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Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks IAS invades NDDB... Engineering seats go abegging Muffled voices for merit… The star of Spencers is no more Airlines in India: cost and space Gay abandon in pricing When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Secularism and anti-Hinduism Robber barons everywhere Boy, can you beat these? A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Another Indian music maestro at the UN A friendly business group The brown list of Venkitaramanan Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Solar, solar everywhere … Fortune 500 review Readers' Mail EEC at the National Media Centre Sri Lanka votes for change He continues the focus on social amelioration Building loyalty through the stomach Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked A think tank for Chennai Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Why land prices zoom in TN? 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TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Russi Mody – a tribute Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi He saved millions from starvation... A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Tribute Should we change the official year? Rahman at CIC EVM is tamper-proof The rise and rise of KCP Mersal magnified Preserving for the future Lalu’s envy, India’s pride R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Put expensive assets created to use... Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Kinetic Karnataka Parliament in paralysis... …and of a popular trade leader Tribute – UCAL Selvan… B H Kothari - a tribute Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? 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No engine for this car Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Small units prefers to remain small... Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Funding the un-funded Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School SoA @ 80 Gas is the way forward The rise and fall of Annamalai University The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Wise Presidents Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. 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 Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Welcome GST
 
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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