Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu share almost the same geographical area in the southern part of India. Though AP is larger state (the fourth largest in India by area) compared to the Tamilnadu (11th largest state), it has many things to learn from Tamilnadu. Particularly, AP based businesses because they are way behind the businesses from Tamilnadu.
The fact is Tamilnadu always has a much better track record compared to AP in terms of running genuinely good businesses for long term. While most Andhra Pradesh based companies have either failed or are struggling in their market when they grow big to national level, businesses from Tamilnadu are not only running successfully but also are appreciated nationally.
Tamilnadu has the highest number of enterprises in India. Tamilnadu is also most industrialized state in India. Tamilnadu holds 2nd position in the list of states with the most FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) approvals and has a network of over 100 industrial parks. Andhra Pradesh is in 4th position in the list of states with the FDI approvals.
Businesses from Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu
The way businesses in Tamilnadu operate is very different from the ones in Andhra Pradesh. It may not be due to lack of good entrepreneurship in AP, as we can see many good small businesses in AP. But they lack in capabilities to take the business to the next level or maintain for long time.
A major feature of Tamilnadu businesses is that they stay humble and avoid being flashy. For example, a national level English newspaper run from Tamilnadu has a great image. You cannot find any flashy look on the newspaper and ads. But in Andhra Pradesh we cannot find a newspaper without flashy look. You may find some, but they lack substance to appeal at national level.
There are many big finance companies from Andhra Pradesh, but most of them known for controversies rather than sustained positive image. Nagarjuna finance, SKS Micro finance (recently in news for negative reasons), Charminar bank, Krushi bank, Global Trust bank are a few to name. Can we compare any of them in AP with the Sundaram Finance of Tamilnadu, which has been running since 1964 with a positive image with customers and in marketplace.
If not finance sector, let’s consider the IT sector which we believe there is a positive perception of AP. Andhra Pradesh is 6th in rank for IT exports from India. But Tamilnadu is in 5th position, a rank ahead of AP. In the list of the top 20 IT exporting companies in India released by NASSCOM, one company from both states was listed. The company from AP could not even enter the top 15 list. Tamilnadu based company was ranked 12th whereas Andhra Pradesh based company ranked in 17th position.
No Superbrands from AP
We already discussed about this in our previous articles that not even a single brand from AP got selected in the list of Consumer Superbrands till now. There are many consumer brands from Tamilnadu that got listed in Superbrands India. Among them are The Hindu, Sify Technologies, Apollo Hospitals and Club Mahindra. We need to take a hard look at why Andhra Pradesh brands have failed to create a strong customer loyalty at national level.
Tamilnadu also leads in manufacturing sector against AP. Tamilnadu is a major player worldwide in textile and leather exports. It has created a positive image at international level in a non-flashy manner.
Tamilnadu hosts manufacturing operations of major global automobile companies including Ford, BMW, Hyundai, Mitsubishi Motors and Michelin. There are few local automobile majors as well like TVS Motors, one of the top two-wheeler manufacturers in India; Ashok Leyland, one of India’s leading manufacturers of commercial vehicles; Royal Enfield, the tough motorcycle of India.
Though companies like Honda, Ashok Leyland, Tata, Suzuki, Escorts, Mahindra & Mahindra, Kirloskar and Bajaj etc. are importing major components from Andhra Pradesh, but they are not willing to start manufacturing operations here. Despite trying hard, Hyderabad was not able to attract any new automobile venture. Tata Motors chose Gujarat while Volvo turned out to be a controversy.
Chik shampoo from a small village in Tamilnadu has shown the world that it is possible to beat the multinational companies. That too in the fast moving consumer goods, considered as the most difficult market. MRF, a leading tyre maker in India, is from Tamilnadu.
Tamilnadu has created legends like A.R. Rehman and Abdul Kalam who let their work speak for themselves. Businesses from Tamilnadu are conservative but solid, genuine and enduring. While Andhra Pradesh has established a name as flashy, flamboyant and fraudulent.
Analyze the situation objectively, instead of going with emotional feelings. Our intention here is not to demean anybody, but to ignite a positive revolution in the business sector of Andhra Pradesh.