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