Cautioning the industry against getting “disillusioned so fast”, top business leader Ratan Tata today asked it to give ‘support and opportunity’ to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for delivering on his promises.
Stating that the Modi government has not completed even one year in office, Tata said, “All of us should understand that it’s a new government, and we need not get disillusioned and dissatisfied with so fast.”
The comments come at a time when various business leaders including HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh, Marico Group’s Harsh Mariwala and the new CII President Sumit Mazumder have talked about a need for the new government’s reform measures to start reflecting on the ground.
“There’s a great deal of hope in the inspirational leadership of Modi. He is still in the early stages of defining what he hopes to deliver a new India. The implementation hasn’t really taken form this year. But we still have to give him the opportunity to implement what he has promised,” Tata said here.
He was replying to a query on his views about the economy under the new regime during the convocation of the ‘Mumbai International School of Business Bocconi’.
Expressing confidence that the Prime Minister will deliver on his promises, Tata said: “We’re all hopeful that the country will move forward in the manner that Modi predicted.
“We really need to support it if we need to have a new country and outlook both internationally as well as domestically.”
He added: “In short, we’re all hopeful that the country will move forward in the manner that Modi predicted.”
Mazumder said yesterday at a press conference in the national capital that the Modi government has taken forward reforms in various areas but issues like land acquisition were still coming across as key bottlenecks for implementation of large projects, while the industry has also been experiencing obstacles with regard to the Companies Act.
Mazumder also highlighted that although progress has been made in reforming labour laws, a lot needs to be done, while there are “still certain factors which need to be resolved in the ease of doing business”.
The Prime Minister, as also other top government leaders, have asserted that all efforts are being made to improve ease of doing business.
Answering a question from the rector of the Bocconi University Andrea Sironi on what the government needs to do to strengthen the economy, Tata said it has “created a great deal of aspiration among the people as there was a tiredness of the past government, feeling that it had lost its functionalism”.
He added: “So there’s a great deal of hope in the inspirational leadership of Modi. But he is still in the early stages of defining what he hopes to deliver. He has seen some obstacles, but there are some benefits too — the positive sentiments of the people, a belief in a new India… So we still have to give him the opportunity of implementing what he has promised.
“I see some similarity to what is going on in Italy — that the Renzi government would put in place all the reforms within 100 days, but he had slowed down with it, though things are moving ahead now.”
Tata, who is a board member of the governing council of the Milan-based Bocconi University, also said he was surprised to learn from the Bocconi B-school students that many of them are not looking at bagging high paying jobs but are setting up their own companies.
“Being an entrepreneur or startup enterprise as against joining a firm is becoming very much the style of the day and if you have a good idea and reasonable funding, I think the opportunities are considerable if you are willing to take risks,” he said.
“And all around us…you can see many more new start-ups than you did five years ago because we seem to be attracting foreign investors and foreign venture capitalists,” he said.
Tata, who is known for a spartan lifestyle, had some advice for the youth.
“Don’t look at your success by yourself. Hopefully your success is also the ability to serve people around you. Don’t look at your wealth or your aspirations alone (see) but what you have been able to do, because you have been given the privilege of a good education, which is a chance to help enhance the quality of life of someone else or a community by your innovativeness or your ingenuity.
“At all times, maintain your values and integrity, spreading the opportunity of prosperity to communities around you,” Tata said, adding, “so that when you retire you can look back, you can say that you made a difference. I assure you that feeling will be far more satisfying than just knowing that you have acquired great wealth.”