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IE AT 50

We were overwhelmed by the support we received from academics, business leaders, industry bodies, policymakers, scientists and readers of IE, for celebrating the golden jubilee. The deliberations at the conference were well chiseled and rich. We present excerpts of presentation by the 34 speakers:


The Challenges: infrastructure, technology, resource shortage, re skilling
Ramesh Mangaleswaran, Director, McKinsey & Co.

It took 58 years for India to add its first trillion dollars to the economy. The jump from 1 trillion to 2 trillion took eight years. We will move to 3 trillion in 5 years. The march to becoming a 10 trillion dollar economy in 2030 is accelerating.
There are four core challenges: infrastructure, technology, resource shortage and re-skilling.
The world is under-investing in infrastructure to the tune of $ 350 billion a year. About 2.4 billion people are going to join the world’s middle class by 2030. Some 3 million are moving from villages to cities every week.
Technology is a great leveller. For the first time three forces are coming together: (a) low cost of computing, (b) low cost and high-speed availability of communication and (c) lots of data.
Technology will be to the next generation what English was to ours. There are resource shortages. If nothing is done, the demand for water will exceed supply by 50 per cent. Reskilling is a challenge as 15 per cent of today’s workforce is going to be irrelevant by 2030. Degrees are going to get shorter. Imparting skills and training will assume increasing importance.

Yes to technology, no to management resistance

M S Ahluwalia, former Vice Chairman, Planning Commission

Mrs. Indira Gandhi initiated the Green Revolution by overruling three influential opinion-making forces: the Left, the Planning Commission and the Finance Ministry. To push for change, she took a crucial management decision: “yes to technology and no to management resistance.” That is how it should be.
If we want to be a 10-trillion dollar economy, ‘business, as usual’ will not work. In the last 15 years, the average growth rate of the economy was 7.7 per cent. As per this, we will grow at 7.7 per cent for the next 15 years. That is what Kodak, Blackberry thought and we know what happened to them. Challenges of increasing economic growth in a world of technical and institutional changes plus internal revolution of rising expectations are new. The real test is whether we can deliver the results.
For the government to design a good programme, it must talk to the experts. And the experts straddle across both the public and private sectors. But it’s difficult for the private sector to advise the government because it’s difficult to advise people who are going to be regulating you. But the private sector has the skill and the charm and also the ways of getting experts to feed these ideas. This sense of government flexibility to absorb new technology is going to be critical.

China is a sound democracy!

R Thyagarajan, Founder-Chairman, Shriram Group and Director, ECL

We are all comfortable with what is happening in India. We become depressed only when we look at China. The kind of achievement in every field in China in the past 20-25 years is stunning. We should be inspired by what is happening there. We may say that dictatorship is helping China. I feel China is not a dictatorship. It is a sound democracy! Their democracy is confined to a set of people who are committed to the welfare of the nation. Within the Communist Party of China, there is ‘democracy.’ A communist in China is committed to the nation’s prosperity, and, therefore, he has a voice in how the business is run and how the government work is done.
We have to give freedom to our people to criticise.
Kurien’s white revolution, Krishnamurthy’s automobile revolution and Pitroda’s telecom revolution were made by fighting with the government continuously and not hesitating to clash with the bureaucracy.


Why not 8 per cent growth?

Shobana Kamineni, President, Confederation of Indian Industry.

India is the sixth largest manufacturing nation. Reforms such as liberalization of FDI, local content policy in public procurement and implementation of GST have laid a strong foundation for manufacturing. CII identified 28 industries across nine sectors in which India could play a leading role. These include aerospace and defence, auto and auto components, cement, chemicals, engineering, steel, pharmaceuticals, textiles and apparels.
CII has asked the government to ease up general financial rules, make provisions for life cycle cost ownership, government procurement, removal of prior track record clause, domestic purchase preference, expanding employment and setting up multimodal transportation networks. We have to look at each industry and grow it frugally and intelligently.


