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Delhi is distant Multi-faceted Venkat When Ratan Tata visited SRM A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Cement prices continue to rise… Excel Generators provide the vital back-up A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Silver Years of Madras Musings Making ‘my Amaravati’... The brown list of Venkitaramanan Small units prefers to remain small... Shale gas and its shallow future Gas is the way forward Quality education through the PPP mode When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's B H Kothari - a tribute Editor's Notes Tatas moving out of urea production... ONGC at KG Basin Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW For whom the bell tolls? Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara CII projects higher growth… GNS - 100: our first subscriber Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Quality silica from Neyveli GM Technology at last! Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Mu Sigma – is no more Things happen by accident and not by design... When online building permits work…. 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Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Road development slows down EEC at the National Media Centre Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Tough task taking states together Maximising the micro pricing … CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Which side are you, Montek? Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Readers' Mail Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Robber barons everywhere Computation of GDP – conundrums continue China invests in India The Swadeshi Trump Adharma of opposition politics CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? 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Delhi returns to BJP This scant respect for Law Haul over the coal Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Tribute – M V Murugappan Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Moily’s bold thrust TGS- The king storyteller Vibrant Gujarat TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Increasing non co-operation of state leaders The Gulf aviation boom Editor's Says The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Noble nonagenarians... TELANGANA at last…BUT Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? The balancing act Sri Lanka votes for change Kinetic Karnataka Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai IPL type auction for VCs? EVM is tamper-proof Intellectual of rare qualities Where a state respects its litterateurs… All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Poor quality of university VCs Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research More heat than light Demise of a media baron... Discoms deserve better…
 
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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