If you have been following the business news for last month or so, then you must have heard it. All of a sudden a small, poor and backward state i.e, Orissa is in news. Actually pleasing and positive news for a change. For those who don’t know what i am talking about – Orissa is a small state in the eastern region of India, virtually without any significant industry barring few (small) public sector units and not very promising literacy rate. Most of the state’s population is of tribal and backward casts. There is only one city (ie Bhubaneswar, the capital) in the state and probably five or six big towns. Until recently only the national air carrier used to fly to the capital. All towns and villages are mostly connected by roads only, not even trains. State government’s major source of income is tourism, which again is only concentrated in Bhubaneswar and Puri, and mining. Yes the state is blessed with rich reserve of metals under the ground.🙂
With IT industry growing rapidly in India, Orissa was to find its foot on it sooner or later. It has everything to support it except for the connectivity. Of late almost all major players in indian IT industry (e.g Satyam, Wipro, Infosys, TCS etc) have opened up offices there and few future players (eg Igate, Mindtree, Iflex etc) have already started efforts to setup offices there. Amidst all these, last few months saw following major announcements and investment plans in the state,
- Vedanta University – A huge university campus, to provide all kinds of professional education and to host national as well as international students.
- Steel plants – Two major players in steel industry in the international market eg Posco and Mittal steel have declared their intentions to setup huge plants and processing units.
- Power Plants – ADAG (previously Reliance), the biggest player in power industry in south east asia has signed MoU with state govt to setup power plant.
All these investments are in the tune of 15000 crores to 60000 crores indian rupees (ie 10 billion USD approx). If you sit back and do your maths, you will find that the total investment to be made by these companies is bigger than the sum of values of all units existing in the state in the similar businesses, not to mention these are in record in themselves, in terms of largest investments by individual corporates. Does that not surprise you? It brings so many questions to mind. What happened suddenly? Is the state govt on a buying spree? Even if so, the corporates must also be seeing opportunities there to make money. Whatever be the reason, look at the positive side of it. Imagine the kind of employment opportunities it will create. The auxiliary or support industry will boom too. This will have direct impact on transportation, logistics, communication, real estate, fmcg, shipping and a host of other big and small industries.
Is that not a good news? At least for a resident of that state, yes.🙂 But there are quite a few questions marks. Not sure who will and how soon they will be answered. Is the state government able to anticipate the growth? Is it prepared or at least preparing a plan to handle it? Time will tell. Going by the history of states’ governments there is very little to be happy about.