The five welcome trends

B Santhanam, MD, Saint Gobain Glass India and President (Flat Glass), S. Asia & Egypt

By 2030, 5 trends would emerge: Digitalisation, as everyone is aware, would top the trend. Our economy would be formalised; unorganised sector which is currently 93 per cent in India would be wiped away. Infrastructure development and urbanisation would get further priority. Financialisation would also catch up in India as is already seen in the investment choices of Indian consumers who are already gravitating towards financial products. Finally, our economy would become more inclusive. In particular, participation of women would increase.

TN: focus on select industries

A Vellayan, Former Chairman, Murugappa Group

Tamil Nadu must take 6 or 7 top industries like IT, cement, chemicals and fertilizers, sugar, leather, auto and auto components and make a thorough study of the value chain from raw material to finished products and ensure they are competitive. Ease of doing business and infrastructure development must also be addressed. Over the years competitiveness of industries in the state has declined. Industries are moving to Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka.
Planning Commission must be brought back and sector-specific studies must be carried out. There are a few other issues that the state needs to look at. In the power sector, huge investments made in the windmill sector are idling. In the MSME sector 15.6 lakh entrepreneurs, who provide large employment opportunities, are struggling for survival. Specific actions leading to the resurgence of this sector should be taken. Unless these are addressed, the state will receive investment only for locational, and manpower reasons or to take advantage of the port, which are natural advantages for the state. For everything else, industries will go elsewhere.

There is little private investment…

M V Satish, Whole Time Director & Senior Executive Vice President, L&T

Construction is one of the key drivers of the economy, and Mumbai in particular, has taken the lead. Work on the trans-harbour project, conceived some 50-60 years ago, has started; metro and coastal roads are being planned.
In the housing sector, we are seeing immense growth in Andhra Pradesh. Chandrababu Naidu is providing 350 sq.ft, 400 sq.ft, 430 sq feet of quality housing. Orders from airports are picking up. Even as Chennai’s airport is going for a revamp, (for which L&T has bagged the contract), at least 66 airports will come up in the next 2-3 years. By 2030, an additional 40 per cent of the population will move to urban centres. In other countries, first they build the infrastructure and then the houses. In India we do the other way; this must change with smart cities. Government orders which was 21 per cent in 2016, has become 80 per cent this year. Government has proposed an investment of Rs 5.97 lakh crore for infrastructure in this budget. Work on the railway-freight corridors, Bharat Mala… has started.

Need for sector-specific policies….

C V Sankar, IAS (Retd), former Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu

TN tops in the number of factories and the number of industrial workers. TN is also amongst the top three states in FDI, exports, number of industrial workers and EPF subscribers. TN has more favourable numbers in social sector parameters like infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, number of primary health centres, gross enrolment ratio in schools… In the power sector, the entrepreneurs want us to guarantee availability and price of power in the future. With so many regulatory changes, no government or private sector agency can commit a price five years hence. This is the primary reason why some of the investments have not come into the state.
We must have policies specific to sectors like aerospace, MSME industries, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, petrochemicals… We can develop several industries around Tuticorin port. We have a 1000 km coast waiting for exploitation in terms of marine fisheries. As we have 7 agro climatic zones, agro processing is another area with huge potential.


Privatisation of banks is a necessity

M S Ahluwalia, former Vice Chairman, Planning Commission

The present system of governance in public sector banks makes it impossible for any real improvement to take place in the banking sector. We know from the experience of many other countries that private sector banks can also go terribly wrong. But the reason why such a system will work better is that a privately controlled banking system is well-regulated. Government’s equity share should be reduced below 50 per cent. Finance is the one area where leaving things just to market equilibrium is wrong and you need strong regulation. The present legal system does not empower the RBI to do what a regulator should do with the public sector banks. If in the judgment of the regulator a bank is not being well-run, the regulator should be able to remove the chairman and the top management.
We need a political process where issues are
debated and people become more informed.

Insurance policies will become pull-products
G Srinivasan, Chairman cum Managing Director, New India Assurance Co

At this point of time insurance is largely pushed through intermediaries, agents… But we are seeing people understanding insurance. It will gradually emerge a pull product because, as financial literacy improves, insurance literacy will also improve. This has been the case everywhere in the world in a certain stage of economic development. As the economy grows, per capita income will cross perhaps $5000, and you will see everyone getting insured.

