I have been following the US market crashdown. A close friend of mine informed me a few days back that her brother is now jobless due to this crashdown in the American market. He was working for an American MNC in India. This perturbed me and left me thinking. Yesterday, I found a friend of mine Umang who is working in Wipro, Bangalore online. I could not stop myself from having this conversation with him. I am copy-pasting the conversation in almost the same form.
Me: This subprime mortage market crash in US has made so many jobless in India. Global economy you see…
He: Yeah. We are always US dependent. You know dollar value has come down sharply. This has created a huge impact on all the company profiles.
Me: Yeah the dollar has depreciated….infact that makes me feel good, that rupee is appreciating.
He: Rupee will rise because our economy is improving, but again IT indutry is so much dependent on US that it will affect the profit and billing rate of the IT companies here.
Me: Yeah I know… but thats what is strange to me, all the IT experts in the big US companies are Indians but still we do not have anything like Microsoft or Apple. Why we Indians don’t have the global entrepreneurship skills in us is what amazes me!
He: A very good question…let me clarify this, first thing is that all the Indian companies are service based companies. There is no Indian company which has their own product and market globally. We only provide service to the client.
Me: Yeah, that is my point! Why not have a product based company something like say owning Wipro operating system. If we can build products for somebody else then why not for ourselves?
He: See in India we do have manpower but not that efficient and skilled one to go to that extent. And most of the work here is either related to support or testing.
Me: Oh comm’on, I don’t agree that we don’t have skilled manpower. We have the largest chunk of intelligentia.
He: Yes we have, but not in masses.
Me: I think the only thing where we lag behind is the dare devil thought process. We have colonialism so much in our mindsets that we don’t believe that we can rule the world. We somehow like it being ruled by others. We somehow have just accepted that all that we are best at is to provide service to others and not make others provide service to us. Do you understand my point?
He: Ya very much!
Me: And see regarding skill sets, nothing comes without training.
He: Yeah you have raised a very valid question.
Me: If we train our youths with this notion, we would have a huge chunk of entrepreneurs. Tell me how many IIM graduates take on to opening their own ventures? They all get into working for some big MNC thereby adding to their knowledge pool. India gets nothing from them. How great it would have been had they rather gathered to form a product based company of their own taking services from some US companies. The idea itself is so enticing to me.
He: Ya! Then again it requires courage and risk which no Indian company is willing to take at this moment.
Me: Thats the point precisely. We lack courage and risk taking abilties. We always try to play safe.
Me: And that is not gonna lead us anywhere. No risks, no rewards!! Very soon the India Inc. should realise that it’s time to take on the world, we should not have this mindset of serving the world all the time. LET US NOW RULE!!
He: Hmmm…right! Oh you have put down some very good points. But then that’s how Indian companies are operating, asking work from the US and then getting billed for the work done.
Me: Things have to change, and for a change at the bigger platform it’s important that each one of us start thinking differently. Grassroot level change has to be there.
Me: If one Umang and one Nidhi thinks differently today, someday some Premji would get to hear it.
He: Ya that’s true!
Me: Or why not that this Nidhi or this Umang themselves turn this dream to be a reality without any Premji’s help. We must have the courage to dream big!
He: Ya but then most of us are scared and afraid. And let me tell you one thing which you have to appreciate, that today because of IT only lots of people are getting employment opportunities which was tough 12 years back.
Me: But does that help, are we making our lives any better by being scared of taking risks. Yes I appreciate your point, but how does that kill my point? Even if we turn into a product based market we still generate employment.
He: And our standard of living and percapita income has increased.
Me: Let’s not bask in the glory of what little we have achieved… let us decide not to pat ourselves till our ultimate goal of being world rulers is achieved. Let the youth not take this as a victory, let this just be a political agenda for the politicians to take advantage before elections.
He: Hmmmm! You are right. I appreciate the way you think.
Me: I want that even if we oursleves may not be in a position to do something towards this end, but then speaking about these issues would help us propagate this to our countrymen in some way or the other, thereby making somebody finally to work towards this. Though I would personally very much love to do myself something about it. I feel stuck up in life at present, but surely would love to have a company of my own some day catering to an international client base.
He: Hmmm! Great, I appreciate that!
Though probably I won’t be able to materialize all that I said in this conversation, but it left me surprised to see that I have started thinking this way and I feel happy about it!