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‘Uttar Pradesh needs employment intensive industries’

Face to face with TV Mohandas Pai, chairman, Aarin Capital.

lucknow Updated: Feb 21, 2018 14:15 IST
Rajeev Mullick
Rajeev Mullick
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh,Employment,TV Mohandas Pai
TV Mohandas Pai, chairman, Aarin Capital(HT Photo)

In a career spanning over 30 years, TV Mohandas Pai has served in the areas of finance, information technology, human resources, education, startup ecosystem and many others. Mohan has been CFO at Infosys. He awarded Padma Shri by the President of India in 2015. He is currently the chairman of Aarin Capital and Manipal Global Education, and advisor to the Board of Manipal Education and Medical Group. Excerpts from an interview on the UP Investors’ Summit and his expectations from it.

What do you think UP needs to do to prevent migration of its educated youth to metros for jobs?

Create a policy framework for new age industries and IT, create hubs for them in top 10 cities, have a start-up policy, improve quality of life and infrastructure in such cities.

What incentives should the state government give to attract investment, especially from the IT sector?

Yes, what is needed is better infrastructure, good law and order, cleaner cities with better quality of life, better public transportation etc. Incentives do not matter as much as all of these. Also, promotion of good schools and universities.

Do you think granting Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status to certain businesses will attract investors?

What UP should do is identify labour incentive industries like textiles, garments, electronic assembly, toys and create SEZs for them in labour surplus industries. Bangladesh has done a great job for garments, increasing exports from $1b to $30b in 15 years by using its labour. Creating SEZ for capital intensive industries now and giving them more money will only impoverish UP. The state needs employment intensive industries.

What other policy initiatives will you suggest?

Improving the quality of life, law and order, reducing corruption and no communal strife.

Ease of doing business is the catch phrase coined to attract investment. What exactly does it entail?

It means the rule of law, good governance and no corruption. It means you have a lean process with transparent rules for business which gives approvals as per defined timelines.

In which areas do you think UP has an edge over other states? What are its potential and drawbacks, which it needs to overcome?

(It has potential) in labour intensive industries as it is surplus in labour. Its drawback is a poor image, law and order and lack of good social infrastructure.

You recently said Uttar Pradesh can learn from the Karnataka IT model to spur socioeconomic development and create high quality jobs in the state. What exactly can the state learn from Karnataka?

How to create high quality educational institutions so that good human capital is available for new age industries in specified cities backed by a good policy framework.

Do you think UP urgently needs a young IT minister, who understands technology and delivers in terms of enabling IT ecosystem and job creation for the youth?

Yes, a minister who can be the face of UP IT like minister Rama Rao in Telangana or minister Priyank Kharge in Karnataka or minister Rohan in Goa. Maybe Arvind Gupta of the BJP can be a good IT Minister. He is a national star in IT.

Why do you think UP has a long way to go so far as the IT sector is concerned?

Yes. Barring Noida, which is close to Delhi, the rest of UP is off the map. Please remember information technology has created 45 Lakh jobs, paying Rs 6,00,000 crore as salary every year. UP needs good jobs for its young people.

Why were successive UP governments unable to create a conducive IT and entrepreneurship ecosystem?

Because they were stuck in backward looking caste and communal politics, ruling the state without the rule of law, in a feudal manner. They did not have a modern global outlook, did not understand what the future holds and did not care for creating a good future for all. Caste and communal politics have ruined India’s biggest state and hurt India’s growth immensely. India can never become a great country unless UP grows well and is well governed with the rule of law. Hopefully, CM Yogi Adityanath will create a ‘New UP’ based on good governance and rule of law.

First Published: Feb 21, 2018 14:15 IST