The Gujarat Government has drawn accolades from all corners. The Indian economic
growth story has found a resounding voice in Gujarat, and Indian State that has
shown to the world that a commitment to growth is the only thing required for
economic success. Clear Government policies and minimal bureaucratic procedures
have ensured that businesses feel safe and wanted in the state. Businesses
ranging from IT/ITES to automobiles have found a foot-hold in Gujarat.
Gujarat is perhaps one of the few Indian states that can boost of four major A
Class cities – Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat and Vadodara. While there are
bigger and more prominent cities in the country, it is quite an achievement to
have four such cities in the same state. However, none of these cities can
compare to Mumbai or Delhi, and that is one area the Gujarat Government can work
at. Sachin’s Ferrari (Sachin Tendulkar – The Great Indian Batsman) was recently
bought by a Surat based businessman. This shows the kind of wealth present in
Gujarat. Surat has always been known as the Diamond Capital of India.
If we look at a sector wise analysis; Agriculture, Education and Power have done
extremely well in Gujarat.
In India, election politics play a very important role in any leader’s success.
Narendra Modi has done really well in making ‘Development’ his major poll plank.
Caste and other such issues have been left fairly behind.
Recent poll results have been quite conducive of Gujarat’s development.
Undoubtedly; Narendra Modi’s first election victory was due to his great
performance in all riot-infected areas, but since then he has ensured that he
wins the confidence of entire Gujarat. If anything, he needs to improve his
performance in those very same ‘riot-infested’ areas.
Although the BJP lost the recently-held Gandhinagar municipal polls; its
performance was an improvement, since Gandhinagar has always been a congress
India is increasingly seeing healthy competition among states when it comes to
grabbing various business projects. Two of India’s most backward states – West
Bengal and Bihar have recently joined the development movement. Bihar is trying
very hard to reposition its Brand Image, and West Bengal has recently had a
state level regime change after 30 yrs. While Narendra Modi did show his
pragmatism earlier, when he inked the TATA NANO deal, he needs to show even more
Every state should try to have a mixture of all industries. A state trying to be
good in only one particular industry/sector; doesn’t suit the purpose. And this
is something the Gujarat Government is well aware of. Gujarat has industries
which cover all domains. A sustainable economy has to be a mixture of services
and manufacturing. A focus on only one can have boomerang effects. The following
are some of the areas wherein the Gujarat Government has really done well:
Tourism: There are many countries that survive only on Tourism. India’s share in
world tourism is abysmally low at less than 1 percent. India needs to recover
lost-ground quickly. Keeping this in mind and recognizing Gujarat’s huge tourism
potential, the Gujarat Government recently launched an advertising campaign with
huge media spends. They roped in Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador. This
was as much a political success as it was a marketing/advertising masterstroke.
We all know the negative publicity the state generated after the Gujarat riots.
For various reasons, this aura of negativity never seemed to end. Thus; to
actually enrol Amitabh for a state campaign at such a time was quite brilliant.
Amitabh Bachchan is one of India’s greatest film/entertainment icons.
The Campaign has been hugely successful and has led to increased tourist flow
into the state. This augurs well not only for Gujarat but for the entire
country. Tourism is one area where India hasn’t (in fact is not even close to)
realising its full potential.
Impeccable Law & Order: Ahmedabad is India’s unofficial education capital. Many
of India’s most premier educational institutions are present in Ahmedabad. The
reasons why Ahmedabad has maintained this honour for such a long duration are
not too difficult to fathom.
Ahmedabad is perhaps India’s most secure city in terms of general law and order.
One can venture out on the roads even during the deepest of night hours. And the
same can be said of all the major Gujarat cities. The crime rate throughout
Gujarat is really low and businesses and citizens feel extremely safe.
