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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Package for New Year

Madhusheel Arora , Hindustan Times   January 05, 2014
First Published: 00:20 IST(5/1/2014) | Last Updated: 00:43 IST(5/1/2014)

After a dozen write-ups over five months, it becomes imperative to set the agenda for the reader for this calendar year.

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Writing has been a lot of learning and has cleared a lot of misconceptions. As you attempt to make sense of the enterprise around the tricity, it is remarkable to see how fascinating the world of business and money-making is. Even the simplest act of making a living, a road side stall for instance, involves the use of all theoretical concepts taught in a top B-school and some things that are beyond tutoring.

This encourages the belief that starting a business is easy, though of course there is a huge gulf between talking or writing about enterprise than actually be doing the drill day in day out.

Business for me is all about money, its management, employment, economics and finally spending. The end result has to be an improvement in the standard of life of the populace at large, however tangentially the result is achieved.

Within the tricity, we have to accept that the conurbation has its limitations. In fact, the city was never meant to be a business centre, primarily again due to lack of natural resources. It is at best an administrative city.

Most of the surplus big money floating around is either real estate money or something of what our grandfathers had earned, generations ago. Still, new businesses that could flourish are beauty and cosmetics, film industry, acting schools and IT may be.

With the North Country Mall in Kharar set for inauguration, some rush will move there for some time. However, I will definitely want no new mall plans announced in the vicinity.

Punjab chief minister’s agriculture conference in February could be worth watching for the leads it generates for tractor manufacturers, part suppliers and the like. The young rural youth’s disenchantment with agriculture is dangerous and I will write on ways to curb the trend.

Another big developing business story from the region will have to be the progress of the Metro transport plan.

Auto sales will also need to be closely watched for signs of rebound, if any. Banking licences will be a story to watch out for. Another new business I want to set up in the city is dedicated e-kiosks for book reading and making lending of books a more viable model.

Waste management is another area, where tricity authorities need to start work now. The recent high court ban on plastic packaging in Himachal Pradesh is something to think about.

Though it spells trouble for business and a solution is needed, the spirit of the judgment cannot be faulted. Our forefathers did live without all attractive packaging on trinkets like chips, coke, cookies, et al.

This is an important judgment that can keep all of us a little safe in the long run, though business leaders are likely to lose a lot of sleep until a workable solution is found. We also need to consider the loss of employment in state in the $14-billion (Rs 85,000-crore) packaging industry.

madhusheel.arora@hindustantimes.com

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