Chennai as the investment destination of choice
Much has been made about Chennai being the beneficiary of a flood of FDI only because Mr. Maran orchestrated investments towards the state and the city. While it may be true that the former Union Minister may have played a part in the choice of Chennai by the international companies, it is unlikely that billions of dollars were committed by the big giants in telecommunications, semiconductors and automotives betting on the political power of one person alone. It is obvious that the inherent strengths of the city which were hitherto not getting their due recognition, came to light with only the barest of nudges from the powers-that-be, who were also interested in promoting investments in this highly industrialized state. I have studied the start-up culture in India, although not in any great depth and have found that if it is a start-up by Indians at the helm, especially returning ones, the choice of location is invariably based on language and regional affinity of the promoters and usually not based on the particular city’s strongpoints. With respect to Chennai, of course, there is some prejudice in the minds of some of these Indian entrepreneurs, who have never been here and who tend to see the city from the lens of the historically biased reporting against it. The multinational heads usually do not suffer from these biases which is why Office Tiger chose this city and also why its chief says he would do so again if he had to start all over.