Business and Economy of Mangalore

The economy of Mangalore is found to be dominated by activities relating to the port and even agricultural processing. Tropical timber is the major import of Mangalore from the south-eastern part of Asia for the purpose of making furniture because teak felling is strictly restricted in India. The exports of cashew nuts and more than 75% of the coffee exports in India are handled by Mangalore port. Cashew nuts that are exported from Mangalore are generally brought from the coastal areas of Kerala and at the same time it has also been found that National cashew Research Center lies very close to Mangalore at Puttur.

These imports and exports of various agricultural products contribute to the economy and business of this city. The roof tiles of Mangalore are also famous throughout India. These tiles are made by the use of red clay and then they are baked and are majorly used in form of roof in several areas of the country. However, the industry of roof tiles in Mangalore is fast declining because of the increased use of RCC roofs. Mangalore also ranks second in the list of the fastest growing non-metros in the southern part of India where Kochi ranks first.

Mangalore’s development and growth in the economic sector can be gauged from the fact that Mangalore International Airport has developed into the fastest growing airport in the southern part of India and ranks tenth among the fastest growing airports in India and it has also been found that more than 1/5th of the airport traffic is international. Mangalore International Airport holds the position of being the only airport in Karnataka that operates two runways as the International Airport of Bangalore would get its second runway in the year 2014. The stunning hilly locales of the Northern Mangalore has MRPL which is a subsidiary unit of ONGC situated here that also contributes to the petrochemical industry of India.

ONGC in Mangalore
Plants at ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation)

Business of Mangalore - Malls

Recently, it has been noticed that the retail space of Mangalore has gone through a lot of changes because of the fact that there are numerous malls for shopping in Mangalore that have sprung up in Mangalore and they have played a very important role in replacing the traditional shopping centers that were being used previously. The City Center Mall located in Mangalore is the second largest mall in the state of Karnataka while the other malls in the city are Bharath Mall owned by the manufacturers of Bharath beedi, Avenue and Empire Mall. All these malls are successfully operating in Mangalore while there are others that are in their process of functioning such as Time Square, Excel-Mischief Mega Mall, Golden Harvest Mall, Pio Mall, Mak Mall, Mangalore Central Mall, Plama Mall, Golden Sqaure, Inland Galore and Prestige Forum.

Industry and Traditional Commerce

Mangalore developed in the form of fishing town and the city has been very successful in maintaining its fishing industry till date. Even the local diet of the people of Mangalore consists of a very high proportion of various kinds of fishes. There are thousand number of people employed in the fishing sector of the city and the city’s produce of fish is exported to different parts of the world from around the city. Old Mangalore Port is at present used only in the form of fishing port. The fishing business and the boat building trade in Mangalore have served to be the core industry in Mangalore since ages.
The beedi, cashew nut, coffee and tile industry is found to have a major presence of the firm of Mangalore. However, there has been a constant decline in the tile industry of Mangalore because of the increasing prevalence of concrete in the modern methods of construction. The most famous cottage industry in Mangalore is beedi rolling.

Information Technology and IT Enabled Services

Alsbridge which is a outsourcing firm based in US, has confirmed the fact that Mangalore ranks among the top five developing cities of India for outsourcing. Even CNBC-TV which is the leading business TV Channel of India has proclaimed that Mangalore is the next BPO Boom Town of India.

Some of the most important and well known outsourcing and information technology industries have started the practice of locating there various facilities in the fast developing city of Mangalore. Mangalore serves as a home town to more than 15000 professionals in the information technology sector and over 55 companies. The most important and branded companies that have their offices located in Mangalore are Cognizant, Thomson Reuters, Polaris Financial Technology Limited, Infosys and Mphasis. One of the major information technology companies Infosys was the first company that moved into Mangalore and established a very large presence. Infosys possesses two very large offices in Mangalore. Special Economic Zones is one of the two large offices of Infosys in Mangalore that employs more than 10000 people in Mangalore. Invenger Technologies is a US based company that has also got its center located in Mangalore. Wipro has also set up its facilities of development in Mangalore. Mphasis which is the most important outsourcing company has also got a very large set up in Mangalore at Morgansgate, Jeppu. Software Paradigms International or SPI is a company that has its center located in IT Park.

