Dec 31, 2009

Whither Brand Hyderabad?

The ongoing political crisis in Andhra Pradesh has many wondering what will happen to Brand Hyderabad and all the glitter it has gathered over the last decade. There is concern that if AP is partitioned, then investments will move away. Unrest is already affecting the business mood and the fear is that in future, Maoist violence may increase and weaken the city, or that a partitioned state that still controls it will divert resources to other lesser developed parts.

Telangana has had genuine problems about resource allocation, an exploitative political leadership and self-respect. The jury is out on whether this warrants a partition of India's first state formed on linguistic basis - read this Hindu editorial for one view. As far as Brand Hyderabad goes, I believe the damage is not irreparable. Urbanization is a mega trend and location wise, Hyderabad taps a massive hinterland. The divisive Telugus may go and serve other metros Madras and Bangalore, like they always did (it was more so before Unification in 1956). But this is clearly not a zero sum game.

If a new state capital for Andhra-Rayalseema is created, other metros may benefit, but this will also mean more construction on the new capital, more work leading to an economic boom. The Andhra-Seema folks may work with a vengeance and leverage the huge seacoast they have for the first time. And if the Telangana issue is sorted out without partition, then the Brand will only bounce back stronger. Brand Mumbai has been resilient despite several major terrorist attacks. Brand Delhi remains strong despite turmoil in nearby Af-Pak. Didn't Japan witness a huge ascendance right after the World War II mayhem? So fellas, stay optimistic and hope that the uncertainity soon subsides, giving people like us work to do. The sun shines brighter, once the clouds clear up.

2 comments:

Sri said...

Quite true. I guess we as a state capital have now reached a point where accepting the negative trend in terms of development is just not permissible.

The roots of development have sprung in real deep and I'm sure the stake holders and Corporate honchos would just not let this political melodrama decimate this organic body.

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