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Ritchie StreetIn 1970, in the heart of Chennai, adjacent to Mount Road (Anna Salai), on a tiny street called, Ritchie Street, five shops, dealing in electronic component spare parts opened up. In five years, this tiny market had 25 shops, with people from all over Tamil Nadu coming here to purchase electronic component spare parts, for assembling electronic equipment.

Ritchie Street was developing rapidly, but the sales tax structure proved to be a major hindrance to growth. The Sales tax of 12% was a big turn-off for customers and the state was also losing a lot of revenue through unbilled sales. Despite this, the market progressed and between 1982 and 1990, 125 more shops had come up. Under President's rule, Dr. P.C. Alexander, the then State Governor, reduced Sales Tax from 12% to 2% and Central Sales Tax by 1%. This bold step encouraged big names like Bharat Electronics Limited, Meltron, Philips, Keltron and others to set shop on Ritchie Street.

As demand grew, people (especially form North India) who recognised the market potential for electronic goods on Ritchie Street, started setting up shop here. By 1982, 175 shops covered most of Ritchie Street up to Mount Road. Today the shops are spread over Ritchie Street, Narasinghapuram Street, Meeran Shaib Street and Waller's Road.

Ritchie StreetMr H Chandalia, Secretary, South India Radio and Electronic Traders Association (who has been in Ritchie Street for over 30 years now) says, "Another highlight of Ritchie Street is its cassette industry. Nearly 50,000 audio cassettes, blank and recorded, are being produced daily. What sets apart Ritchie Street is the service facilities it offers for each type of product that is sold here".

Today, with more than 900 shops, it is the second largest market for Computer spares and peripherals in India.

Approach: After Gaiety and Casino Theatres, the left turn adjacent to Geeta's Coffee centre, Mount Road.

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