Bihar: Nitish at his best

I happened to watch the ET Awards ceremony on TV. It was a great pleasure to see Nitish as the first to get the award, the ‘Bussiness Reformer of the year’. But the best was to follow. Nitish was at his best when he came out with his humourous but focused one-liners:

“Bihar was never a case of bad governance; it was a case of absence of governance.”

“The award is of limited use to the State if there is no investment by the big business houses in the State.”

“I know you will not easily invest in Bihar. But the idea of inclusive growth will not be complete unless you invest in Bihar.”

“Come to Bihar, and see for yourself… I can assure you will return safely.”

“We have proved that Bihar can be governed. The rest is up to Pranabda.”

All these were heard and appreciated by Corporate India’s ‘Who’s who’s.

As usual I would have expected Nitish Kumar to use the opportunity to have some one-to-one interactions with at least some of the 400 CEOs of India Inc, that were present there and to invite for investment in some specific sector.

One such sector is certainly education. Ambanis, Mahindras, Birlas or Munjals and Mittals with interests in education can invest in the educational institutes of excellence in Bihar that Bihar need in plenty seeing the number of students of the state going out of state for education. Brittania’s Vinita Bali can certainly invest in food processing sector.

I firmly believe that Nitish will have to go for focused PR to make breakthrough in getting the floodgates of investments for Bihar opened.

I would have also loved if Nitish would have invited Ram Charan to visit Bihar and suggest ways and means to go ahead with growth. Ram Charan would have given a talk to the students of Chandragupta College of Management and local industrialists too. It would have image builder for the institute.

I don’t know if the data collected by ET that led to the decision to select Nitish, Business Reformer was behind the news that declared Bihar as miracle economy or Aiyar’s article came as original research based on data of NSO that brought Bihar in such a visible limelight in media.

I never thought that a single news item in a newspaper can get so many reactions. It might take much more to change the perception about Bihar and its people, particularly politicians who had been or will be ruling the state. But Bihar is emerging for its due glory.

Times Group also carried the ads about Bihar’s performance of the last four years that mostly talked of education, road and bridge construction with special emphasis on the work done to improve the condition of minority Muslim community and Mahadalits. Vivek Debroy also wrote about the growth story of Bihar in Financial Express. Times of India made Bihar something special, with a well-written Bihar’s growth story, highlighting also on the team- Nitish’s babus. Surprisingly, Outlook Weekly also carried three stories on Bihar’s economy in its latest issue.

Bihar is getting better and safer to live, and perhaps pretty soon to do business too. I am sure Nitish keeps the growth story ‘continued’ and doesn’t go for political break.
And What the CEOs talked after Award Function

Nitish Kumar and Bihar’s impressive economic performance was the talk of post-event get-togethers. One such group comprising bankers and ad men lavished praise on the turnaround. “Bihar has built more flyovers in the past two years than Mumbai in the past decade,” remarked one banker.

The best thing is the award to Nitish Kumar.The country should know that Bihar is one of the fastest growing states and India Inc should give it due credit.
YM Deosthalee, CFO, L&T
Nitish Kumar more than lived up to the award, and made a case for what can be done for the state by India Inc and the government.
Kalpana Morparia, CEO, INDIA, JP MORGAN
When a state like Bihar can make a difference with good governance, it’s time for our corporates to take this as an opportunity to invest in the state to make this growth story permanent.

I found Nitish Kumar and Aamir Khan’s talks particularly interesting. In fact, I am now thinking of scaling up investments in Bihar.
I found Nitish Kumar’s speech endearing. Since I am also from Bihar, I could empathise with the sentiments.
Nitish Kumar was brilliant. He got the corporates interested in the state and going forward, Videocon will surely be investing in Bihar

And some proud Bihari may get some satisfaction on emerging Bihar. But perhaps Bihar will have to go many miles. And again the main task is to educate Bihar and that too, if it is a good education.

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