Saturday, August 01, 2009

Brand Bangalore needs a revival

Brand Bangalore needs a revival
Mini Joseph Tejaswi & Sujit John | TNN

Bangalore: There’s a lot of talk and less walk on the ground. That’s the feeling across industry about the Karnataka government’s attitude to business over the past few years. The consensus is that this has diminished substantially Bangalore’s global brand equity.
Industry says the government should look at how it can support the ecosystem, while keeping its political battles in the background. “It should learn to take inputs from industry seriously,” said Bob Hoekstra, former CEO of Philips Innovation Campus, and founder of Palindrome Technology Solutions. That theme of closer governmentindustry interaction is something you hear repeatedly from people across industry.
Vinay Deshpande, CEO of Encore Software, and Ghanshyam Dass, former CEO of Nasdaq India and currently senior advisor to KPMG, underscored the same point. The belief is that the government can only gain from the expertise and experience that industry brings. Many note that it is precisely such interaction in the 1990s and the early years of this decade that brought Bangalore its global distinction.
T V Mohandas Pai, director, Infosys Technologies, said the government’s duty is to infuse positive thinking in the industry, which in turn will have a positive impact on Brand Bangalore. “Instead, there’s a great amount of insensitivity. For instance, one of Karnataka’s entrepreneurial ventures, Kingfisher Airlines, recently announced the stoppage of its Bangalore-London route. Has anyone in the government thought what it would mean to Bangalore Inc.? The state should have intervened like Andhra Pradesh did, by bringing down the tax on air turbine fuel to 4% from 30%. Giving up international connectivity will only erode Bangalore’s equity in the global market,’’ Pai said.
J Crasta, president of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce & Industry, noted that Bangalore is blessed with a great environment, in terms of weather and intellect, the latter because of the numerous engineering colleges and development of IT. “If only we could also ensure regular quality power and good roads within Bangalore and between Bangalore and satellite towns, we could get back our glory,” he said. Harish Bijoor noted that political aspirations often do not match corporate inspirations and this creates a dichotomy. “It is the government’s duty to create compelling reasons for corporates to invest here. So, the government has to work hard to put Brand Bangalore back on the global radar,” he said.
Speed up completion of infrastructure projects, especially roads within Bangalore and between Bangalore and other towns in the state Ensure regular quality power Speed up clearances Don’t make business visitors/ investors wait for hours over their appointments Make citizen security a priority Keep the city clean and tidy Mend pavements, offer space for pedestrians Plant 2/3 trees for every tree that’s felled Keep the pubs open till 1 or even 2 pm


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