Competitors for Tesla’s heart and business: Ministers of state line up for Elon Musk’s attention
Since all the big issues — politics, celebrity divorces, government espionage involving corporations and citizens — seem to take place on social media, tech billionaires are expected to discuss their issues with the government. central india on twitter. Last week, the Tesla man tweeted, “Still overcoming many challenges with the government,” referring to the Indian government’s refusal to lower import duties on the import of electric cars into India.
This ‘hard to get’ tweet has made many hearts skip a beat among our ministers across the states – who seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time on social media. Musk’s tweet has since been offered by ministers from all over India – Punjab, Telangana, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka – to come and set up a Tesla factory in their state.
So what led to this strange turn of events? Modi visited Tesla’s factory in California in 2015 and later invited Musk to set up Tesla’s first manufacturing facility outside the United States in India. After appearing favorably inclined towards India, Musk struck a deal with China and set up a Tesla factory in Shanghai in 2017 and rolled out Tesla’s first Chinese-made Model 3 sedan in January 2020. Since then, Musk is asking for import relief so Tesla can test the Indian market.
How heartbreaking to make overtures to the sexiest boy in class, only to find out that as soon as you left town, he not only started dating your rival, he married her and even had a child with her? That’s pretty much what seems to have happened to India and its “irresistible” offer to partner with masti-loving Musk.
No one likes being double, after all, and the GoI refuses to cut imports – let alone live them out completely – to meet Poster Boy’s demands.
Now, as Telangana, West ‘Don’t Say Tata Motors’ Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka are all offering their hand and land to Musk, and asking him to set up Tesla factories in their states, there has one small detail they clearly think the Musk-eteer might not notice. And one that will guarantee that their offerings of everything – from infrastructure, from a commitment to environmental sustainability, to a streamlined approval process – will meet the same fate as a love marriage annulled by a disapproving patriarch with a ” Yeh shaadi nahi ho sakti!”
You see, under the Indian federal structure, no state has the right to circumvent the Center by inviting a foreign company to set up in India. Tiny little hurdle, which none of the ministers bothered to mention to Musk. But maybe I should be less cynical after all. It’s the thought that counts.
That Musk chose to ignore all of these overtures sounds a lot like the fate of Cinderella’s not-so-lovely stepsisters vying for Prince Charming’s attentions, only to be bumped into the post by whoever’s foot matches the slipper – not chappal, silly, since in western fairy tales a slipper is a Jimmy Choo type shoe. China has the best cordwainers (fancy way of saying “cobblers”) after all.
Musk may be slightly puzzled. He hasn’t been in such demand since the last time he was in the marriage market and transitioning to a younger, hotter, blonder model. And while our ministers from various states are doing a “chance pe dance”, the Indian government is canceling the marriage proposal for the best reason of rejecting any marital alliance in India – it just doesn’t make financial sense to go ahead. ‘before. Break out the popcorn and get ready for the next season of Who Wants To Woo A Billionaire?