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Critics of Ambani and Adani seem to be more charitable towards Tata and Birla groups

By NS Venkataraman*  

The news that Ambani and Adani have emerged as amongst the top rich persons in the world have provoked derisive laughter amongst some political and leftist groups in India. The rapid rise of Ambani and Adani as wealthy industrialists have been mischievously interpreted as an example of widening the gap between rich and poor in India. To add insult to the injury, it is also freely said by the antagonists that Ambani and Adani could become so rich only due to the patronage that they received from the Government of India and from some state governments.
What is conspicuous is that none of the critics of Ambani and Adani have recognised their business initiatives, dynamic management approach, capability to identify appropriate investment opportunities, implement their project plans efficiently in time bound manner , competently operating the completed projects and finally their capability to take on international competitors in India and globally.
Ambani and Adani group have invested thousands of crores of rupees in various fields including petrochemical, oil and gas exploration, coal mining, renewable energy, infrastructure projects as well as information technology and communication such as 5G and so on.
Both these dynamic entrepreneurs have created thousands of jobs at various levels directly and indirectly all over India and their contribution to the overall industrial and economic growth of the country are significant and praiseworthy.
What is particularly noteworthy is that the industrial groups led by Ambani and Adani have started their activities from scratch and have reached the present level by sheer perseverance. They are not known to have exploited labour and the satisfaction level of those working in their group companies seem to be high or moderate. Thousands of shareholders in these companies, with a considerable number of them belonging to the middle income group, have been benefited . Further, Ambani and Adani group companies have not defaulted in repayment of debt as per the schedule , inspite of their large level of operations and financial institutions too have benefited.
Of course, there is a difference between Tata group and Birla group on one side and Ambani and Adani group on the other side. The real difference is in the rate and speed of growth.
Whether it is the case of Tata, Birla, Adani or Ambani, there have been incidents of failure of some of their projects but none of them have been distracted by such failures. This certainly indicates their confidence in their capability and decision taking acumen, which have benefited the country’s growth immensely.
What is particularly surprising is that while the critics of Ambani and Adani are so severe in criticising them and questioning them, they seem to be much more charitable in viewing the activities and progress of Tata group and Birla group.
To explain this, can we say that Tata group and Birla group have been much more “humble” and less demonstrative, compared to Ambani and Adani group?
The accusation that the wealth of Ambani and Adani reflect the glaring inequality between the rich and the poor in the country is absolutely baseless and motivated. Everyone in India has the liberty to pursue their dreams and involve themselves in starting and running their ventures. Many rich industrial groups have been founded by persons from scratch with little income and even with little supportive strength. Why do critics ignore this fact about Ambani or Adani?
There is considerable evidence that the inequality in income and opportunities between citizens in India are steadily coming down . In such circumstances, the expectations and hopes from people belonging to lower income group are rising which is a healthy sign. Various welfare measures introduced and implemented by central and state governments to support the people in the lower income group are yielding results. All that is required is that the critics have to keep their eyes open to see such improving ground realities and refrain from denouncing the hard working project promoters , who contribute to industrial and economic growth of the country.
To alleviate poverty, wealth generation is absolutely necessary and in a developing country like India, the task of wealth generation has to be accelerated as much as possible. When such wealth generation takes place, many people in different walks of life and living in different economic strata have a role in such a wealth generation process and therefore would be beneficiary of the wealth generation process. The benefits do not go only to the initiator of the projects and wealth generation process.
Such wealth generation is possible only by setting up more industrial and commercial ventures as well as projects in the services sector. For such objectives, initiatives from individuals are much needed and Ambani and Adani are certainly showing the way.
---
*Trustee, Nandini Voice For The Deprived

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