Chennai has a robust and diverse economy that bases on automobile, software, hardware manufacturing, financial services and the healthcare industries. The region accounts for about 30% of India’s automobile sector and about 35% of the country’s auto components industry, hosting reputed companies such as Hyundai, Ford, BMW, Mitsubishi, TVS group, Ashok Leyland, Nissan-Renault amongst others that have set up their factories in the region. Other key industry players include the Heavy Vehicles Factory that is located at Avadi and manufactures vehicles for the military, and the Integral Coach Factory that has been crucial for the manufacture of rail Coaches and other rolling stock for Indian Railways. The Special Economic Zones situated in the south of the region produce textile goods while the Ambattur-Padi industrial zone produces footwear.
Chennai produces over 50% of India’s leather exports and its lined with a number of software parks, the most famous among them being the Tidel Park. Furthermore, the region leads with major electronics manufacturers such as Dell, Nokia, and Samsung having their manufacturing bases in the city. It accounts for about 14% of the country’s exports in software, coming only second after Bangalore. In the financial services sector, renowned financial institutions like the World Bank, HSBC, Citi Bank have back office operations in the region.
In the health sector, industry giants include Apollo Hospitals, Sankara Nethralaya and Sri Ramachandra Medical Center that distinguish Chennai as having the best Healthcare facilities in the Country that have brought in quite a considerable number of medical tourists. About 45% of health tourists from abroad and a 30 to 40% of local tourists have been to the region when compared to other regions in the Country.
As an industrial hub of south India, Chennai’s diversified economic base that largely depends on trade and industry has been at the core of its attractiveness for investment. On the overall, the main industries in its economy include automobile, software services, hardware manufacturing and the financial services sector. Its software and bio-tech sector has attracted big names in the business such as Wipro, Infosys, TCS, HCL, EDS, Accenture, Sun Microsystems and HP. The creative and film industry have done fairly well in Chennai with the Tamil film industry, second only to Mumbai being based in the region. For investment, Chennai offers suitable facilities for the establishment of small scale industry with its very liberal investment policies on setting up industrial units. Its huge population of graduates particularly engineering graduates has been at the forefront of this bubbling industrial and trade services economy.