Managing Director of India Cements elaborated on the simple reason why investors prefer Tamil Nadu and why the state's industry is flourishing. Speaking at India Today Conclave South session on 'Exemplary Enterprise: Stand Up, Start Up South India', Srinivasan who was a former President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, also spoke about how the IPL franchise has brought out the best of cricket from India.
Speaking about why Tamil Nadu is such a preferred destination for investors, Srinivasan said that the industrial culture in the state is outstanding and differences in political ideologies have never led to changing of policies. "Tamil Nadu has all kinds of industries -- IT, engineering, sugar, paper, automobile -- name it and the state has it. Production is growing in the state. But why do people invest? It is because the industrial culture is outstanding. We have investments in many states but in Tamil Nadu is very good. Given a chance I will continue to invest here. In Tamil Nadu, changing governments do not mean changing policies. All of them have done something for the state," he said.
Srinivas acknowledged that other states are catching up too and said that given lucrative tax breaks, investors will move to better options. "But talk about industrial culture and you will see whether it is Jayalalithaa or Karunanidhi, they both cared about the industrial culture. Their political ideologies did not interfere with the industrial culture," he said, further crediting Palaniswami for doing a good job too. Speaking about how the elections might affect the industry, Srinivasan said, "Tamil Nadu is known for its bureaucracy. Does not matter who wins, Tamil Nadu will win."
The India Cements MD further spoke about the Union Budget and said that he believes it was the best in decades. "Think this year's Budget was an excellent budget. For the first time the government has not bothered about fiscal deficit, but about india. They want India to grow and decided to spend the money that they have, as well as the money from disinvestments. I have been listening to the budget for decades but this was the best," said Srinivasan. He said a right direction was given which will attract investments. "We are a large manufacturing country, and a large consuming country. Several other countries manufacture a lot but they have to export. We can consume what we produce," he said.
The former BCCI chief and the owner of IPL team Chennai Super Kings said that cricket is only as good as its players. "Emphasis to give opportunity to people across India has paid off. There's so much talent. We must give credit to IPL also. So many Indian players have played with the best of international players. It has increased their confidence," he said, giving examples of the recent wins.
The former BCCI head who had to step down amid controversy said, "We did a lot for Indian cricket. Most of the money for international cricket comes from india. Eighty per cent of money in international cricket comes out of India. Also India cannot spend so much on others, it needs to spend on Indian cricket too." Srinivasan's ousting came over a conflict-of-interest row. As per the BCCI no administrator of BCCI can have commercial interest in the matches or events held by the board.
"Chennai was one of the first cricket test centres in india. When IPL was launched, I said Chennai must be a team. Chennai is such a cricket loving state, so we thought there must be a team. Then we got MS Dhoni. He fell in love with Chennai and Chennai fell in love with him. You own the franchise but not the player. Everyone took to CSK because of word of mouth. Players thought this is the team to play for," he said, speaking about how CSK became a fan-favourite.