|Demand of the question|
Introduction. Contextual introduction.
Body. Discuss the important characteristics of footloose industries and factors that determine the location of these industries.
Conclusion. Way forward.
Footloose industry is a general term for an industry that can be placed and located in a wide variety of places without much effect from factors such as raw material. These are called footloose as these types of industries are prone to relocation. For example, the diamond and computer chips belong to the footloose industry.
Important characteristics of footloose industries:
- Location: Footloose industries can be established at any place. These industries are affected by component parts and they are available at all places.
- Less labour force: These industries produce their products in small numbers and they do not require a large labour force.
- Eco-friendly: These are environment-friendly industries as the process involved in these industries have a negligible carbon footprint. These industries emit less or no pollution.
- Less transport cost: Their products are having very high value addition and smaller in size and so transportation cost is only a small fraction of total cost.
- Small plant size: These industries require small plant size compared to heavy and small industries.
- Less raw material dependence: These are less dependent on specific raw material, especially weight losing ones. Most of the raw materials are small and light and can be transported easily.
- Skilled workers: It needs skilled workers as the industrial process is advanced and major work needs high-quality precision.
Factors responsible for the location of footloose industries:
- Connectivity: Location with a good connectivity of roads, railways, telecommunication, airways etc. are preferred to facilitate quick movement of skilled workers and high-value outputs.
- Cheap land: They are located on the edge of cities because the land is often cheaper than in the center. The out of town surroundings and easy access to workers in the suburbs provides an ideal location.
- Accessibility: The important factor in their location is accessibility by transportation network enabling the workers commute hassle free. The extensive network of metro, railway and road in NCR helped service industry in Gurugram and Noida.
- Close to similar industries: They are also located close to similar industries to facilitate exchange of ideas and knowledge.
- Raw material independent: The computing and information technology industry are not tied to raw materials and can choose their own location. The mega cyber cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad are the best examples.
- Close to research centres: The Hi-tech industries have to locate close to research centres like universities. Development in the hi-tech industry happens so fast that companies need to stay up to date to survive. For e.g. software technology parks in India.
These industries are crucial for the development of areas which lack locational advantages with respect to heavy and small industries like port facilities, availability of raw materials, etc. Good development of the footloose industry can provide high-value employment opportunities and competitive advantage in world trade.