The next three planned IT Parks of Mangalore are under construction and they will soon commence their operations. Two IT Parks namely IT SEZ located close to Mangalore University and Export Promotion Industrial Park or EPIP at Ganjjimutt are still under construction. Another IT Park namely IT SEZ that is spread over an area of 2 million square feet is also under construction at a place called Thumbe and it is being developed by BA group. This IT Park at Thumbe will include a mall, convention center, business center and even helipad facility. Companies like Wipro, TCS, Infosys and KEL are in the lookout of expanding the workspace owned by them in Mangalore. Mphasis, which is a HP Company and the largest information technology Services Company in India possesses its training center known as Mphasis Learning Academy located in Mangalore. HP also provides its training facility in Mangalore which is well known as HP Leadership and Learning Academy.

Mangalore is chosen by many BPO’s and IT Companies as a location for their offices because of the fact that city offers a lot of opportunities to the IT professionals and the outsourcing companies. The literacy rate of Mangalore is very high, educational facilities are quite superior, the prevalence of English language is found in the region, people in Mangalore are also skilled at advanced technology and at the same time Mangalore also possesses a great amount of human capital and it is only because of these reasons that Mangalore serves to be the best location for outsourcing and IT companies. Thus, it can be said that with such developing capabilities in the IT Industry, Mangalore is on its way towards becoming the fastest growing Metropolis of India. The city is expected to accommodate numerous popular IT Companies in close future and in a way it would serve as an alternative that can be chosen in place of Bangalore for IT professionals.

Core Sector

The most important industries located in Mangalore are Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited (KIOCL), Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited (MCF), Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), ELF GAS and BASF. There are a number of industries located in the Yeyyadi Industrial Rea of Mangalore.

ONGC that is, The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation is also planning to invest more than Rs.35000 crores in a very new refinery, LNG plant and petrochemical plant and power that is about 15 million tonne at Mangalore Special Economic Zone. This region will exist as the first Petrochemicals, Chemicals and Petroleum Investment Region or PCPIR in India.

Mangalore also acts as a home to automobile leaf spring industry. Canara Workshop Limited started its operation in Mangalore in the year 1950 with its brand name as Canara Springs and Lamina Suspension Products Limited started its operation as Lamina in the year 1976. Subsequently, various other small-scale producers also set themselves up at Baikampady which is the main industrial area of Mangalore and they started producing leaf springs. Over the years, it has been found that large scale consolidation has taken place in this sector because most of the smaller units have shut down their operations in the city. At present, there are only six to seven units operating in the city and they manufacture about 1000 metric tonnes of leaf springs every month.

General Information about Business and Economy in Mangalore

The Business and Economy of Mangalore are found to go hand in hand because the business of the city helps in generating revenue which again adds to the economy of Karnataka. on the other hand, it has also been found that it is the economy of Mangalore that serves as a determinant of its business course. A boom in the economy of Mangalore is considered to be a boom even in the business of Mangalore. The benefits and opportunities of starting any kind of business in Mangalore are plenty. First of all, raw materials and required manpower can easily be achieved in Mangalore and at the same time the infrastructure of the state acts as an added benefit. With the eruption of a large number of information technology companies in Mangalore, the infrastructural quality of the entire state is found to have undergone a great change and this change has automatically served to be an advantage for the various business organizations located within Karnataka.

Mangalore’s economy is completely dependent on the business organizations located in the city. Apart from this, another very important factor that serves as a determinant of the smooth flow of business and economy in the city of Mangalore is power supply. The Mangalore Electiricity Supply Company is responsible for the supply of power in Mangalore and this company is administered by Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited that is KPTCL. There are plans of increasing the electricity supply in Mangalore in order to avoid long power cuts that serve as an obstacle for the progressive economy of Mangalore.