Two pressing issues…

R Seshasayee, Chairman, IndusInd Bank

Let me take two issues: One, structurally we don’t’ have the right solution for funding infrastructure projects; no infrastructure project of long duration would get funded out of bank funds anywhere in the world. For long, we have been discussing the deepening of the long term bond market. Public sector banks step in to bridge this and have found themselves carrying bad loans.
Two, in the insurance sector, one side of the balance sheet addresses issues relating to risk coverage and deepening the penetration of risk coverage. On the other side insurance sector has a very significant role to play in long term investment strategy. This latter issue has not been addressed despite private participation.

Electronic payment is still unchartered…

T V Somanathan, IAS, Principal Secretary/Commissioner-Commercial Taxes & Principal Secretary, Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Department, Government of Tamil Nadu

Public sector banks , so long as they are majorly owned by the government, will be governed by a code of procedures which inhibits decision-making.
The Reserve Bank is an institution which is used to regulating traditional brick and mortar banks. Electronic payment system is uncharted waters for banking, telecommunication, and Information Technology sector.
The actual fiscal deficit of states is close to 3 per cent. That’s why they require the Centre’s permission for their borrowings.
The intellectual class has an obligation to place persuasive arguments before citizens and convince them. So long as you borrow short and lend long, you will need regulation in banking.
I am very optimistic that one way or other, we will eventually muddle through to the right place by 2030.


Technology is now personal

Dr V Sumantran, Chairman, Celeris Technologies

Today technology has come close to people. George Bernard Shaw once noted that for every problem science has solved it has created ten new ones. For a society as advanced as ours, we are entirely unable to handle the massive spread of epidemics like Ebola and Zica.
This problem gets magnified when related to climate. A child growing up in Delhi, Jakarta or Shanghai will probably be smoking the equivalent of 15 cigarettes a day just by going about his or her daily activities. With all these bottles of water, probably India is consuming micro particles of PET and plastics.
With digitisation, we see tremendous risks of cyber security. This affects everything from Chinese or Russian involvement in the US elections to how you use your bank account on a daily basis.

Autonomous cars…
Shivanshu Gupta, Partner, McKinsey & Co

Autonomous driving electric vehicles, shared mobility, connectivity – all of these are feeding into each other. The cost of the lithium battery is going to come down. In India in the next 5 to 7 years at least the two-wheeler and three-wheeler industries, dominated by Indian OEMs- Hero, Bajaj, TVS Motors… will have a significant penetration of electric vehicles.
For companies, this represents a big opportunity. For instance, even steel maker JSW is interested in making an electric car. There is an opportunity for Indian manufacturers to take to the battery system. In the next five years the component revenue pool, will be Rs.15,000 crore!

Focus on basic medical research
Dr K M Cherian, Chairman, Frontier Lifeline Hospitals

Innovation is the ability to harness science and technology into products and services that are better, faster and cheaper to meet human needs. There are specific factors necessary for achieving exponential progress in innovation.
The government has laid the foundation for targeted investments in basic sciences. But not much advances have been made in our country in basic medical sciences. Corporate investments in R&D to develop new medicines and medical equipment are also modest. There is need to focus more on basic medical research.
In medicine, from the first human genome sequence published in 2000, DNA sequencing efficiency, regarding cost and speed, has increased at a breath-taking pace: over the last three decades, the rate of DNA sequencing has accelerated by around two bn times! The same thing is happening with systems biology. Craig Venter is building the most significant human genome sequencing operation in the world.
Significant developments have also revolutionised cell biology. We have been trying to develop/ grow stem cells from the bone marrow of sheep in Mediville.

Innovate for India
Dr Anand Tanikella, Director-R&D, Saint Gobain Research India Pvt Ltd, Boston

India is a hot, humid, dusty and a noisy country. Our consumer is frugal. How do we innovate for India? Can we find a different way of solving the energy problem? We don’t need to work on the western model.
We have spent 20 years experimenting in the west; at our Rs.300 crore SGRI project in India, we have innovated several things.
We set up the R & D company, SGRI, mainly for India at the IIT-Madras Research Park. It provides the connection between science and technology and the market. Taking science from the IIT, we apply it for innovating new products for the market. We are connected globally as well, accessing science from global institutions.
An IIT-Madras professor helped us with the science of acoustics. In 6 months we found a solution: at a crowded cafeteria at a large IT company, we reduced the noise level by 10 to 12 decibels.
With IIT-Madras we are also working on affordable housing.


