Bangalore Serviced Apartments, Hospitality Business and recent bomb blasts in India. – Is there a security threat?
(First Published in the month of Sept- 2008)
Will the recent Bomb blasts in India affect the business prospects in India? Is it safe for people to travel to India? Is it safe for foreigners especially westerners travelling to India or Bangalore? What will be the impact of these terrorists’ strikes on the hospitality industry? What will happen to Serviced Apartments Industry in Bangalore?
To see the answer from a USA point of view see the statement below, issued by US Embassy U.S Citizen Services: (September 13, 2008)
"Americans traveling or residing in India are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, remain aware of their surroundings, monitor local news reports, avoid crowded places, and take appropriate steps to bolster their personal security. If unattended packages are spotted, American citizens should immediately exit the area and report the packages to authorities. "
http://newdelhi.usembassy.gov/warden_information.html -- Originally from newdelhi.usembassy.gov website, but no longer active.
It is clear from the above statement US Govt itself does not want to discourage its citizens from traveling to Bangalore or India. It is only warning its citizens to be more careful about unattended packages.
Why the recent terrorist attacks cannot affect the daily business in Bangalore or in India?
There are many points.
One can list 100 other reasons why there cannot be any danger for foreigners traveling to Bangalore or India. Partly, this may be the reason why US Govt is NOT bothered to warn its own citizens NOT to travel in India.
- Terrorists are not specifically targeting any foreigner or foreign establishment.
- Though it may be the intention of the terrorists to send wrong signals against doing business in Bangalore or India, they are not targeting the business houses either, but their focus is to create panic in the society by planting bombs in crowded places.
- The elections are approaching. Many forces are interested to fish in troubled waters. Funniest thing is that USA itself may be (may not be also) interested to see that, the focus is shifted from the embarrassments and controversies related to Nuclear agreements. There are many others who are getting benefited because of the recent terror attacks; not just terrorists.
- The stated objective of the terrorists strikes is to highlight their perception that, those who were punished in past are mostly innocent people and they wanted to let the world know their message. Targeting the business houses does not seem to be their immediate goal.
- Local people are not getting panicked. Life is normal one day after the bomb blasts. There is no communal polarization in the society unlike in the aftermath of Mumbai bomb blasts a decade ago. There could be some deliberate political propaganda and such propagandas making some impact; however there is no large-scale communal polarization at all.
- Business in Bangalore and India is facing slow down. There is more serious threat to Business here other than terrorism. If the business is not happening, that is more due to other factors including global slowdown; and not terrorism.
- IT industry itself is not concentrated in Bangalore alone compared to a decade back. India is a vast geographic territory. What happens in one part of the city does not make any impact in other part of the same city; not to talk about another regional state.
- Terrorists are said to be home- grown ones. They don’t use RDX. They have limited resources. Though they put the government in an embarrassing situation, recent incidents show that these terrorists are lacking huge resources. They may be relatively successful in targeting public market areas, but they obviously lack ability to infiltrate into high security areas and Corporate offices.
- The religious minority, they claim to represent do not sympathize with them. It is Ramzan month, any devoted religious person would never like to see these unfortunate incidents happening in India any time, particularly during Ramzan month.
- Normally once a city is targeted by terrorists, they don’t strike again immediately in the same city. This is partly because people are more alert during this period.
In this context it is very unlikely that the Hospitality business or Service Apartments business getting affected in the long run. However there could be some doubts in the minds of some people from abroad. No regular business traveler is expected to cancel his/her trip to Bangalore or India. Our experience shows that even a heavy rain may cause some people canceling their visit to India from a foreign country. Similarly there could be a small number of travelers canceling their travel to India. But in general, there wont be any major impact on the Hospitality industry or Service Apartments business due to the recent bomb blasts.