The State of Business 2013

Keeping up appearances

Power and labour shortage, and crumbling infrastructure spoil the party for Ludhiana’s industrial units

Bhupinder Singh

The drive from New Delhi to Ludhiana, the largest city in Punjab, takes six hours on roads lined with picturesque mustard fields reminiscent of Yash Chopra movies. The dream ride ends abruptly as you enter the congested city limits where traffic begins to crawl. The first thing you’ll notice here is the row of luxury car showrooms lined up with Mercedes, BMW and Audi cars, which makes you wonder about the wealth this town holds. Is business doing well, then? “We Punjabis are flamboyant people,” laughs Rahul Ahuja, managing director of Rajnish Industries and vice-chairman of the CII Ludhiana zonal council. “Punjab has the highest number of luxury cars in India. We also have the most loan defaulters.”