(India Today Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) I still remember the time when one could hear the whistle of the Kalka-Shimla train at four in the morning, when the lake was visible from several sectors, when I could cycle my way to school without touching the handlebar even once, when everybody knew everybody.
A city never evolves in isolation, it takes us along. Witnessing Chandigarh grow from its nascent stage to the present times, when it has evolved into a 'metro in the making', has been a fascinating experience for someone like me who has been living here ever since the age of two. A brilliantly designed and well managed city that has managed to stay away from over-construction and retain a character of its own, this place definitely deserves kudos for retaining some of the rules that make it what it is. We should never forget that Chandigarh was developed as a model city whose template could be copied and pasted anywhere in the country for an assured and satisfying living. It has lived upto the expecations.
Though never conceived to be a business hub, Chandigarh now boasts of immense potential when it comes to high value addition businesses. The infrastructure is brilliant and connectivity is improving every day.
This city will always remain special to me. Ethos' first store was set-up in 2003 in Chandigarh. We now have 46 stores across 15 cities in India. However, when it comes to intellectual talent, I don't think this is the place that will attract much of it. It's a new city which doesn't really boast of history. Just like Old Delhi is attractive, not Greater Kailash. Also, the art institutes here have not developed enough to mark their presence at the national level. The same holds true for the educational ones. There was a vision, but it got lost somewhere. Panjab University had some giants in the past, but what about now? Except the PGIMER (Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research), there is no institute that can make its presence felt at the national level.
The problem is the person at the top is always in transit. We need someone who is stable. Someone who is serious about developing this place as a health, IT and entertainment hub.
Yasho Saboo is the CEO of Ethos Limited.
As told to Sukant Deepak
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