Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Forging high-tech businesses in a nostalgic old capital called Mysore

Can you have your cake and eat it too? It seems so according to major industrialists, bureaucrats and politicians to transform Mysore into a new ‘angel investor’ capital fired business capital of India all set out to overtake Bangalore, of course, whilst at the same time escaping the ill fate of Bangalore due to unplanned reckless development.

And there is an organized political opposition to these ‘best laid plans of men and mice which often go awry’. The people of Mysore have made their stance clear that they find this lop sided economic development rather anti Kannada. They have united at the grassroots level and have thrown a spanner in the works of those who would deny jobs to ethnic kannadas.

To understand this, we might have to burrow into the hoary past. Initially Mysore was the undisputed capital of the province and not Bangalore. It happened to be the seat of the throne of Tipu Sultan, the undisputed monarch of the southern Indian provinces. However, he happened to be defeated and vanquished in the 4th Anglo – Mysore war by the British and according to the English commissar, the city of Mysore and even its palace was not found to suitable for creating a proxy British capital.

Nevertheless in less than 60-70 years Mysore was transformed by architects, engineers and educators into a lovely garden of learning and governance by the Wadiyars and the Divans.

Yet, with the capital being in Bangalore, Mysore was transformed into a tourist paradise, with its sole income coming from visitors from all parts of India and the globe, wishing to nostalgize the good old days of India’s other worldliness.

The day came when Bangalore became over saturated with over development to meet the housing demands of the IT professionals. This recklessness led to poor planning even when it came to sewage and hygiene in civil engineering. The Puttenhalli floods promptly come to mind, as regards this situation in particular.

The focus of businessmen shifted southwards since, because sky rocketing prices of real estate realties of different descriptions made it rather impossible to operate from and generate a mutual profit.

The net output of Bangalore in terms of software exports were 1 lakh Crore this year and has been 2,500 Crore for Mysore. The only tier-2 city that approaches Mysore is Bhubaneswar in Orissa. However this has created a major demographic shift due to which, the local populace is aggrieved and has xenophobic sentiments.

Nevertheless, the government has applied a soothing balm of financial investments for these ills. A huge budding sector of urbanization is underway and enables locals as well as ‘outsiders’ to win together. After all the locals are the legal possessors of the land, and due to private venture efforts, today investors with deep pockets from other parts of Karnataka and India are investing in land that will be extremely profitable for both of the parties.

There will always be competition between companies and rumors indicate that the kannadas might not be able to afford these plans. In addition they believe that Mysore’s splendid horizontal architecture like Toronto, Canada and Sydney, Australia; might turn into a jungle of shoddy glassy skyscrapers.

In assurance, the government has initiated schemes and a construction of a massive 6 lane highway between Bangalore and Mysore.

So, given these contradictory facts, how do we preserve the golden heritage of Mysore?

The first fact to keep in mind is that the people of Mysore would really love from the bottom of their hearts to possess the riches of the Bangaloreans. Yet, Mysore, given its Omni presently attractive wide footpaths, well planned layouts, gardens, roads and over 250 heritage structures and of course the reputation of being a royal city; would hate to a concrete jungle.

And come to think of it, that would be appalling.

Still, the companies who would wish to urbanize Mysore, private and governmental, want the same thing. In certain countries like Singapore, the new blends with the old seamlessly, so why not Mysore? Both parties agree on that point and strongly feel that had Bangaloreans the foresight that the people & corporates of Mysore possess, the quintessential building block of Bangalore’s economy, the concrete IT professional’s cube, would not come to pass.

Important organizations that echo this are the Confederation of Indian Industry, amongst many others. In fact, Kris Gopalakrishnan, immediate past president of CII and co-founder and non-executive chairman of Infosys Pvt. Ltd. expressed these same sentiments. R. Chandra Prakash, a retired Professor of Commerce, of the University of Mysore, who has worked on urban development issues, and Bhamy V. Shenoy, founder of Mysore Grahakara Parishat, both founders of activist groups are raising serious issues about this. However we need to keep two things in mind, the people that they represent may not be business savvy, and there may be vested competitor corporate interests behinds these opinionated arguments.

These opinions are true to a quite large extent even being rather contradictory sometimes, but here are some practical solutions.

The massive 2,500 Crore revenue generated can go into rejuvenating the core center of Mysore comprising of Amba Vilas Palace, Jaganmohan Palace, K.R. Circle, Dufferin Clock Tower, Town Hall and Deva raja market amongst many other beloved places which evoke nostalgia.

The problem here is that, according to Mr. Chandra Prakash, the planning committee, instead of pushing the business infrastructure to the periphery and preserving the center, has mis-mashed both into one hybrid area. This is disastrous. The tourism industry would be cut off like water from a faucet or tap.

N.S. Rangaraju, a retired Professor from the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, from the University of Mysore, who was also a member of the Heritage Sub-committee, believes that “nothing less than a straight legislation is necessary for the protection of Mysore’s Grand legacy as 3.5 million visitors from all over the world, fuel the tourist industry which keeps the wheels of the economy burning.”

C.G. Bethsurmath, The commissioner for archeology, museums and heritage, has said that these laws were in the final stages of getting approval. Mysore has many beautiful landscapes like Chamundi hills, and lovely lakes like Kukkarahalli, Lingambudhi, Karanji and Dalvoy — are today facing the challenge of extinction.

The future of Mysore may seem a gray scale of cloud and fuzziness, but remember, every cloud has a silver lining, and men and women of all walks of life in Mysore are united in making this great little city the royal seat of power it – in the yesteryears of Kings ship and nowadays of business giants.

Participate in discussion forum of Bangalore builders about their construction services.


  1. In my opinion, the reason to develop Mysore city is shortage of land Bangalore. Because Bangalore city is sharing most of the border with Tamil Nadu and close to Andra Pradesh state. Thus, the next option is Mysore, old Karnataka capital. Even these two cities have equal opportunity like Mumbai and Pune. So I am expecting in future Bangalore and Mysore cities will also become like Mumbai-Pune.

    1. Mysore is the tourism place of Karnataka. Even with the lack of land in Bangalore IT industries are looking forward to invest in Mysore as well. As climate conditions of both Mysore and Bangalore are almost similar. There are so many visitors to Mysore by which it is getting a huge income also.

  2. Climate wise Mysore is an awesome location. Already some of the software companies opened their branches in Mysore also. As David said earlier because of lack of lands in Bangalore also people are and the companies are preferring the Mysore locations.

  3. Liked this article. Investment in Mysore yield a very good Return on Investment. As Mysore is also one of the fast developing city in India. It is already developed in their Tourism side but it has yet to develop in industrial side.

    1. Thank you Khaiash for liking our article.

  4. Nice article. Good to know many things about Mysore. Thank you for posting valuable information. Keep doing.

  5. Already Mysore is very famous for the tourism place now it is been converted to the place for Commercial business area also. Some companies already started their presence by launching their projects like Infosys. Slowly the Real estate boom will also raising up in that location.

    1. Thank you Joshna for your comment on our blog post

  6. Mysore is a beautiful place of karnataka can be called as cultural capital of India, the famous silk sari is originated here in mysore, mysore painting is world wide apriciated. The climate adds beauty to the place, this place is so spiritual that most of the big companies are opening their learning centers in mysore. But they should be restricted because more the companies enter to this area may cause indiscipline and the beauty of the monuments may affected so without any specific reason no one should be allowed to make any changes here. Mysore Palace and the temples are reminders of our fore fathers triumph.