A social media group named Global Thikkodiyas Forum (GTF), by the expatriates of Thikkodi started in 2015 after a looming job crisis in the Middle East. In a first such attempt in the state, the expatriates and foreign returnees of a village came together and mustered the capital for a business enterprise. Over 200 people came together to raise capital worth ₹18 crore. The investment ranged from 1 lakh to a maximum of ₹40 lakh. Each share cost ₹50,000, and an investor had to pay for at least two shares. Out of a total of 207 investors, 147 paid only one lakh rupees each.
Investors Are Ordinary People
The Indian Express quoted GTF Steels Chairman Mohammed Basheer Nadammal, "The major highlight of the venture is that a large section of investors is ordinary people who have small savings, a few lakh rupees after years of toil in the Gulf." However, he added that they would not have been able to partner in a business venture for such an initiative. He said that most people who come back from the gulf invest heavily in the trade or hotel industry, back out after incurring huge losses.
An investor named Ummer Koyilil returned to the village two years ago after working in Bahrain for 18 years said that he previously invested in a small venture, but that did not work out for him. He further added that he invested only one lakh rupees in GTF Steels, giving him exposure to business enterprise. Otherwise, he would have ended up being a small trader only.
Explored Other Business Possibilities
GTF explored other business possibilities like integrated farming and tourism before zeroing upon galvanising to manufacture iron pipes and tubes. The CEO Ishaq Koyilil noted that none of the partners worked at the factory, and the recruitment for the workers was done professionally and they only chose trained workers for the job.