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India Inc celebrates as Modi checks in at the Centre

Last updated on: May 27, 2014 10:40 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It was a bash India Inc could not have missed.

Industrialists, otherwise known to arrive fashionably late at dos, had arrived and taken their seats at the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt about an hour before the show was to begin.

They were here to see Narendra Modi, who, after receiving praises from many of them as chief minister of Gujarat, was going to take oath as the country’s most important person.

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, along with wife Nita and sons Akash and Anant, was among the first to be spotted.

His brother and Reliance ADA Group chief Anil Ambani, with mother Kokilaben and wife Tina, came a little while later.

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India Inc celebrates as Modi checks in at the Centre

Last updated on: May 27, 2014 10:40 IST
This file photograph shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani.

Also in attendance were Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal, with brothers Rakesh and Rajan; Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla; Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani, Essar Group’s Prashant and Shashi Ruia; Hinduja Group Chairman Ashok Hinduja; Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal; JSW Steel Chairman & Managing Director Sajjan Jindal; Hero MotoCorp Managing Director Pawan Munjal; Jubilant Group Co-chairman Hari S Bhartia; and the Dhoot brothers of the Videocon group, besides many others.

A real party was planned for late evening at the Dhoots’ place to celebrate Modi’s swearing-in as PM.

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India Inc celebrates as Modi checks in at the Centre

Last updated on: May 27, 2014 10:40 IST
Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata and Chief Executive Cyrus Mistry, were absent at the swearing-in as they were travelling abroad.

Notably absent were Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata and Chief Executive Cyrus Mistry, who are learnt to be travelling abroad.

HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh could not attend as he was in Mumbai to receive Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit.

Some of the prominent Bollywood celebrities, Amitabh Bachchan, Rajini Kanth and Lata Mangeshkar, for instance, were also absent.

A few years ago, Mukesh Ambani and Ratan Tata had made headlines when they referred to Modi as a “great visionary” at the Vibrant Gujarat summit.

“Gujarat is shining like a lamp of gold,” the RIL chief had said. Tata had said “the leadership of Modi has proved Gujarat is not only seeing industrial growth but is witnessing rural development, too”.

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India Inc celebrates as Modi checks in at the Centre

Last updated on: May 27, 2014 10:40 IST
Indian billionaire Gautam Adani speaks during an interview with Reuters.

Now was the time for these industry leaders to see their political counterpart awaken India from what they had in recent past often called a 'policy paralysis'.

Such was the 'spirit of celebration at the magnificent President’s House that it almost seemed it was August 15, 1947,' a guest quipped with a tinge of sarcasm.

Also present were admen Piyush Pandey and Prasoon Joshi, who were behind the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaigns and the famous taglines like ‘Achchhe din aane waale hain’.

They were observing fruition of the winning lines they had created for the party.

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India Inc celebrates as Modi checks in at the Centre

Last updated on: May 27, 2014 10:40 IST
This file photograph shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi hugging Anil Ambani.

The guest list had some surprises, too.

For instance, real estate company DLF, which earlier was under attack from BJP leaders for its alleged land deals with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, had got the prized invite to the gala evening.

Rajiv Singh, the company’s vice-chairman and son of Chairman K P Singh, showed up with his family.

DLF was the sole representative for the real estate sector at the event.

E-commerce major Flipkart, though it has lately made waves with its mega acquisitions and fund-raising, did not seem to have caught the attention of Modi’s team. Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal did not get invites.

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India Inc celebrates as Modi checks in at the Centre

Last updated on: May 27, 2014 10:40 IST
Kishore Biyani.

In spite of Modi’s thrust on e-commerce, no online retailer -- not even American biggie Amazon -- was on the list of invitees.

However, true to the party line, domestic retailers like Future Group received invites, while foreign majors like Walmart did not.

Future’s chief executive Kishore Biyani attended the ceremony.

Praveen Khandelwal, chief of a domestic traders’ association, at whose event Modi had in February backed e-commerce for the first time, said he would prefer watching the event on television to avoid parking hassles.

 

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