Here is a grim reality which you must all accept. India has the potential to be on top. The reason we are not is because we ourselves don’t know that we have what it takes to take on the big players like USA, GB, Germany etc. Now you may say that we have had considerable amount of growth and development, when I look at the broader picture I must say our growth is not even close to 10% of what we are capable of. We have the highest number of scientists, engineers, doctors but still we are only a developing country. I feel the following may not be an inclusive but an illustrative list of the reasons for India not developing as fast as Top Shots.
1) Brain Drain?
India has the largest number of engineers and scientists who go abroad and work for foreign companies. Why does this happen? Can’t they stay in India and serve for the nation? Frankly speaking my own answer to this question would be no. What is there for Indians in India? We don’t have any proper research centres. No expenditure for upgrade on scientific knowledge in India in the union budget. We have a few interesting places where Indians can show their knowledge for example let’s say: ISRO, DRDO, etc. but again the next thing I know is people accusing the government that they should stop spending on projects to the moon and start spending on eradicating poverty. Educated people get more opportunities abroad where they are respected for their knowledge. So why should they stay and rot in this country what offers only basic employment and retirement plans.
2) Technology Export.
Most number of people working in NASA, Microsoft and many more are Indians. Well that was I guess a decade ago. Now we have research centres in India where Indians develop their technology and at the same time these MNCs only have to pay peanuts for Indians in India. When the technology is almost 90% ready these MNCs transfer it to a low tax country and gets the IPR transferred to the entity in that country as soon as it gets finished. The Indian government sits happily in India with the small pile of employment and Indian tax authorities are going for retrospective amendments to save tax revenues without realising that we are losing lot of royalty and TFS revenue by allowing this. We should have laws which restrict technology developed in India to get the IPR also in India. Even if the technology is transferred it should have its arm’s length price determined in a more appropriate method. MNCs take these technology and they take IPR for it and earn huge revenue out of it. Google, Microsoft, IBM, GSK, etc. all earn revenue all over the globe, but their IPRs are situated in countries that either doesn’t levy tax or levies low taxes.
The result: Everyone is happy without even knowing what the other person is gaining and what we are losing.
3) Brain Rot.
Another reason is a lot of brain rot that happens in India. I mentioned more about this in another article titled Irony of Success of Arrange Marriages which speaks about the grim reality in India where wives are not allowed to take up a career in many households. India is a place where we believe that men are supposed to work and women are to look after the family. Talk about gender inequality!
Outsourcing may not lead to technology issues, but it certainly helps in reducing the cost of MNCs. Higher profits, higher taxes and higher growth to the company as well as the economy. Again we India and Indians are happy with the small pile of employment we get and somewhat taxes. Poor India! If these keeps on then why wouldn’t we have a culture shift?
5) Entrepreneurial Development.
India is a country where we talk about jobs more than having our own business. Dropouts have made the best businessmen in the past. That doesn’t mean that passouts are only meant for employment. If dropouts can make such a drastic change then why can’t passouts. I guess I should quote Steve Jobs here “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people, who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” He is right. Only dropouts are crazy enough to think they can change the world, because the one who gets education is always taught to follow the system and not to question it. Come on fellas I am sure you will all agree to me that many times you feel the system is wrong people would be there to tell you that you have to adjust to the system. India is one such place where parents and surround people never wants you to become an entrepreneur. They are happy with you being an employed person where you have a safe and secured life. Well I am not denying that doing business in India is also a big hurdle but you can’t ignore Mr Narayanan Murthy or Tatas, Dhirubhai Ambhani, Rashesh Shah and many more who have made a mark and changed the Indian Industry.
Focusing on the next issue I would point out education. Indian education system is what I would say taking a bullock cart ride in the 21st century. We live in a country where people are not even aware of the various career opportunities available. I travel to south India and see every Tom, Dick and Harry is an engineer or a doctor. Even about a week back a student in the 12th standard in the southern part of India asked me what he should do after his 12th. Well my question was what was his interest? He replied that engineer or doctor. Well I did get a little irritated but still keeping my cool I just asked, are you aware of other career options? He said yes there is mechanical engineering, chemical engineering etc. etc. So I had to break his narrow access to knowledge and educate him with other option. I told him about actuary, CA, CS, law etc. etc. and he was amazed. He asked me what all these things are. Now this is the situation we live in. People don’t know what career options are available and they end up doing something they don’t like. Top universities in southern India don’t support arts or commerce stream. Now imagine that. I would like to tell you something from the bottom of my heart – “I would love it if I hear someone telling me that I was to become a writer, a poet, an archer, a musician, a microbiologist, an economist etc”. Well waiting for such days.
So to sum up these are some facts as to why India is still struggling to get up the ladder. Please look at other ladders also. If you all see only one ladder which seems to be promising then it will take time for everyone to climb it. Hope the new government does something about it. Let’s see what the future holds for this rich and prosperous country.