Puneet Dalmia has been the driving force behind the exponential growth of Dalmia Bharat Group, since he took over the reins as Managing Director. A BTech from the prestigious IIT-Delhi and a gold-medallist in MBA from IIM-B, he is striving to create a better India. He shares his thoughts on Odisha and trade scenario with TNIE’s Hemant Kumar Rout during Devi Awards Odisha.
Dalmia Bharat’s association with Odisha
We are in Odisha since 1951 when Hirakud dam was to be built. Former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik had invited my grandfather to set up a cement factory here. We had set up a cement plant to provide cement for the dam. That is our old association with Odisha, which has kept on expanding.
Government accessible and efficient
Odisha Government is now very accessible. The bureaucrats are very efficient. Now, they have implemented OSWAS through which files are electronically tracked. Even when the officers are on the move, they can open their account and clear the files. It seems like corporate sector efficiency in the Government set up. Odisha is one of the few States which are doing things transparently. There is no corruption and officers are genuine and committed. Collectively, they want to do good for the people.
Odisha is now emerging as a sport hub of the country. After the success of Hockey World Cup, the State is now hosting the first Khelo India University Games. We are also associated with the State in sports. Dalmia Bharat Group is setting up a Badminton Academy in association with top coach Pullela Gopichand. It was CM Naveen Patnaik, who had advised us to set up a facility so that youngsters can get opportunity.
His works speak
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s popularity is phenomenal. Whenever I interact, I find him a genuine person. He does not speak much, which is fine. Because people do not come to listen to speeches. They need their work done. I have realised one thing that the work is done quickly in the areas of his focus. He may be a reserved person, but efficiency is very high.
Wish list from the State Government
Land acquisition still a problem in Odisha. The Government has to work on it so that people can get their value and the industries can get land on time. From an economic standpoint, the deal is no-brainer. Industry is willing to pay the price.
The Government should have a tight timeline. If people get compensation in a time-bound manner, it will solve the problem. Cut the timeline and get the people money in their bank account as quick as possible. It will not only help generate employment, but also create goodwill. Besides, Odisha has to brand itself more aggressively and it has to highlight good stories more often.
Future plans for Odisha
We are investing almost Rs 2000 crore in Odisha. First phase construction has already started at the new plant site near Cuttack and another unit at the existing Rajgangpur plant. First phase production will start by September. The company’s total capacity in Rajgangpur will increase to 6.25 mtpa in cement and 5.9 mtpa in clinker production.
We would like to support sports tremendously as it is a very big area of focus for us in Odisha. The badminton academy should get national recognition. I would be very happy if some players from the State can come on the world map like PV Sindhu and Srikanth Kidambi.
Business empire as an institution with values
Our business has lasted for three generations. We want to build the empire as an institution with values so that it would outlast all of us and rejuvenate itself besides contributing to nation building. We are developing a culture, which is fast to react and flexible to adopt.
No plan to join politics
No chance. As an industrialist, I am happy. Politics is a different game. There are several ways to contribute to the society. Be a very good businessman, set a benchmark. I can serve the society by remaining in my sphere.