Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Reliance effect

I got the Newsweek link on Mukesh Ambani from Deesha.org. You can read either the former link for the entire piece or go to Atanus blog for a perfect summary. Theres a Mukesh Ambani interview too at Newsweek.

But heres what he is upto.

1) Build cities - yes you read right, build cities.
2) Build retail stores
3) Build farm supply hubs

Theres another nugget in the article on bio fuels:

Ambani's farm, retail and energy visions merge at his Life Sciences Center in Mumbai, which is pursuing his "second green revolution." Founded in 2002, its research includes experiments in growing biofuels from the jatropha plant and cellulose on a commercial scale. "If you can crack the cellulose code just like the Da Vinci code, cellulose and jatropha could give us two agro-routes to a world without gasoline," he says. About half of Indian homes have no electricity, and Ambani says big companies have no workable plan to bring it to them (an indirect slap at Anil's Reliance Energy). His answer is to go "wireless." He now has teams setting up experimental biomass generators in remote villages, and envisions a day when thousands of villages have these generators—sold and serviced by Reliance's rural retail network.

And I like the way Atanu has summarized it in the end, which to me, is the tenet of capitalism and I cannot say it in any better words myself.

But the question we need to ask is this: is it better that the land gets utilized and wealth created, and even though some of that immense wealth will go to enhance the Ambani fortunes, than the alternative where the land sits around doing precisely nothing and millions of people don’t get to lead a better life? I think the answer is a no-brainer (unless of course the answer is from a no-brainer communist), “Yes, better that someone creates wealth and takes a chunk of it if it means that lots of people will also grow rich, than the alternative.”

There have also been news that Reliance is considering building a university, a cargo airline for itself and a TV news channel apart from the above.

More than doing these things, I believe that the man encourages Indians to dream and think big. Like his dad, who pretty much "created" the primary equity market, Mukesh is perhaps inspiring a lot of Indians to dream big...

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