Son of soil on Mission Bihar

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By SANTOSH SINGH in Patna
  • Published 18.01.07
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Patna, Jan. 18: In 1986, the “termite-infested” statue of Rajendra Prasad at Sadakat Ashram here deeply hurt Ramesh Yadav. He returned to California with a “heavy heart, resolving to do something for Bihar.

The NRI from Bihar has visited the state every year since then looking for the right opportunity to invest. Come Saturday, the BIT Sindri passout (year of 1971) and IT entrepreneur would formally announce a Rs 100-crore venture on the second day of the global meet that starts here tomorrow.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Yadav, in his early 50s, said: “It’s time to realise President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s vision for Bihar.”

Yadav, who also attended the 1995 meet in Patna, said: “There was some political will even then but bureaucrats did not give investment the push it needed.”

2007, however, is a different proposition.

Signet Hotels has partnered with Yadav to open hotels in Patna, Rajgir and Bodh Gaya.

“Cash will stay and grow in the state now”, said Yadav, hoping to invest in the IT sector as well.

Giving an NRI’s view of the “changing Bihar”, Yadav said the efforts of the media and a Bihar-specific portal, Bihartimes.com, have paved the way for people investing in the state.

He said: “Nitish Kumar has brought back the focus and activated the bureaucracy. Most NRIs returning from the state now talk about the positives.”

Yadav, who shifted to Silicon Valley in 1973, started his company Omek in 1981 and raised another company, Comoport, in 1981. He is also part of the American Organisers for Development of Bihar, which has 200 non-resident Biharis as its members. It promotes hygiene, education and has held several eye camps in Bihar over the past 10 years. He said: “We will hold an economic reforms conference in April.”