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MS Installed Make way for Make in India... Oh my GOLD Technology and economic development should be linked The deluge and the several kindly souls Strategic planning the missing link A historic indirect tax reform Chennai Airport-Ready for a rapid take off... PC please be our Santa It’s raining funds for states. Really? Sowing seeds of hope After all, customer is the king No groundnuts in groundnut oil! Babes In the wood-RBI North block has little clue to curb inflation A dual GST that will protect prosperous states Need for radical RBI reform A gratifying record Welcome rains for damaged roads... Better relations with UK... Economy through the month South India’s 100 most valuable companies TN - so much to offer... How will it PAN OUT The Great Fall When the examiner cheated... Breaking news or breaking credibility? Miles to go... Little surplus after salaries, subsidies and debt servicing Much can be done by us Focus on southern TN... CAD and the emergency thereof Why throw baby with bath water? Truce at Kasturi Buildings Two welcome measures from the chief minister... Need plan over the long term planning Deming awardees galore! INDIA keeps its date with destiny An eventful week with VVIPs of Delhi You too T M Krishna? Rail-road Rajaraman Much ado about nothing Reform this licence to…kill Indian GST – Between extremes… Focus on agriculture and human resources Healthy finances of the Chennai Corporation Kudos to GIM organisers... Outward ho Tryst with GST Tax evaders’ get out of Jail-Free Card Jobs - Lost, Changed or Gained Sardar Sarovar – the seventy year itch Policy Makers An eco-friendly commute in Mysuru Why (not) abolish? Star of the South Ganesh’s mantras 1800 parties registered with EC – Less than 60 contest elections Public investments and welfare will surge In the horns of a dilemma A tale of two Bihar babus CSR, tech revolution and bank crisis They add lustre to Padma Awards A Fine division of responsibilities Low profile moves Well-administered State What the big B should offer? Skewed Economic Zones? Babes In the wood-RBI North block has little clue to curb inflation Research for survival... Welcome move to widen the tax net… If not Tamil Nadu, where else? A blueprint for the future Pool energy prices Cleansing Indian retail Sustainably developing manufacturing sector… Weaving wealth of western Tamil Nadu Welcome Measures. Work for 10X Change Land, land everywhere, but... Industry can’t get it from Mars, yet Wanted: decentralised financial system Trail-blazing Tamil Nadu BJP can now hasten its thrust for reforms
 
Trail-blazing Tamil Nadu
On the southern tip of the Indian map lies Tamil Nadu: a State that has an exciting tradition of civilisation and culture that meshes seamlessly with modern industrial development. Home to enterprising entrepreneurs who belie their conservatism with the hot pace of growth they set. It’s a State that has done for itself very well. It can do still better as the Vision 2023 document envisages.

Tamil Nadu is one of India’s economically advanced states. Not just now; even in the past. Turn to history for proof.

Almost 70 years ago, at the crack of Independence, Tamil Nadu had several industrial units cutting across the state with Madras (now Chennai), Madurai and Coimbatore being the jewels in the crown.

Coimbatore in Western Tamil Nadu had a strong textile and supporting engineering industry. So did Madurai in the south. Chennai had its own rich cluster of industries:  Textile (B&C Mills/Binny) and engineering (Best & Co, Crompton Engineering, Parrys, Simpsons), to name a couple.

The start was good. But it needed progressive and visionary administration to take it forward. Luckily we had such an administration which introduced a slew of investment-friendly policies that drew out and encouraged new generations of entrepreneurs.

Look at the innovation: the Madras Industrial Investment Corporation (now TIIC), set up in 1949,  pioneered development finance. TIIC not only funded industries through term loans, it also extended equity support. In an investment-shy region this was like manna from heaven. In the entrepreneur’s mindset, equity was cheaper than debt!  And most start-ups didn’t have much anyway! The floodgates opened. Hundreds of units were set up in textiles, sugar, cement and other traditional sectors as also in entirely new areas such as aluminium, viscose, staple fibre and paper. So dynamic was TIIC that it later amended its Memorandum and Articles of Association to extend financial and equity assistance to shipping, recognising it as an industry!

The state helped businessmen engaged in trading to seamlessly transition to manufacturing. It was thus the dealers and distributors of popular, imported brands of bicycles, motor cycles and passenger cars, set up manufacturing facilities in collaboration with their principals, mostly in the UK. When the base expanded to the production of commercial vehicles and later tractors, it was a trigger for the mushrooming of a number of auto component manufacturing units. In quick time Chennai emerged strong in the engineering sector and earned the reputation as a strong centre for automobile and auto component manufacture. Along with these grew a flourishing services sector offering, among others, financial services and insurance.

And then the economy opened up in 1991. India shed itself free of Nehruvian socialism and married market economy. Tamil Nadu was ready for the giant leap forward as it had already built a strong base and this came in handy to carry out large volume production.

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