I wrote about clarity in my last blog. Clarity only communicates what you want to achieve not what you have successfully achieved. To achieve result or success alignment and execution is also required. The current Indian Government has the innate ability to run powerful and successful campaigns, thanks to the clarity they have, but it is equally important to assess its impact and the difference it is creating in people’s lives. However, it is heartening to see that apart from Central leadership there are a few state leaders that are also demonstrating thought leadership and foresightedness. UP Chief Minister Mr Yogi Adityanath has pleasantly surprised with the sops for foreign investment, abolishing many of labour laws and reviewing trade policies in UP along with proactive response to COVID.
Print Media has coined a term East-of-Kanpur problem, which means compared to the rest of the country the region suffers from lower than average quality of life and governance. The fall is precipitous as you cross Kanpur; rogue politics, social setup, outlook of leaders, talent drain from states some or all of these have contributed towards its current state. However, not all is gloom. There have been some bright spots observed during COVID-19 National Response. As Indian Think tank started working on C-19 response, 1) Identify 2) Test 3)isolate, UP as a state, proactively identified all the Hotspots, quickly built 10 Labs in the first 20 Days, downloaded 3 Million Arogya Setu App within the first Week and this was achieved because of focus and clarity. This led to the linking of health care infrastructure and manufacturing with telemedicine, and subsequent capacity building of PPE. No wonder they were applauded and recognized by the Home Minister and the Prime Minister for their efforts. Very rarely does UP set examples of progressive work but they did this time.
The Chief Minister of UP assessed the issue of migrant labourers moving back to their home towns and made an attempt proactively of inviting companies from the US, looking to move out of China, to set up base in UP. To back up the invitation he brought in major labour reforms, reworked and reviewed the Industrial and Employment Policy 2017, UP Warehousing and Logistics policy, UP Electronics Manufacturing Policy and UP Electronics Policy 2020.
While all these garnered great media coverage, what is left to see is the impact on the economy in the coming days.
Kanpur was once one of the industrial capitals of India and was referred to as Manchester of East India. Flight of entrepreneurial zeal and progressive mindset was replaced by bureaucratic stronghold and previous regimes pseudo-socialism. These idiosyncrasies destroyed industry and economic potential. Hope the lessons should be reflected upon. It Is good to approach foreign multinational companies but even more laudable would have been to approach Indian Entrepreneurs and build their confidence back.
CLARITY enables you to communicate effectively, which is an important piece of marketing, but first step of operations is ALIGNMENT. For this it is important to collaborate with right stakeholders.
A clear structure based on the current strengths of the ECOSYSTEM of UP will be the critical step for making the dream of UP Chief Minster into reality. I have worked as a business head in SAARC countries for over 10 years. The assignment provided me an exposure working with respective PM offices to large corporates to local businesses. I have very closely witnessed the evolution of Industries such as pharmaceuticals, health care and textile industries in Bangladesh. The synchronization of policies, skill building, and alignment of local leadership acted as fuel for the entrepreneurial mindset. In some places , the intelligent use of Chinese and Indian capital investments provided interesting insights. Never the less countries entrepreneurial zeal was the one which contributed maximum to growth story of Bangladesh.
It is great to talk about UK, US, China, and Japan when it comes to wealth creation, but there is no harm in understanding how a humble Bangladesh has generated YoY 8% growth in last 5 years, on a base of 300+ billion USD (~ 1 Tn USD PPP) compared to UP that has GDP of $240 Bn with almost 2.5 times more population than that of Bangladesh. Wouldn’t that it be a more practical association?
The leadership of UP chief minister so far should be applauded, and this is the time for him to make a difference. It will be important for him to tap into the group wisdom of relevant stakeholders and come up with a clear and appropriately focused structure of growth for India.
Industry which require very little capital, but employ large numbers are the industries in UP which will progress. If skill building and the right policies are applied, industries which can make difference can include
- Alternate Health Care
- Tourism ECO System
- FACE of UP (SEZ’s for Food Processing, Apparel/Garments, Cultural Heritage, Electronics and Electrical items).
The leadership of UP can prove to be a game changer and should come up with suitable opportunities for their people, provided the state walks the journey with Clarity of Purpose, Alignment of Entrepreneurial Mindset and Execution Focus of the Bureaucracy.
In my humble opinion if one can win the hearts of Indian Entrepreneurs by clear, consistent and convincing communication, they in turn will bring the industries from the rest of the world. Time will tell if the CLARITY of purpose will only garner the headlines or bring difference in lives of people on ground.