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Star-studded Odisha conclave

In 1994 I met Odisha’s Chief Minister Biju Patnaik at Bhubaneshwar. A colleague of mine and I spent about a month visiting several projects spread across that state. In my interview with the portly Biju Babu, I asked: “Odisha is so rich in natural resources. Sorry for my impudence; you should all be working overtime to keep it so poor!” The brilliant leader considered the Father of Modern Odisha, burst out laughing and provided me with an excellent description of the strengths of Odisha.
In my recent visits, I notice his son Navin Patnaik endeavoring to change the face of the state. These days the state has been recording a growth of over 8 per cent. The suave, US-educated chief minister has succeeded in presenting several honchos of business, on the pattern of Narendra Modi’s Vibrant Gujarat Meets. He organized the second Make in Odisha Conclave 2018 which was attended, among others, by N Chandrasekaran, Mukesh Ambani, Kumarmangalam Birla, Sajjan Jindal and Sanjiv Puri.

Sajjan Jindal, Chairman and Managing Director, JSW Group, was the most positive. He said that Odisha has the potential to become a trillion dollar economy by 2030 and can be the third most industrialised state after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The business leaders outlined exciting plans of investment.

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