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Kerala biz-man opens up job vistas in Saudi Arabia

CK Menon has unveiled business plans that would provide 5,000 jobs, in Saudi Arabia, to Kerala expatriates.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2006 15:33 IST

Qatar-based Kerala businessman CK Menon has unveiled new business plans that would provide 5,000 jobs, mostly in Saudi Arabia, to expatriates from Kerala.

Doha-based Menon, 58, who was recently awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman at the Hyderabad conclave of the Indian diaspora, said the new initiative is basically meant to help job seekers from Kerala get a foothold in the Middle East.

Menon's flagship company is Behzad Transports and he owns six other companies. The total annual turnover of his companies is in excess of Rs 40 billion ($904 million) and he currently employs 600 people.

Primarily engaged in oil transportation, he has recently set up operations in Panama in South America. Currently he operates out of Doha, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Panama.

"For the past three decades, I have been in the transportation sector in the Middle East. This new initiative which has opened up job opportunities is the result of Saudi Arabia relaxing rules on investment promotion," said Menon.

According to the new rule, investors can start their business ventures without support from a Saudi sponsor. Hence the initiative from Menon.

"The new rule takes effect in Saudi Arabia in about six months and I have begun to chalk out potential investment areas. There are 200 items in which investments can be made and most of the units that I have planned will be labour-oriented," said Menon.

Menon expects to start 10 units, with each unit employing around 500 employees.

"Since the investment climate is favourable in Saudi Arabia, a majority of my new production units would be based there and I have already commenced work. I expect most of these units to be on stream by mid-2007," said Menon.

First Published: Feb 07, 2006 15:33 IST