BMC – Balancing Progress with Business Friendliness

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In the endeavor to make Bhubaneswar a truly Smart City, BMC needs to keep the needs of small businesses in mind

The visit by BMC Commissioner Sri Prem Kumar Choudhury with his officials to the Unit-I and Unit-II markets and the decision to improve the conditions there, is a step in the right direction.

At almost the same time the visit was in progress, a talk was being given by a young entrepreneur named Yeshwanth at the Business Excellence Summit that was being held at the premier management Institute of Odisha – XIMB.

From the 2012 batch of XIMB, Yeshwanth is the founder of Thickshake Factory an up and coming Quick Service Restaurant brand with more than 120 outlets across India.

He is a Mentor of Change at Atal Innovation Mission and has been a recipient of multiple awards and recognitions including IMAGES Most Admired Startup of the Year, Business World 40 Under 40 and TV5 Business Leadership Award among others.

Just a couple of weeks back, ThickShake also won the “QSR brand of the year – National” award at the Biggest F&B expo in India, Annapoorna. The previous 2 years winners were Naturals Ice creams and WowMomos.

In his talk, Yeshwanth stressed on a point that has been recognized globally as a vital factor that determines the success or failure of any retail venture – “Location Location Location”.

This is something that the administrators at BMC also need to keep in mind while planning the development/re-development of any commercial area, to make Bhubaneswar a truly Smart City.

Unlike in developed economies, for our cities to be able to become Smart, we need to place greater emphasis on the tiny and small businesses, as in most cases they represent the first steps towards entrepreneurship by a generation that is finding it extremely difficult to find gainful employment.

While easing traffic and beautification of our city are very important, they should not become the cause for businesses to fail due to their being shifted to another unviable location.

For the smaller, footpath based businesses, this is even more important, for a single day’s loss of business can be catastrophic and can make the difference whether or not a family goes to bed hungry.

Therefore, instead of the usual process that begins with demolitions and forced evacuations, innovative solutions that can achieve the same objective are the need of the hour.

However, with an enlightened small business friendly leadership in place, Bhubaneswar will surely see itself grow to become one of the Smartest Cities in India, if not the world where all sections of society stand to benefit.

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