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WMR - November 2016

Special Report

WATCHING MORBI…

The clock haven


Morbi is one of the most thriving industrial hubs in Gujarat. Not many know, that there have been historical references to the grandeur of this area as well. History talks about the rivers of Morbi flowing with “milk and ghee”. These are indeed allusions to the highly prosperous past of the city. Prince Waghji Thakor and his successor Lakhdhirji Thakor are credited with the modernization of this place. From 1847 onwards, it saw advances in transport and communication. This well-connected city is 60 kilometers from Rajkot and around 245 Kms away from Ahmedabad. In terms of Industry, Morbi is renowned for ceramic production, compact florescent lamp production and it is the largest producer of wall clocks. Leading names in the clock manufacturing industry are based in Morbi. It is also a core export area for clocks and many clock making giants continue to flourish here. The advent of the quartz technology spurred the growth of the clock making industry.

There have been many challenges on the journey. The clock industry is often treated like a poor cousin of the wrist watch industry. This is because of the magnitude of both businesses which differ vastly. There is competition from other areas, especially China, and taxes in form of VAT have been conspicuous. However, the business community of Morbi is a resilient one. They are looking at more diversification and at upgrading their timepieces to cater to the high-end market, besides of course, their original customers. Refusing to rest on past laurels, the ambitious people of Morbi are relentlessly set to reinvent the clock industry. The business community is also looking forward to the GST which as of now, promises to make drastic improvements in all the hurdles and confusions presented by a very complicated taxation system. There is much hope pinned on the GST, and this will be a game changer that will hopefully give a stronger impetus to the clock market.

The complete special report is in Watch Market Review - November 2016 on page no. 40 to 49.