How KTR ‘welcomed’ apparel giant KITEX to Telangana after being thrown out of Kerala

Saboo Josepha, the promoter of the apparel giant KITEX, narrated how he found a lifeline in Telangana and a generous gesture made by KTR to facilitate his business in the Deccan state


HYDERABAD: The case of Saboo Joseph, Managing Director of KITEX, forced to shift his business base from his home state Kerala to Telangana due to inhospitable political system, stands testimony to the investor-friendly approach of the Telangana Government, particularly the efforts of IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao.

The business leaders, who attended the inaugural session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) annual meeting in Hyderabad on Tuesday, heard Joseph’s nightmare in his home state right from the horse’s mouth.

Speaking at the inaugural session, the promoter of the apparel giant narrated how he found a lifeline in Telangana and a generous gesture made by KTR to facilitate his business in the Deccan state.

Without delving deep, Saboo Joseph told the gathering: “After investing Rs 3,000 crores in Kerala, I was unfortunately forced to come out of my home state due to the political system. Due to political harassment, I was thrown out of my state. We employed more than 15,000 people but Kerala did not recognise our value,” he said.

And what transpired soon after would be an endearing story to cherish and worth inspiring many such businessmen to make a beeline to Telangana. “I got invitations from various parts of India – from chief ministers, chief secretaries and ministers.”

But little did he imagine that a call he received from Telangana IT Minister K T Rama Rao in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic would add a heartening new chapter to his apparel business, far away from his home state.

“Your Minister said that he wanted to invite me to Telangana. When I said I cannot travel due to COVID-19 restrictions, he offered to send a private jet for me, which he eventually did. On August 9, 2021, eight of us landed at a Telangana airport. We were taken to the Kakatiya Mega Textile Park by a helicopter. I never ever expected in my life such treatment he gave me.

The same evening, without even consulting anyone, I committed to a Rs 1,000-crore investment with (the scope for) a 4,000 employment,” the KITEX promoter said.

Interestingly, as Saboo Joseph found out during his meeting with KTR, there was something more than the stream of funds into the state that was uppermost on the Minister’s mind.

“When I met him (KTR) the same evening at his residence, I asked him straight if he was looking for investment or employment. Within seconds, he replied, I’m looking for employment. That is his commitment to the state and the people of Telangana,” he said.

Saboo Joseph’s desire to invest in Telangana merely did not stop at that. “The next day, he has shown me another land in Sitharampur. I was very happy and increased my investment to Rs 2,000 crores.When we finally made the agreement, I increased it to Rs 2,400 crores and today (March 7, 2023) morning, I committed to him Rs 3,000 crores,” he revealed amid thunderous applause.

Saboo Joseph’s case is just a tip of an iceberg to show how Telangana has fast emerged as an reassuring paradise for businessmen and investors, all working in synergy towards employment generation.

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