Businesses have never complained of shut-down due to some or the other law and
Land Acquisition Policy: Gujarat has one of the best land acquisition policies
in the country. There haven’t been any farmer/rural agitations in the state. All
the farming and rural community is extremely satisfied with the Narendra Modi
In fact the farming community has greatly benefited from the state’s land
acquisition policy. Land acquisition has left them with a much improved
lifestyle and huge amounts of surplus cash. In fact people have found an
extremely innovative way to use this extra cash. Farmers have become movie
producers and are making a huge number of Gujarati movies. The Gujarat movie
industry has been revived and is doing extremely well. The majority of the
movies produced are commercially successful and needless to say, have started
their own eco-system.
The rest of the county should learn and imbibe Gujarat’s land acquisition
policy. The best land acquisition is done when no one’s interest is compromised.
While one can argue that land acquisition is not supposed to be a moral
standpoint, still one needs to ensure that no injustice is committed.
Roads: The road network in Gujarat has always been of the highest quality. All
the highways connecting the major cities are expressways. City roads are
extremely well-maintained and suitable repair work is done on time
Corruption Free Image: The Gujarat Government is known to be corruption free.
And Narendra Modi in particular has an impeccable track-record. No corruption
cases have been recorded in Narendra Modi led Gujarat so far. This builds a
positive image not only in the voting public but also in the investing
businessman. While there seems to be no cure for small-scale corruption, large
scale and institutionalized corruption is something India can do well without.
Gujarat possesses no such ills. It’s an administration free of corruption
SEZ’s: Special Economic Zones (SEZ’s) have been Gujarat’s major success story.
Gujarat contributes 46 percent of India’s total SEZ exports. Two of India’s
biggest SEZ’s are located in Gujarat.
On the downside, the Majority of Gujarat’s SEZ exports come from these two
zones. Gujarat would do well in developing more SEZ’s and maintaining even
growth. Narendra Modi must ensure that more SEZ’s are developed throughout the
Public-Private Partnership: The PPP model has really succeeded in Gujarat. The
quality and quantity of projects has been hugely impressive. This again conveys
the confidence the Private sector has in the Modi Government.
Wide-scale Involvement: The Gujarat Government is witnessing wide-scale
involvement from all strata of society. Recently, the BJP has seen a number of
‘royals’ keen on signing up for the party. These include, not just Hindu but
Muslim royals as well, such as Nawabzada Salauddinkhan Babi of Balasinor and
Nawaz Jahangir Khan of Dasada. Such involvement is always good news for any
government. Once wide-scaled participation is achieved, tasks always become
easier to perform. People that become stakeholders are more involved in the
Innovative Fund Generation: Narendra Modi is increasing utilizing ways to fund
Gujarat’s development initiatives. The Gujarat Government has decided to raise
Rs.1000 crores via the sale of Gujarat Government Stocks. The generated funds
will be used to propagate the annual development plan for 2011-2012.
Gujarati’s – Gujarat’s Inherent Strength
Gujarati’s have always been known for their strong business acumen. And the
Narendra Modi Government realises this very well. Gujarati’s have always
contributed wholeheartedly to India’s economic progress. They have also played a
very important part in all the various countries to which they have immigrated;
for instance, Gujarati’s are an integral part of the American-Indian community.
Besides being business friendly, Gujarati’s are also known for their calm and
mild nature. Businesses operating in Gujarat have always benefited from this
While a lot has been achieved; to use a very popular cliché – ‘this is just the
beginning’. The annual plan for Gujarat for the year 2011-2012 was fixed at Rs.
38,000 crores, which is 27 percent higher than the previous plan size of Rs.
Narendra Modi, like other good leaders, has greater ambitions. He wants to play
a role in the central government. This is indeed great news for India, since the
entire country will be able to benefit from his great leadership. He can and
should play a role in the central leadership. His commitment to India and her
people will be well-appreciated in global circles.
However, this will create a vacuum at the state level. It may be difficult to
nurture and develop an equally able leader, but Narendra Modi will do well in
ensuring that the transition is smooth and without glitches. He will be the
first one to recognize the fact that if the country wants to do well, leadership
at all levels should be effective and good.