jewelery shops?
To some extent, yes. However, this is not the only reason, according to jewelry owners outside the neighborhood. The nature of trading requires trust and many vendors.
Both owners and customers will be much more careful because they are dealing with gold. They have to trust each other.
Salespeople are tasked with working hard to earn that trust, both in word and deed. There is a common belief that the natives of Thrissur excel at this.
The city of Thrissur has played an important role in the political economy of industrial growth in South India since ancient times.
The district can rightly claim a great role in strengthening the commercial relations of the State with the outside world in ancient and medieval times. The erstwhile port city of Kodungallur was bustling with trade and commercial activities in its heyday.
Today’s Thrissur owes its origin to Raja Ramavarma, who ascended the throne of the kingdom of Kochi in 1790.
It was he who rebuilt Thrissur, which had suffered great damage during Tipu Sultan’s invasion. Popularly known as “Sakthan Tampuran”, it was during his rule that the modern era of Kochi and Thrissur began, and both places experienced a renaissance and achieved significant progress.
Also a banking city
Thrissur, apart from being a cultural-industrial hub, tops the table in terms of the number of banks.
With the advent of ESAF Small Finance Bank, there are four banks headquartered in Thrissur.
The others are Catholic Bank of Syria (now renamed CSB Bank Limited), South Indian Bank and Dhanlaxmi Bank. Earlier, Lord Krishna Bank operated in Kodungallur. Later, this bank merged with Centurion Bank of Punjab.
The headquarters of Kerala State Financial Enterprises Ltd, which has a major role to play in inculcating financial discipline and savings habits among the Malayalees, is located in Thrissur. Recently, ESAF Small Finance Bank became the first scheduled bank in Kerala since independence to receive a banking license from RBI.
The Catholic Bank of Syria was founded on November 26, 1920. The bank started functioning on January 1, 1921 with a capital of Rs.5 lakhs. The head office of the bank is at St Mary’s College Road, Thrissur.
Dhanlaxmi Bank was established on November 14, 1927 under the leadership of a group of investors based in Thrissur.
The bank, which started operations with Rs 11,000 crore and seven employees, became a Scheduled Commercial bank in 1977.
The South Indian Bank was established in Thrissur in 1946 as part of the Swadeshi movement. The bank started operations by collecting Rs 500 from 44 people.