Increase productivity…
F C Kohli, former CEO, TCS

The productivity of agriculture in China is 2.5 times and in California six times that of India. There is the need to apply science, and technology to agriculture. The thousands of students who graduate in agriculture engineering or technology are not employed in farming. With our natural endowments, it will not be tough to increase farm productivity.

Bring regulation to agriculture
K Ramasamy, Vice Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University

Agriculture gives 286 milllion tonnes of foodgrains and 302 milllion tonnes of vegetables and fruits every year. This no mean achievement has been achieved through the use of science and technology. Unfortunately, the farming community accounting for 58 per cent of the workforce has not been benefiting in a big way from economic development.

In Tamil Nadu in the last seven years the number of farm families has fallen by 37.5 per cent. Farmers grow their produce as they like. Because of this non-regulation, production is made often in excess of demand and price goes down. When, with lower production price increases, the beneficiary is not the farmer. Today agriculture is a profession and is supporting 33 disciplines.
Like for industry, please bring in some regulation for agriculture too.

Wanted consistent agriculture policy
Dr G Ravi Prasad, President-Marketing, Coromandel International Ltd

If you look at production, we are at the top in pulses, oilseeds, cotton, fruits and vegetables. In sugarcane, we are number two. In cereals, we are number three. India is the 3rd largest agriculture producer globally. But per capita land holding is coming down, nutrient usages are not good; even compared to Bangladesh, mechanisation is extremely weak and crop protection is low. We have problems with irrigation and water availability. We use 85 per cent of total water for agriculture and most of that we waste on surface usage. The Maharashtra government has enacted a new rule: from 2019 there will be no more surface irrigation for sugarcane and only drip irrigation. Why should the other states not adopt this?
India needs a consistent agriculture policy practised in continuity.

Go for land agglomeration and contract farming
S Viswanathan, Managing Trustee, ACMF

The MAJOR problem is our highly fragmented landholdings that do not lend for the application of science, technology or innovation, or for attracting investments. The two significant things immediately needed are agglomeration of land holdings and contract farming. The good news is that contract farming will be introduced in Tamil Nadu. This will attract corporate investments.
ITC once played a big role in developing contract farming and focussed on exports. But unfortunately, when the farmer got a better price in the market, he broke the contract with the corporate and sold his produce to new customers. ITC, that provided quality seeds, technology as also finance, lost interest and withdrew. Government should address the issue of the sanctity of contracts.
Agglomeration of land holdings is a critical issue. We suggest long-term leasing of land without alienating ownership. States like Punjab and Rajasthan allow leasing land over 15 years without alienating ownership. This will help agglomerate the small land holdings that will lend for application of science, technology, farm mechanisation and holistic management. This will attract newgen entrepreneurs with resources.
India can target large exports of agri products. China imports over 60 million tonnes of soybean. Madhya Pradesh is an efficient producer of soybean. Why can’t we dedicate large farms for producing soybean for export to China? We can select crops that are in demand globally and concentrate on exports.


Demographic dividend could blow
V Pattabhi Ram, Partner, Yoganandh & Ram

If India thinks that it has to be on the global high table in 2030, it needs to ensure that its population is upskilled and relevant. India’s young people are its most prominent asset that can bring substantial demographic dividend. But if this population does not upskill itself, this demographic dividend can become a ticking time bomb and could blow.

The loan model for training
Kalyan Chakravarthi, Executive Director, Pan-IIT Foundation

We worked with state and district bureaucracy of Jharkhand to change the rules of education and vocational training. We looked at our beneficiaries as real consumers. That is why we have a loan model where they take a loan and pay for their training. We have a 100 per cent placement record for all our trainees. Otherwise, they won’t be able to repay the loan. The whole exercise results in development, the ultimate goal.

