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Things happen by accident and not by design... Banning booze... Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Boy, can you beat these? Modi storms Silicon Valley When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's A think tank for Chennai ONGC at KG Basin Mu Sigma – is no more China invests in India IAS invades NDDB... A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Discoms deserve better… Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Valli, they are more marginalised Poor quality of university VCs Editor's Says Preserving for the future WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Music happens Solar, solar everywhere … Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Nuclear power at the nucleus Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Vibrant Gujarat Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Small units prefers to remain small... SoA @ 80 Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Delhi is distant… Silver Years of Madras Musings Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Put expensive assets created to use... Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School No engine for this car This scant respect for Law GM Technology at last! Wise Presidents Delhi returns to BJP Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Editor's Notes Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Muffled voices for merit… Intellectual of rare qualities Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara EEC at the National Media Centre Where a state respects its litterateurs… Quality education through the PPP mode The rise and rise of KCP Breaththrough in malaria control Quality silica from Neyveli Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Engineering seats go abegging Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Return to king coal for urea... The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Noble nonagenarians... How Air-India loses customs... Readers' Mail Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Which side are you, Montek? Paytm karo... Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad The why of tax incentives L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… For whom the MIDS bell tolls? A friendly business group The Gulf aviation boom Gas is the way forward More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Adharma of opposition politics Sweeter prospects for sugar Haul over the coal Excel Generators provide the vital back-up An enemy’s enemy is a friend TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Convulsions in The Hindu Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... 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Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel TELANGANA at last…BUT Cement prices continue to rise… Shanti and Sadhana through Music Fuel for thought When small is no larger beautiful.. Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? When nations steal growth from one another… Airlines in India: cost and space The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ A more liberated TN… An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… CII projects higher growth… Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Build close rapport with business leaders Secularism and anti-Hinduism The rise and fall of Annamalai University Contrarian cousins Five star activism stalls development activity The brown list of Venkitaramanan EVM is tamper-proof Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Sweet news for TN sugar mills More heat than light Polls and promises Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Tatas moving out of urea production... Delhi Chalo... Fortune for Indian Airlines Building loyalty through the stomach Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Welcome GST When the President was rendered homeless… Make standards certification mandatory... Computation of GDP – conundrums continue The sea- saw battle continues... Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Making ‘my Amaravati’... Wanted: a second airport for Chennai TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Tatas moving out of urea production... Gay abandon in pricing Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Come elections, come advertisements... Fortune 500 review The star of Spencers is no more The balancing act Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Kudos to NDTV... Plummeting profits of PSBs …and of a popular trade leader Shipping woes of Chennai companies Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Remembering Indira Sivasailam... The Swadeshi Trump Why this malaise in medical education? TGS- The king storyteller No Maha Koottani in TN... F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Towards speedy justice Should we change the official year? 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 CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? A yen for wastage… S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal A proud Madrasi Shale gas and its shallow future Delhi is distant A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… West Bengal: mindless malignancy When Ratan Tata visited SRM Rahman at CIC Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Solar thermal shines… More tributes to GR TIAM turns a full cycle Demise of a media baron... Moily’s bold thrust TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Tribute CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Streamlining mandatory third party cover CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Welcome focus on core competence Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel B H Kothari - a tribute No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Pharma – overdose of copying Strengthen the base... Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Funding the un-funded S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Waning interest in public discussions… Roaring Ro-Ro facility He continues the focus on social amelioration Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities The Jan Dhan bonanza Tough task taking states together Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Another Indian music maestro at the UN Russi Mody – a tribute Robber barons everywhere IPL type auction for VCs? He saved millions from starvation... Revving up the manufacturing sector Where is Rajaji? A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Multi-faceted Venkat Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Medical costs hit the roof... Kinetic Karnataka A welcome initiative by the judiciary Modi and the lady IPL - no surprise this scam GNS - 100: our first subscriber Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Maximising the micro pricing … Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Mersal magnified An inexplicable neglect
 
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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