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A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Tatas moving out of urea production... Shipping woes of Chennai companies TGS- The king storyteller Haul over the coal Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Medical costs hit the roof... Telangana in top gear… Russi Mody – a tribute He saved millions from starvation... Revving up the manufacturing sector IPL type auction for VCs? Waning interest in public discussions… A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Paytm karo... TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector West Bengal: mindless malignancy Revive development banks... CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Streamlining mandatory third party cover IAS invades NDDB... Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu A more liberated TN… Shanti and Sadhana through Music For whom the bell tolls? Remembering Indira Sivasailam... MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! A friendly business group Modi storms Silicon Valley A proud Madrasi Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform The Jan Dhan bonanza Polls and promises How Air-India loses customs... Banning booze... Discoms deserve better… Tatas moving out of urea production... No engine for this car Lalu’s envy, India’s pride More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Robber barons everywhere SoA @ 80 EVM is tamper-proof Shale gas and its shallow future Quality silica from Neyveli Quality education through the PPP mode Strengthen the base... Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW The nuclear option Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Put expensive assets created to use... Parliament in paralysis... 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The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Cement prices continue to rise… Road development slows down TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Where a state respects its litterateurs… Why land prices zoom in TN? Gas is the way forward The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Wanted: a second airport for Chennai ONGC at KG Basin London, London Narayan Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria When online building permits work…. Tribute – M V Murugappan Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Tax agriculture Small units prefers to remain small... Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Excel Generators provide the vital back-up A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Contrarian cousins Demise of a media baron... Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! When small is no larger beautiful.. When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's A professional at the helm of IRDA... TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Delhi returns to BJP Poor quality of university VCs Vibrant Gujarat When nations steal growth from one another… Building loyalty through the stomach Tough task taking states together Align crops to agro climate endowments… Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami He continues the focus on social amelioration Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Cutting the nose to spite the face Tribute – UCAL Selvan… New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Kulandai was a giant Editor's Notes Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... 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Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Editor's Says TIAM turns a full cycle The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Multi-faceted Venkat Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked GM Technology at last! Things happen by accident and not by design... An inexplicable neglect Pharma – overdose of copying Wise Presidents L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Make standards certification mandatory... Valli, they are more marginalised Muffled voices for merit… Plummeting profits of PSBs Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Protest masters... More tributes to GR Moily’s bold thrust The Swadeshi Trump Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Welcome GST Preserving for the future Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara PC’s preference for professionals Mersal magnified Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Making ‘my Amaravati’... S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist WTO Meet: resolved to meet again China invests in India
 
Build close rapport with business leaders

There is urgent need for the TN chief minister and the minister of industry to build close rapport with business leaders. This has been done by successful chief ministers like Narendra Modi and Chandrababu Naidu. I cite the instance of Chandrababu Naidu effectively using this to enrich Hyderabad. He interacted closely with A Ramakrishna (AR), who took L&T Construction to great heights. Naidu had great trust and belief in the capabilities of AR. The latter lent his expertise in full - from building the Hitec City that attracted global IT majors like Microsoft, the Hitex Exhibition and the National Construction Academy, all creations of L&T Construction. This spread to other parts of AP - eg. L&T constructed in record time a massive water supply scheme for Tirumala Hills. Any and every project of significance in AP was entrusted to L&T. 

An immediate fallout of this was the emergence of a large number of civil engineering firms in AP.  GVK, GMR and dozens of others evolved as giants in the construction field working across the country and in several countries abroad. I noticed the latest entrant, Amara Raja Constructions of the Gallas who have also been making a mark in politics. 

Look at the contrast:  L&T Construction is headquartered in Chennai and has to its credit a large number of innovative projects in the Chennai metro and the state.  L&T pioneered concepts like toll roads and special purpose vehicles for a number of projects, including bridges, roads, the Bengaluru International Airport … At short notice L&T constructed the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and got it ready for an international sports meet. Yet the state leadership, with its demand for ‘speed money’ and cuts in contracts, kept L&T Construction at arm’s length. The massive expansion of L&T Construction’s business had little share of construction contracts in Tamil Nadu. Of course the company did make handsome investments in its shipbuilding and port facilities and in several large industrial ventures in Coimbatore. 

The experience of the other business leaders of the state is not very different. Most of them have been investing on expansion outside. I commend the chief minister constituting a high power think-tank of leaders from business and academe and entrust them with the task of economic development - not the pinjrapole-type state planning commission to accommodate friends and admirers. 


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