Jharkhand government has roped in Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the state’s brand ambassador for development. The flamboyant local cricketing icon will campaign for the state in its first-ever global investors’ summit scheduled on February 16-17 next year, state’s industry secretary Sunil Kumar Barnwal said.
“We have already done a television commercial with Dhoni. We will start airing it from next month. It will speak about Momentum Jharkhand Global Investors’ Summit,” Banwal said. The maiden event aims to establish the state as a premier investment destination for both foreign and domestic investors.
Since it became a state carving out the southern part of Bihar in 2000, Jharkahand had never had any brand ambassador to promote the state to the investors’ community. Dhoni had been promoting government schemes like Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. The former test captain for the country has been among the most frequently-seen sports star on television.
The limited overs captain tops the list of top 10 sports stars with the maximum commercial airtime captured in the first half of 2016, overtaking current Test captain Virat Kohli, as per the latest data by AdEx India, a division of Television Audience Measurement (TAM) Media Research.
Jharkhand is endowed with natural resources, but the state had never projected itself among the investors’ community. The two-day global investor summit will showcase the strength and industrial prowess of the state and provide a platform for interaction with industry leaders, policy makers, investors and other stakeholders.
Roadshows have already been held in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai apart from in San Francisco in the US. A team led by Banwal would also visit China and Singapore soon. In the domestic roadshows, the government has already received 27 investment proposals worth around Rs one lakh crore across various focus sectors such as auto, energy infrastructure, agri & food processing, mines & minerals and industrial infrastructure among others.
Banwal said the state has also signed some crucial agreements with global corporations such as CISCO and Oracle to impart skills for a technology-centric future. Two MoUs have also been signed with technology major Hewlett Packard for e-healthcare and tele-auction. Cement major ACC Ltd has also signed initial pact for capacity expansion in the state.
He said auto majors Honda and TVS have evinced interests to set up two-wheeler assembly units in the state. Ashok Leyaland is also eager to invest in the state.
Terming food processing as one of the focus areas of the state, he said investment worth Rs11,000 has already taken place in the last two years and an additional Rs 20,000 crore investment is likely in the sector in the next one year.