This Article is From Jul 10, 2021

Tycoon Dumps Kerala, Invests Rs 1,000-Crore In Telangana

Kitex Garments chief Sabu Jacob railed against the Pinarayi Vijayan government of Kerala.

Kitex Garments is one of Kerala's largest private employers.


  • Kitex Garments chief Sabu Jacob railed against the Pinarayi Vijayan govt
  • Kitex is the 2nd largest children's apparel manufacturer in the world
  • It had announced the scrapping of a ₹ 3,500-crore project in Kerala

Kerala's loss has become Telangana's gain. After Kitex Garments, the second-largest children's apparel manufacturer in the world, had announced the scrapping of a Rs 3,500-crore project in Kerala, alleging harassment. Telangana, meanwhile, pro-actively wooed the group and got a commitment for investment in India's youngest state.

Kitex chairman and managing director Sabu Jacob's team was flown in by a special flight from Kochi to Hyderabad and by evening Telangana's industries minister KT Rama Rao tweeted that the company would invest an initial Rs 1000 crore in Warangal.


Leaving for the Telangana capital today, Sabu Jacob, the Chairman and Managing Director of Kitex spoke out sharply against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's regime saying he was not opting out of his home state Kerala but was being hounded out.

Nine other states had called him for the project, Mr Jacob said, but even after announcing the cancellation of his Kerala plan, no state minister or official had bothered to call him.

The businessman lashed out at the state administration saying that Kerala wasn't changing with the times and the technology. A serious rethink was required for the sake of the state's future, he said.

"I never thought in my life that I would leave Kerala. But for how long can one put up with this kind of treatment and humiliation. I tried, but could not any longer," Mr Jacob said.

"For 53 years I have worked here as an industrialist and created a revolution with 16,000-20,000 people. They put their lives at stake and do business. It is necessary to think over this."

Kitex is one of Kerala's largest private sector employers, with 15,000 people on its payroll at its garment unit in Ernakulam. Its apolitical wing Twenty20 has been contesting and winning local body elections in Ernakulam since 2015. In the past six months, there have been 11 raids by multiple agencies on Kitex.

Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev said there was nothing political about the raids. They were based on complaints and Kitex ought to have approached the state government instead of criticising it on social media to tarnish it, according to him.

The industries minister had said earlier today that the government was still open to talks with the industrialist to sort out issues. But now that Kitex group is to invest in Telangana, it's not clear if it will reach out to Sabu Jacob.

The proposed new Rs 3,500-crore project would have potentially employed 30,000 people, apart from developing 600 small-scale ventures in the sector, the company claims.

Industrialist Harsh Goenka had tweeted earlier saying that they are the largest employers in Kerala and found the local government very supportive.