Article: The Last Word: When Capability Is Accompanied By Ethical Behaviour


The Last Word: When Capability Is Accompanied By Ethical Behaviour

Good infrastructure, job creation by the private sector and the promise of growth is what the country needs
The Last Word: When Capability Is Accompanied By Ethical Behaviour

Most people would agree that when it comes to entrepreneurship, risk-taking and building businesses, Gujaratis stand apart and have created an exceptional track record. But even by those exceptional standards, investment commitments amounting to USD 450 billion at the recently concluded ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ summit, totalling roughly 35% of India’s GDP, is an acknowledgement of something extra-ordinary happening in Gujarat.
A lot of good and bad has been written over the years about Nardendra Modi, Gujarat’s chief minister; but this sort of economic achievement does cement his reputation as a man whose achievements speak louder than the collective hoarseness of his critics and as a man with impeccable personal integrity. Even today, there are many who argue that most economic achievements of Gujarat – 10.4% 5-year annual growth and 15% of national investment – have little to do with the state government.
I agree. Gujarat’s economic miracle has less to do with the institution of government and more to do with governance and with the people who govern the state. A few things stand out in the way Modi and his team govern, administer and manage the state. The first is speed in decision-making. The prime example being that of Tata Motors, which opted for Gujarat over several other states for its Nano project because of the speed at which the state acted after the auto major was forced to pull out of Singur in West Bengal – a decision that has brought in USD 6 billion in investment and roughly 60,000 jobs.
The next aspect of Gujarat’s governance is the clarity regarding the state’s role – one that provides the setting of good infrastructure, law & order, investor confidence and education - and lets the private sector achieve growth and wealth creation. Such clear thinking and drawing of lines between state and private enterprise is reflected in everything the business community and people of the state like about Gujarat – good infrastructure, job creation by the private sector and most importantly, the promise of growth.
The final thing that stands out about Modi – and may be his biggest differentiator – is his personal integrity and the near absence of corruption at the state’s top-most political levels. At a time when many governments are enmeshed in the ugliest – corrupt politicians, fixers, middle-men, backdoor media access, acquiescing businessmen – Modi’s corruption-free image and the effect it has had on the top decision-makers in his cabinet, is a visible symbol of what ethical behaviour in governance can achieve.

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Topics: C-Suite, Leadership

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