No clarity on skills required in 2030
N Lakshmi Narayanan, former Vice-Chairman, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Chairman, ICT

In India, by 2030, workers employed in the agricultural sector will be coming down to 10-12 per cent. The present surplus has to find gainful employment in other sectors.
In the manufacturing sector, technology is used to improve quality, efficiency and productivity. Unless massive new capacity is created, it is unlikely that we will see an increase in the number of jobs in that sector. Information technology industry, which gave employment to several lakhs of people over the last 15-20 years, is also going through a down cycle. Where manual effort is required, machines and robots will take over; where some little intelligence is required, artificial intelligence and machines that can understand, will be taking over. Technology is going to lead to a great deal of shift in employment patterns not just in the developed world but also in developing countries. Our problem is somewhat more serious because we have a large workforce in the millennial group aged 18-35. So the big question is what do we do when machines do everything, both physical and intellectual work? What is the type of skill required for the future – for 2030? There is no clear answer. MIT has suggested five desirable future work skills: 1. Judgment; 2. Decision making; 3. Fluency of ideas; 4. Active learning; 5. Learning strategies; 5. Originality.
Which are the industries that are going to grow rapidly globally? A report from the World Economic Forum names four industries whose contribution to the global GDP is around 12-14 per cent today and will climb to 18-20 per cent in the next ten years, as the front runners.
They also ranked the industries 1. Aviation, space-research, defence and defence-related industries. 2. Healthcare, specifically pharmaceuticals, bio-technology, bio-medicine, healthcare devices. 3. Electronics, software, hardware technologies and communication. 4. Alternate source of energy. It ’s worthwhile to note these will be the sunrise industries for the future, at least for the next 5 – 10 years. There is more statistics. There is a list of industries that contribute to more than 20 per cent growth in the next ten years. Only 10 per cent of jobs that are done by people today will grow by 10 per cent or more in the next ten years. 25 per cent of the jobs that are being done today will decline by at least 10 per cent over the next ten years. The remaining 65 per cent of the jobs is anybody’s guess.

Convert failed engineering colleges to occupational institutions

Dr M Anandakrishnan, former Vice Chancellor, Anna University and former Chairman, IIT-Kanpur

India has no education policy either at the Centre or the state. As a result, there is mindless growth in educational institutions creating a new set of problems. Private institutions look upon education as a profitable business; government institutions look upon education merely at increasing the gross enrollment ratio and as part of political agenda. Where do we go from here?
In Tamil Nadu, last year the results of some 40 engineering colleges had zero per cent pass. Nearly 400 out of the 446 institutions had less than 25 per cent pass.
Engineering colleges that are producing less than 15 per cent pass rate can be converted into occupational institutions. These occupational institutions can go for training in artificial intelligence, Internet…emerging technologies like robotics that are occupation- oriented. Successful students who come out of these institutions can get jobs as also skill development; they can also be job creators.

India’s education system committed to the ICU
Dr Bhamy Shenoy, Pratham, USA

Recently Pratham published the annual survey of education report based on interviews of youth between 14 and 18. 35 per cent of these could not name the capital of India. 25 per cent could not read a second-grade level text. Less than 15 per cent could not do three-digit division.
Today our educational institutions are interested in faring well in the public exams. I suggest: get rid of the public exams. Have one super department for education in each state. Decentralise education at the taluk level.

Rescale education
H R Srinivasan, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, TAKE Solutions

The education system must focus on something that the population cannot solve. So many colleges are producing engineering, arts and science graduates who are in no way going to be relevant in the future. The government must think of matching demand with supply by looking at how educational institutions can be directed towards this. In the private sector, we call it rescaling or repurposing of people. Repurposing of educational institutions is not a bad idea to be led to where the demand takes place.
Clinical research is our company’s main activity. We do the analytics and submit to the regulatory institution for approval. This requires skilled clinical research assistants (CRA) to continuously monitor the trial protocol. There is great demand for CRAs who get absorbed fully by the industry.

Only government can deliver healthcare
Dr R Venkataswami, Founder, Department of Plastic Surgery, Stanley Medical College & Hospitals

After spending a quarter century in public hospitals, it’s my firm belief that this country can provide healthcare mainly through the public system. No doubt corporate hospitals are doing an excellent job; they have brought state-of-the-art facilities. But they are touching only a microscopic minority of the Indian population.
Government hospitals have to be better-equipped and the mindset of the doctors and paramedics have to change.

