International -- The Stars of Asia -- Policymakers
N. Chandrababu Naidu (int'l edition)
Chief Minister -- Andhra Pradesh -- India
N. Chandrababu Naidu is an unflinching proponent of technology and what it can do for a poor country like India. He is known as the "Laptop Minister" for his constant electronic companion.
In his five years running Andhra Pradesh, Naidu, 50, has used his decisiveness and drive to transform the state. Before he took office, it was ranked 22nd as a place to do business by a newsmagazine poll; it's third today. Naidu has tripled the number of engineering colleges and increased telephone lines from 600,000 in 1995 to 2.2 million now. Naidu also lobbied U.S. diplomats to persuade President Clinton to visit in March.
With such moves, he's attracting investors. Foreign investment reached $19 million by the first quarter of this year, up $16.7 million in the past 12 months. And last year, the Wharton-Kellogg Indian School of Business picked Hyderabad to set up shop. With Naidu in charge, there'll be plenty more investors to come.