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Hanuman jumps in auto, electronic technologies A culture of R&D... The unreal estate When Eicher bites the Bullet... Rise and fall of PVN... From the very beginning Salem steel waiting for its sheen The rise, fall and rise of India Cements The white trigger at Erode Remembering SV Mrs Gandhi storms back, MGR unshaken in his fortress MY LOVE FOR AGRICULTURE The green years When feedstock change worked havoc... Travails and thrills... This foray into economic journalism... Green Jubilee for agricultural research Editorially reinforced and redesigned Hand composing to desk top publishing… When fertilizer production shifted to North and West... Kurien visits Erode... The slippery story of crude The years of consolidation, second bomb, and hope How Chennai missed the bus? (rail!) The sea change Music, music everywhere… Power progress The rise and fall of the Madras Press Club Where a co-operative paid bonus; helped eradicate caste bias... Takeover tycoons... Birth of IE Major storms during the explosive years He took public sector to commanding heights... When comes such another! When cooperatives pushed out private dairies... Budgets through the years…
 
From the very beginning

What better way to record the last milestones of the memory lane than to recall the early days of Industrial Economist, recounted with such nostalgia and pride in the 2013 April issue? Appropriately, the article began with an excerpt from the speech of a top industrialist of the South at the launch of IE’s precursor on 3 December 1962, five decades and a half to the month. With, then chief minister M Bhaktavatsalam, seated on the dais, A M M Mugurappa Chettiar, head of the Murugappa group of companies, said: "when Editor Viswanathan asked me to preside over the function, I agreed readily. As in everything else, whether in trade or industry or commerce, any spirit of adventure deserves to be welcomed. In the industry, I always welcome more and more of first generation entrepreneurs. In technology fields, I welcome the increase in the number of qualified and able technicians. In the sphere of publications too, I welcome explorations into new fields. It requires courage to enter this sphere on one's own. I also feel that, consistent with our growth in the industrial sphere and also the rapidity with which we are putting India in the industrial map of the world, it should add more number of specialised journals of specific interest. It is a matter of particular pleasure that our chief minister Sri M Bakthavatsalam is participating in this function." Two years earlier was born Mobile, a trade magazine devoted to transport and travel, and the young entrepreneur’s first foray into journalism after a brief stint with teaching economics at colleges. 

 

No money no worry

The voyage from Mobile to Industrial Economist was brief but filled with adventure as the entrepreneur pursued his goal with a single-minded purpose – and on the philosophy "No money, no worry." His travel around the country by road and rail and then abroad, first to the U.K and then to Europe proved a turning point. Here is how: “the visit to Europe (it was said to be the first time that such facility was extended to a non-European journalist) provided deep insights into industry and management: Europe was booming with the post-war reconstruction almost complete. A single auto manufacturer, Volkswagen was producing 6200 cars a day! India was producing in three plants around 20,000. The visit led to the phasing out of Mobile and launch of IE.”   

The April issue had more meaty developments to record: the DMK’s second departure, this time from the Congress-led UPA and the Tamil Nadu budget which continued to focus on welfare. “The absence of thrust on development, particularly reforming the agriculture sector to increase production, is a matter for concern,” said a comment.

 

In past forward mode...

The year 2014 saw a political sea change, and the country headed for it. History beckons Modi,’ proclaimed the cover of the June issue which came after the general election that saw the BJP led by Narendra Modi secure a majority in the Lok Sabha, breaking three decades of the rule at the Centre by coalitions. The headlines from the issue tell the story. “Imperative to take states along,” said Inklings, stressing that the Centre should foster close relations with the states, an area where the outgoing UPA II government failed. Editor’s notes compared the successful political strategy of Modi with that of J Jayalalithaa, followed by comments from a cross-section of leaders in business and industry. "Move forward in fast forward mode," advised the comment under Diplomacy, saying it was time to take relations with the neighbouring countries to a higher level. One commentary spoke in praise of the Gujarat model of development (less government, better governance) while other headlines included, "It is about attracting investments, stupid" and "Business wanted Modi to become PM, now it is time to back him up."

“GM technology: the myth and reality”, said the cover of the October 2014 issue. A day-long seminar sponsored by IE had one clear message: let scientists show the way on the efficacy of this technology. Most of the scientist-participants and others stressed the need for carefully moving forward with the use of this technology, one US-based scientist-administrator telling scientists, “you are a live witness that even after eating GM food you have survived,” urging India to go ahead and adopt the technology without fear. Hardly two months later, in January, then Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar announced in the Rajya Sabha the Modi government’s decision to permit research and field trials in genetically modified seed technology.

 

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IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
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