Gujrat: evolution. Bihar: extortion. ‘Industry today’

By Priya Chetty on March 10, 2009

And so it emerges from our study (field survey) that a staggering 19% of our citizens feel Guj CM Narender Modi is the right person for the job. Astonishing, since the last time we had such a dedication was when Indira Gandhi filled the seat.”
Why is it that everytime we switch to CNBC or NDTV, we hear of how many new companies have moved to Gujarat for a business set-up? I mean, why don’t people pick Bihar, for instance? Its just as much as land and legislature as Gujarat or Maharashtra.

In today’s world, if you believe starting off in Patna is the same as starting off in Jamnagar, you’re obviously dreaming. Businessmen still feel there couldn’t be a worse place to invest, which is saying something, since the two lands we speak about belong to the same nation.

What, then, are the conditions that make Gujarat or Maharashtra an ideal investment destination, and Bihar or Chattisgarh just the entrepreneur’s nightmare?

Basically, its all about the seed. You cannot hope for an apple on the turnip seeds you planted. In Bihar, it is the government that plants the seeds of crime. Will the common man there feel the need to work his butt out for the money that can easily be extracted through a threat? No. obviously not. Extortion calls have been an issue in Eastern/North-eastern states for as long as history can remember. In Bihar, if you earn an income of more than 50k a month, you’re off. The extortionists will eat u up with just their threats. And you know the shocking part? Its their MLAs and CM and police who lead the crime.

You mean in so many years of independence, there hasn’t been a government in Bihar who have worked for their state earnestly? How then, is the state surviving?

It lives off the central government’s money. Business schools teach about MNCs and corporate but the Indian economy is actually surviving on the small scale industries. And not once, in the past few decades has the state seen a positive turn. Poverty is driving the people, so young as 12 into crimes most unimaginable. Kidnapping has become an industry here. Right from doctors to railway employees to businessmen feel insecure about their source of income, their homes, right upto their kids. No one is spared. Only half their population sleeps soundly in their beds, and it is the population that is involved in the crime.

OK, these apart, what makes Gujarat a good investment option?
Infrastructure. Look at the state, and you’ll know that’s where you belong. The power generation capacity of the state is 8.6% of the country, has a pipeline network of 1000 kms, which is 22% of the countrys pipeline network, foundation of two SEZs being developed by city-based Dishman group in Bavla taluka. There has not been a single day when factories and industrial units have remained shut in the state. Compare this to states like Bihar and Uttarakhand where you have to fill the governments’ fat belly with several million rupees just for 220 KV of power. Those states have conned the small scale industrialists with the excise benefits, now they feel they are all doomed to hell. India has sure come a long way with just one man, Modi. What if Tata’s Nano had rolled out in Bihar?

Simple! Government will first allow them to set them up their plants, once done:

  1. Politicians will come one by one to extort their shares in Bribes.
  2. Bihar will not have a Zero budget, they have been showing so far.
  3. Naxalities in Bihar will have a exclusive free Nano rolled for themselves.

Super Facts:

  1. 24 Nov. 2005: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar promises a crime-free Bihar. Our priorities are not impossible. Let’s wait for some time, things will show improvement. It is only good governance and a crime-free state that will bring development.” On September 13, 2006, MLA Mr. Sarayu Paswan lodges a complaint against Nitish Kumar’s son for allegedly threatening a shopkeeper for extortion.
  2. Bihar State Road Transport Corporation, estimates that in the last 10 years to 12 years about Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 12,000 crore of business capital has gone out of Bihar. The money was intented to be used for infrastructure development, but no one knows where the money eventually went.
  3. September 2006: Gangster Pintu Yadav demanded Rs.10 million from contractors of another company engaged in road construction in Madhepura district, Excel Venture Construction Co. Since then the construction work has come to a halt.
  4. Sep 06, 2007: IDO Construction and Industries Ltd, a company running stone quarry for road construction in Lakhisarai district lodged an FIR against BJP MLA Prem Ranjan Patel and charged him with demanding extortion money.
  5. Naxalites collect more than Rs 15 crore each year from Gadchiroli, Gondia and Chandrapur districts alone during the plucking season of the tendu leaf, a forest produce that goes into the making of a beedi. They buy arms with most of it. They presently plan to up the amount to Rs.25 crore.

According to a March 2007 document of the Bihar Police, 30 of its 38 districts have been affected by Maoist activities. They hate NGOs, they advocate that education will not bring any change in their (the Dalit children’s) future lives, but that the bullet can restore their lost social status. Therefore, these children turn out to become hard-core Naxalites. 22 NGOs in Gaya district have been issued show-cause notices for their Maoist link

Priya is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Project Guru, a research and analytics firm based in Gurgaon. She is responsible for the human resource planning and operations functions. Her expertise in analytics has been used in a number of service-based industries like education and financial services.

Her foundational educational is from St. Xaviers High School (Mumbai). She also holds MBA degree in Marketing and Finance from the Indian Institute of Planning and Management, Delhi (2008).

Some of the notable projects she has worked on include:

  • Using systems thinking to improve sustainability in operations: A study carried out in Malaysia in partnership with Universiti Kuala Lumpur.
  • Assessing customer satisfaction with in-house doctors of Jiva Ayurveda (a project executed for the company)
  • Predicting the potential impact of green hydrogen microgirds (A project executed for the Government of South Africa)

She is a key contributor to the in-house research platform Knowledge Tank.

She currently holds over 300 citations from her contributions to the platform.

She has also been a guest speaker at various institutes such as JIMS (Delhi), BPIT (Delhi), and SVU (Tirupati).



4 thoughts on “Gujrat: evolution. Bihar: extortion. ‘Industry today’”