Medical inflation in geometric progression…
Dr Prakash Subbarayan, COO, Star Health Insurance

There is mixed news. Life expectancy of India is now 68 years. Per capita income of the people is rising. The share of the elite has moved up from 1.5 to 5 per cent. Modern advancements in medicine are on the rise. Medical costs are going up. If general inflation happens in arithmetic progression, medical inflation happens in geometric progression. The incidence of diabetes, hypertension, cancer … are on the rise. So there is a high potential for health insurance business in India.
Much has to be done to address the gaps in the healthcare ecosystem by health insurance people becoming health financiers. When we started, insurance used to be a reimbursement. Today it has moved from reimbursement to cashless. Conventional treatment became a precision-made treatment eg. in cancer we used to reckon survival of five years to ten years; now we are not talking about survival but the quality of life. It is not how long the patient is going to live after diagnosis, but with what quality. That is how medical science is evolving.

We are among the best health-insured states in India
Dr J Radhakrishnan, IAS, Principal Secretary – H&FW, Government of Tamil Nadu

When we talk of public health, we speak of science and art of preventing diseases, prolonging life and making informed choices.
Many a time we ignore the challenge of numbers. In Tamil Nadu, in a day, public sector hospitals treat six lakh outpatients and 65,000 inpatients. We cover 1.5 crore population with an insurance scheme which covers up to Rs.2 lakh a year for 1027 procedures. We are one of the best-insured states in India.
We are now among the top 3 states in providing healthcare. We have set the agenda that by 2023 we should reach the levels a developed country has achieved.
A major challenge is disease control. Last year we identified the first zica case in an isolated place in a forest area. TN has a vast spread of primary health centres (PHC). Recently in Denkanikottai, amidst a forest, there was an unfortunate fire accident. Yet at the last post before the area, there was a primary healthcare centre that provided quick relief. The nearest hospital is at Bodinayakanur, 16 km away.

Life beyond cancer
Ruby Ahluwalia, Founder & Managing Trustee, Sanjeevani

In 2009, I was diagnosed with stage-three cancer. I went to the Tata Memorial Hospital, which treats both private and general patients. That was the time I saw so much of misery at the same time and at the same place. People were fighting for foot space in the hospital. Some were sitting on the floor with tubes in their noses and throats. When I looked at them I would think they were going through an experience similar to mine but without any of the resources that I had.
It took me around three years to get back to my feet and to resume my work. I wanted to do something to alleviate the sufferings of cancer patients. I registered Sanjeevani – Life beyond cancer. The intent was to work with underprivileged cancer patients in India and to work in the space between the doctor and the patient. I noticed when somebody gets cancer, the doctor is his or her God. You rush to the hospital, and you think when you meet the doctor, your problems will get solved. But what happens is that every patient gets 3-4 minutes with the doctor. So, when the patient comes out, his world is shattered.
I wanted to be in the space between the doctor and the patient, fill up space and to work with the cancer survivors. Because cancer-survivors have gone through the journey themselves, they have the empathy in place and they needed to be rehabilitated emotionally, financially and physically.
We started the first project in Mumbai. Today, we are working in nine hospitals spread across the country. I am trying to work in one city of every state in the next four years.
I noticed that if I have cancer survivors to do this handholding of cancer patients, then they need to be adequately trained. In our four-month training programme where cancer survivors are trained to become cancer care givers. Next, we started a wellness centre in each of the places we work. The 36 session course, has psychotherapy, emotional freedom, yoga and pranayama, nutrition, dance movement therapy …
Last year Sanjeevani impacted the life of 25,000 cancer patients. We work only in government hospitals. Every illness which happens in our body is 80 per cent a mental game. That needs to be addressed.


My smart city will focus on ease of living…
Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Economist

India has been among the fastest growing economies in the world in the last 20-25 years. However, there is a huge deficit in public services, delivery of safe drinking water, sanitation, air quality, public transport… It would be a flawed regime which looks only at the ease of doing business and not at the ease of living.
Two-thirds of our population is of working age and this young population has rising incomes and even faster-rising aspirations. Two-thirds of our GDP is generated in Indian cities and towns and three-fourths of our GDP will be generated there by 2030. So, imagine what the situation would be if we don’t fix our cities. They must be provided with an environment for the country to continue to grow and be connected with the rural sector. We have to have an urbanisation which builds synergy with our rural sector. We have to really plan and implement all of these together. That’s my vision of 2030.
Technology alone will not deliver smart cities. A city is smart when the residents of a city demand good governance and the government, with the help of technology and reforms, delivers better public services in a transparent and accountable manner. That’s the kind of smart cities I would like to see.

