28 September, 2020

The Capitalist Manifesto

West Bengal did attract industry, but no thanks to McKinsey

Swapan Nayak
The Capitalist Manifesto
Some officials call it McCanDo. That's because the reports churned out by the US-based consultancy firm, McKinsey, for the West Bengal government have always been unduly optimistic. The bitter truth, however, is that the much-touted studies haven't really amounted to much. It all started in the late 1990s, when 'The Firm' was invited by the Left regime since it was perceived to be "the most objective assessor" of the state of things in West Bengal. A juicier, though unconfirmed, story is that McKinsey's global CEO Rajat Gupta was asked by the then CM Jyoti Basu to undertake the first project because he was a "Bengali boy" (though he was born and brought up in Delhi).

In January 1999, McKinsey presented its first report, "Manifesto for a Business Revolution" (note the clever use of terminology with communist associations by the fanatically capitalist Firm). Says Indian Chamber of Commerce secretary-general Nazeeb Arif, who was present at the meeting: "McKinsey talked about the advantages West Bengal had in IT, agri-business and many new-economy areas, charted out policies that...


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