Not sure how many of you saw Vir Sanghvi’s article on how the older generation has failed the younger gen…he went on the say that the games should have been handed over to the private sector.

This is a fantastic statement making an assumption that the private sector has no vested interests, and is full of paragons of virtue. Having spent 3 decades – a big part of it dealing with the private sector, I refuse to come to such a hasty conclusion. In the 1990s I had to deal with a few hotel projects (thanks to a financial institution) – and it meant a few trips to the Capital city. Here you could see the raw power of vested interests. Goa and Agra were very important Indian destinations for the foreign tourists – and they had to use Mumbai and Delhi airports ONLY! The hotel lobby ensured that Agra and Goa did not get a nice big airport for a very long time.

Even recently (hate saying it) heard about the ‘real reasons’ why the Navi Mumbai airport was being delayed.

To say that the government did not do a good job is easy. However saying that the private sector is a magic wand by which all problems will be solved is …I do not know what! Surely Indira Gandhi must have created such passion in 1969 when she went on nationalising all the banks – but did not benefit from the consolidation. Let me explain. When a few 100 life insurance companies were nationalised, it became ‘Life Insurance corporation of India’. When each princely state was taken over the banks became ‘State bank of Hyderabad’…’St b of Bikaner and Jaipur’, ‘S…Trivandrum’. All nationalised banks should have become ‘Super bank of India’ – and all merged on day one. However nothing of that sort happened…

Now the government is saying “if we privatise (which means we sell a few shares to the public) all problems will be solved. No clue how – NTPC will continue to boot lick to the power min, SBI to Fin Min…and they fund CWG.

here is the link to Vir Sanghvi’s post

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  1. Hi PV

    This is Ravi (fhs) from Bangalore. I have seen Vir Singhvi changes his views when it suits him and also quickly. He writes well without a track record of conviction. So I usually tend to ignore his articles.

    I agree with your general premise – Pvt sector companies are not necessarily paragons of virtue. However, there is one point that stands out is that the Pvt. Sector does largely deliver and on time when there is money involved which you can’t say is true for the Public Sector.


  2. Subra,
    Ofcourse privitazation does not always bring the benefits as proclaimed. Blueline buses in delhi being the prime example.however its the attitude of old india which really S&%$%S . Value system compromises done so transparently is not taken lightly in well run private org but even in the best of govt agencies , these compromises are part and parcel of day to day life. We feel ashamed when ppl like suresh kalmadi or bhanot face the global media and showcase their Verbal Diarrhea. Sorry but i dont agree, private sector may display occasional corruption but not lack of competence like we displayed at CWG.

  3. HI PVS, regardless of what Vir writes, I think the assumption that pvt sector will do good seems to be logical. When you cite some examples about how pvt sector is corrupt or lobbies for certain things, you forget that its govt. which is taking decisions that suits these pvt players. So if govt plays by rule and act just as a referee in the system pvt sector will do good. The problem is govt. which is corrupt, if tomorrow govt decides to go ahead with building a nice airport at a place where there is a need and demand because of natural benefit of such airport companies will be willing to build one and others will be ready to provide necessary infrastructure including some of the same hotels that opposed it. So basically till govt has a say in the matter you may be faced with such issues, of course if you have good people in govt you may rarely see things happening positively, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. Sorry for long post!

  4. Subra,

    Thanks for the post. I agree with Vir. Any good private sector company would have done a million times better job of hosting the games. Vir Sanghvi, Pritish Nandy, Shobaa de, Chetan Bagat are a few outstanding columnist still around. Else most of the columns we see are paid advertisements.

    Why only private sector companies, even a Lalit Modi would have done a spectacular job of hosting CWG for much less corruption 🙂 – see how the IPL was conducted.

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