A tribute to IE
K Gnanadesikan,IAS, Addl Chief Secretary, Industries Department, Government of Tamil Nadu

Mr Viswanathan, a senior journalist has specialised the fields of industry and economy. It is a Himalayan achievement to run an economic journal for 50 years, especially from distant south. It is easy to run such a magazine from Delhi where you get all the attention. In the last 50 years he has covered every aspect of the country’s economic as well as industrial development and almost all the front line states in terms of
economic development.
I wish this magazine many more years of productive contribution to India’s economy and industrial development.

The neglected ‘capital’ of India
Suresh Krishna, CMD, Sundram Fasteners

We take people for granted. That’s probably because India has so many people, we look at them as a dispensable commodity. And we don’t attach the kind of value to the people employed that we attach to money, machines or technology.
People come to work in an industry in India, with dreams in their eyes. They come from poorer sections of India. They want to make a future for themselves. They look at the supervisory staff or MD, as mentors, as somebody who will guide them to achieve their dreams. Now it is up to the management to see that their dreams are realised. If you make them realise their dreams of advancing in their career and achieving their goals of a better standard of living, they will be thankful and will be attached to the company. They will begin to understand what you really want out of them and what they are supposed to give.
Once you gain that trust, then you can pretty well mould the company into the image you want. Once you earn the trust, then the workforce is with you. If you set milestones and achieve them there is a pride of possession, pride in working for the company.
Now just imagine, if you can do that to a company, you can do that to India!

TN the second biggest economy of India
M C Sampath, Minister of Industries, Government of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has the maximum number of industries, in the organised sector. Skilled and well- educated technical manpower, excellent infrastructure facilities, peaceful law and order conditions, abundance of skilled manpower, peaceful and harmonious industrial relations, availability of land in developed industrial parks, uninterrupted power supply, excellent port logistics with 4 major modern ports and 23 minor ports, availability of good and reliable infrastructure, make TN the preferred investment destination.
TN has received Rs 17,745 crore of FDI, which constitutes 7.67 per cent of total and ranked fourth in terms of actual FDI inflows during 2017. Government of Tamil Nadu has taken several measures to boost industrial development. In continuation of the success of GIM 2015, the government has proposed to conduct the second Global Investors’ Meet in January 2019.
The government of TN has recently enacted the TN Business Facilitation Act for ensuring ease of doing business. We work to achieve the dream of becoming the top investment destination not only in the country but in South Asia.

A larger economic impact through gender equality
Rajani Seshadri, Executive Coach & Adviser

the McKinsey & Co Female Empowerment Index lists gender parity in the states of India. Mizoram has the highest Femdex with 0.7 and Bihar stands last with 0.42. The major issue of concern is that five states which have lower gender inequality account for 4 per cent of the working-age population whereas five states with the highest inequality account for 32 per cent.
To bridge the gap, society and corporates should take the following steps. The first one is to have a well-established education sector which concentrates on educating women. Support systems should be provided by corporates and the responsibility falls ultimately on women themselves. Unless they take steps to improve, no change will occur.
Tamil Nadu has 996 women for 1000 men. The state has over 45.6 per cent female gross enrolment ratio in higher education. The most respected engineering and doctor professions contain 30 per cent women. In the last 30 years TN had a woman chief minister for 15 years and two women chief secretaries in the last 10 years. TN and Kerala are leading South India from the front in women empowerment.
My dream is to see South India leading the way to be an inclusive, economic powerhouse, where women are 30 per cent of top leaders, 30 per cent of entrepreneurs, 40 per cent of the non-agricultural workforce and 50 per cent of entry-level employees in all the sectors in 2030. At least 20 per cent of the board of all the entities should contain women.
– With inputs from V Pattabhi Ram and V Durga

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