The prosperity of the economy and business of Mangalore is also dependent on the financial and the banking sector of the city. The financial institutions located within the city offer great help to the businesses of Mangalore in the form of funds that are used for investments. These funds are used by the business centers for the generation of revenue which in turn increases the entire economy of Mangalore.

Industrial Set Up in Mangalore

There lies a very wide scope for economy and business in the city of Mangalore because of some basic reasons that have been enumerated below:
  • Stable Government
  • Minimal troubles of law and order
  • Vast collection of skilled human resources

Agricultural Industry of Mangalore

Agriculture forms one of the most important occupations of the people living in the villages of Mangalore. The most important crops that are grown in Mangalore are Coconut, Paddy, Cocoa, Arecanut and Black Pepper. Rice is a crop that is cultivated during the three seasons of the year namely Yenel or Karthika that lasts from May to October, Suggi that lasts from October to January and Kolake that lasts from January to April. Again the cultivation of rice is dependent on water availability. Black gram or Urad is also grown in certain areas during the Suggi season. The practice of cultivating fruits and vegetables in garden for personal consumption and also for sale has substantially declined in Mangalore. Mangalore consists of APMC markets that are located within various taluks in the city for the provision of agricultural products to the people of Mangalore.

Agriculture in Mangalore
Farmers of Mangalore cultivating green leafy vegetables

Milk processing plant owned by the Karnataka Milk Federation is located at Kulshekara in the city of Mangalore. This plant deals in the job of processing milk that is collected from the cattle that are owned by the farmers of Mangalore. Puttur in Mangalore is a coastal region and a agricultural town that is found to be surrounded by numerous hillocks along with luxury green forest located in the heavy rainfall belt of the Western Ghats. The most important occupation of the people living in Puttur is agriculture. The crops that are generally grown in this region include cashew, cocoa bean, rubber, paddy, coconut, pepper, plantains, chilli, areca and vanilla. The people of Puttur are also found to be engaged in activities like sericulture, horticulture and dairy farming. Sullia is also an area in Mangalore and the economy of this area is found to be largely based on horticulture and agriculture. This region is very fertile and it also possesses very wealthy water resources. The main crops that are grown in Sullia are areca nut, cocoa, cashew nut, rice, jackfruit, rubber, rice, vanilla and banana.

Agriculture is slowly on its way of taking a backseat in Mangalore because of money influx from the natives who have settled in various other countries, states and districts. There are many people from Mangalore who are found working in other states of India and even in Gulf countries. Fields and farms have been transformed into commercial and residential plots and even shopping complexes.

Industries of Mangalore

Mangalore is also known as the Cradle of Indian Banking and it is also ranks among the most developed and industrialized areas or cities of Karnataka. some of the most important Nationalized Banks of the country like Corporation Bank, Canara Bank, Vijaya Bank, Syndicate Bank and Karnataka Bank that belongs to the private sector were first established in Mangalore. Beedi Industry, factories for processing cashew and Mangalore Tiles were the industries that flourished in Mangalore in the past. The service sector of the city is also found booming because of the fact that a large number of information technology companies and educational institutes have sprung up in the city.

Fishing in Mangalore
Freshly caught fish varieties from Mangalore shores

As Mangalore lies on the shores of the Arabian Sea, fishing forms an important industry in the city and the most important occupation of the people of this city. The most important fishing places in Mangalore are Panambur, Bunder or Old harbor, Sasihitlu, Surathkal and Kotekar.

The most important industries of Mangalore are Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited, Mangalore Chemical and Fertilizers Limited, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited, TOTAL GAS, BASF and Bharati Shipyard Limited. There is also a plant for the manufacture of chocolate located at Puttur and this plant is run by CAMPCO co-operative. Some of the companies have been detailed below:

Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited

The Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited is owned by the Government of India and its head office is located t Bangalore. The company possesses mines of iron ore in an area called Kudremukh in the Chikkamagaluru district of Mangalore and even a pelletisation plant in the city of Mangalore. this mine is supposed to be the largest mine of iron ore throughout the world. The process of actually mining iron ore is carried out at Western Ghats at Kudremukh while the administrative activities are undertaken at Bangalore. The ore that is mined is further transported by way of pipelines that run through Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts up to the plant located at Panambur just adjoining the New Mangalore Port. The pelletized ore at Mangalore is exported to several countries like Iran, China, Taiwan and Japan by the use of ships.

Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited

The total turnover of Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited is Rs. 2,523.83 crores and the company is the one and the only producer of chemical fertilizer in Karnataka. This company is located opposite to New Mangalore Port Trust and on the shores of Gurupura River. The company is considered to be an important part of UB group and its shareholding is 30.44%. The Chairman of the Board of Directors for this company is Vijay Mallya and at present Deepak Anand is the Managing Director of this company. The registered and corporate office of this company is situated at Bangalore and the factory unit of this company is located in Mangalore. The main fertilizers that are dealt with in this company are Diammonium phosphate, Urea, liquid fertilizers, granulated fertilizers, soil micronutrients, potash muriate, soil conditioners, industrial chemicals such as Sulphonated granulated fertilizers and Sulphuric acid, Ammonium bicarbonate and specialty fertilizers. The company has its marketing offices located in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited is an oil refinery that is located at Mangalore and it is also a subordinate of ONGC that has been set up in the year 1993. The refinery is found situated at Katipalla in the northern side of Mangalore and it came into being after the displacement of five villages namely Kuthetoor, Adyapadi, Katipalla, Bala and Kalavar. The refinery possesses great versatility in its design with very high flexibility in crude processes of API gravity and automation. The company possesses the ability to process 9.69 million metric tonnes of oil every year and it is the only refinery throughout India possessing two hydrocrackers that produce premium diesel. The company is also the only refinery throughout India that possesses two CCRs that produce unleaded petrol. At present, the refinery processes about 12.5 million tonnes crude every year. The company has been declared Miniratna or the Mini Jewel of India by the Indian Government in the year 2007.


CAMPCO or Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Co-operative Limited came into being at Mangalore on 11th July 1973. The company work on co-operative principles and it usually deals in solving the problems and the troubles of the cocoa and Arecanut growers in Kerala and Karnataka. the company is at present extending its services to several other states like Goa and Assam. The main job of this company is to procure, market, sell and process cocoa and Arecanut. It also provides proper guidance to the farmers who are into the cultivation of cocoa and arecanut. The company also has plans of getting into the business of natural rubber. This company has successfully set up a plant for the manufacture of chocolate at Puttur in the year 1986 and the plant manufactures chocolates and several other products of cocoa.

Other Business sectors in Mangalore

Mphasis, Infosys, Lasersoft Information systems and various other BPOs have started their operations in Mangalore and it is found that the city of Mangalore is fast growing into an IT hub. The economy of Mangalore is found to be dominated by port related activities and agricultural processing. Major exports of Mangalore include cashew nuts and coffee. The roof tiles of Mangalore are also very famous and the company of roof tiles is found to be located at Puttur. Leaf spring industry has also developed in Mangalore at a very fast pace. The emergence of various nationalized banks has also contributed to the economic development of Mangalore. the core business of Mangalore has always been the fishing and the boat building industry. Mangalore has its presence felt in the coffee, tile, cashew nut and beedi industry. Albuquerque tile plant is the oldest tile factory in India. cotton industries are also found flourishing in Mangalore.

The Ullal area in Mangalore is very popular for its production of coir yarns and hosiery and at the same time it has also been found that rolling beedi also forms the chief occupation of many people in the city of Mangalore. Bantwal is a town in Mangalore which is considered to be a very important trade center for tobacco, groceries, gold and hardware. The economy of Mangalore has always remained popular because of its major industries and also because of the fact that it has been a source of income for most of the people living in Mangalore. Mangalore tourism industry can also not be ignored because the tourism industry also fetches in a lot of income for the people of Mangalore.

All in all it can be said that Mangalore economy and the business sector of Mangalore is rich and at present it is on its way of achieving great heights and making its presence known even in the international market.
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