“If Mumbai, the ‘crown jewel’, continues to groan under its weight, it will drive away investors,” industrialist Anand Mahindra said, while addressing the ‘Magnetic Maharashtra’ Global Investors Summit in suburban Bandra, on February 18, 2018. Mahindra’s remarks, directed at Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, were in a stark contrast to mostly laudatory remarks the BJP leader received from many Indian and global corporate leaders at the event.
“Apart from the promise of rural consumption growth, this state (Maharashtra) has a ‘bramhastra’. Cities are gateways to a state, they are the showcase of the ability of a country to execute our vision of the future. Mumbai is the most commercially exciting, robust city in the country. It is a jewel in your crown but it is a double-edged sword,” Mahindra said.
Besides Mahindra, the other industry captain to voice concern over the state of affairs of Mumbai’s infrastructure, was Ratan Tata, who chose the state government-organised investor summit and the presence of prime minister Narendra Modi, to make public his concerns on the infrastructure front. Facilities on the ground may not be keeping up with the state’s faster economic growth, Tata said.
Tata, former chairman of Tata Sons, who spoke before Mahindra did, said it is unfortunate that the infrastructure has not been able to keep pace with the growth, but quickly added that things are changing since the BJP-led dispensations have assumed power. “Unfortunately, over the years, industrial growth in Maharashtra has exceeded the ability of the state to provide infrastructure to support this,” he said.
Industry leaders including Chanda Kochhar, Adi Godrej, Baba Kalyani, Mukesh Ambani, Ajit Gulabchand, Anil Agarwal, Richard Branson, Deepak Parekh, Sajjan Jindal and ministers Piyush Goyal and Suresh Prabhu were present.