How’s the downturn affecting Bengaluru?

Citizen Matters Magazine – Vol 1 Issue 3

Dear Readers,

As you know by now, the global downturn has impacted Bengaluru. In our conversations with citizens and businesses around the city, we noted some obvious and not-so-obvious markers to what’s going on.

The earliest to face cutbacks were the city’s garment manufacturers, a major employer of workers. More recently, a round of layoffs has taken place at
Bengaluru’s major global firms, the bastion for white-collar jobs. The cuts are trickling down; anecdotally, shops and businesses in the city are confirming drops in sales over the past six months — especially those that rely on corporates for their bulk orders.

Most obvious in the bleeding has been the real estate sector itself, with land prices falling and likewise apartment and home prices. The home building sector is a major driver of local enterprise: it produces jobs for everyone from construction workers to logistics firms to furniture makers to to new-age modular kitchen providers. Substantial local advertisement revenues come from the real estate sector, and media firms are hurting from the impact too.

Is there a silver lining? Yes. One, not all business activities are taking a beating. While local business owners are being very cautious, not everyone is freezing everything. From educational institutes offering training to new-age health care outlets, businesses are innovating around recession-mode offerings and preparing to stay in the game to ride out the downturn.

Much of this is not ad-hoc though; it is on the back of plans made earlier, which at least some businesses are not shelving. There is clearly a longer-term optimism in some sectors, even as business owners remain worried about the near future, what with the West-led depression yet to bottom out.

What visible signs of the overall situation have you noticed? Write to us.

On a different note, at Citizen Matters, we feel it is time that think tanks and local universities initiate both short-term and detailed studies on the downturn’s impact on the city. If you are a professor or doctoral student or a research faculty in the city and are involved in any study on this topic, please do get in touch with us at We’d be happy to work with you and report your findings to Bangaloreans.

Best Regds, Subbu Vincent

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