The next Fortune 500 companies

April 23, 2008
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Conseco has dropped off the Fortune 500, leaving WellPoint, Lilly, Cummins and NiSource as the only Indiana companies remaining.

Several Indiana firms are closing in on the elite list, though.

One is Steel Dynamics, the Fort Wayne company that recycles scrap metal. It was No. 517 on the magazine's 2008 list of largest domestic companies, helped by the surge in steel prices. Quite a growth story: Co-founder Keith Busse stormed through Indianapolis raising startup capital just 15 years ago.

Other Indiana companies in the offing include Plainfield cell phone distributor Brightpoint, 527 on this year's list; Warsaw prosthetics maker Zimmer Holdings, 560; and Simon Property Group, the Indianapolis-based shopping mall giant, 585.

These companies are thriving. Do you see reasons why other companies in the state can't do well, too?

  • Brain Drain is major reason why companies in Indiana cannot do as well as they could and should. Look at the number of fortune 500 companies in such places as Omaha & Richmond, Va. Puts Indy to shame.
  • Water doesn't choose to go down a drain, there is a force that propels it out. I graduated college in 2004 and have yet been able to find a career opportunity anywhere near my chosen field. Like me, I think there are a large number of college graduates that would enjoy staying in their home state. So, is the lack of fortune 500 companies caused by college graduates going elsewhere, or are college graduates leaving the state because of the lack of good fortune 500 type jobs?
  • I am graduating from college this year, and I am trying desperately to find a good job here in Indiana. I want to live in Indianapolis, and I know several other college grads that are looking to remain in Indiana, many of whom are from neighboring states like Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois. Indianapolis is becoming very attractive to college graduates of nearby universities, some of which are like mine an 50 minutes away. The problem: none of us have yet to secure any jobs. There is a growing market of college graduates who want to remain here, like myself. The biggest problem is that Fortune 500 companies do not just get up and move their headquarters. It takes time before the smaller companies can grow and expand, and it is hard for college graduates to find these smaller, fast-growing companies when they are not as aggressive in their recruiting. I really believe the tides have changed for Indiana economically, and due to the business friendly environment compared to surrounding states, Indianapolis and Indiana as a whole will be the city and state to be in the Midwest in the coming years.

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  1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

  3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

  4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.