En route to Ahmedabad, Atanu and I got talking to the person next to us. He was from one of the world’s largest multinationals. He narrated a story that is worth repeating.
His company wanted to invest $1 billion into setting up various manufacturing facilities in Karnataka. It took them many months to get the land. Even after the land was acquired, the politicians did not stop interfering and demanding bribes. Given that the company does not compromise on integrity, there was no way it could do the pay-offs. Their CEO then met with the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi. Within four days, the land had been allotted. Even as the factories are coming up, the rail head has been built, the road has been constructed, and the link to the port will be established soon. He said this story was not unique — many other companies had faced similar challenges in other states, and then come to Gujarat to find a different world.
Leadership matters, and what India needs at this stage of our evolution is strong and decisive leadership. We need to keep this in mind when we vote next.