Indian Entrepreneurship in doldrums

Recently while surfing the net for reading material on Venture Capital in India, I came across an interesting article.(

In the article the author describes how the committed capital chasing India is abundant but that in today’s India, the commodity in short supply is good entrepreneurs. Bulls eye!

The arguments enumerated by the author are very convincing. Take for instance these paragraphs- “Historically, India has been the world’s back-office. Consequently, the skill-set that has developed in India is that of engineering management and coding. The specifications are provided by teams elsewhere. Elsewhere, the market studies get done. Indian managers do not understand global technology markets. They have hardly had opportunity to learn this aspect of business. Entrepreneurs try to position products without knowledge of the product marketing discipline.
The natural instinct for Indian entrepreneurs is to build outsourcing services companies. BPO. Software Development. Chip Design. Those ventures take less capital, and become revenue generating fast. None of the Operating Loss period of a pure play product company is necessary, and hence, venture capital is also unnecessary.”

Juxtapose this situation against the entrepreneurship boom in China that we are hearing so much about. China has today become the second most influential economy in the world and it is an open secret that the Chinese government’s move to mobilize its working population towards entrepreneurship has a big role to play in what China has grown to become today. From an over-populated poor country to a country that can make the US President Bow to its wills-quite literally!

Yet year after year a talented pool of Indian youth bred to set their minds on corporate jobs in multinational firms pass out from professional colleges and universities in India, with their eyes set on the 5-6 figure salaries that they can lay their hands on in these MNCs, opening the door for a grand lifestyle. There are very few who dare to take the road less travelled-that of the entrepreneur!

Skip to the scene in China again, the country that is pushing India up the wall be it in trade, economy, growth or muscle power in international relations- border dispute included! The dragon has the largest pool of entrepreneurs today and is soon set to overtake India in having the largest English speaking population.

Holding the mirror to the difference between the 2 countries is a reality show titled Win in China where the best entrepreneur is the winner, the winner receiving nearly $1.5 million dollars to invest in their new business plan. Win in China is more than a lucrative business plan competition – it is an opportunity for the government to educate, motivate and inspire the latent entrepreneurial talent in the most populous nation on earth.

Have you seen this in India, a country where every possible reality show finding success abroad is aped?! Of course we Indians only like to watch dramatic marriage hunts and celebrities bitching about each other in the reality shows!

Throwing more light on the scenario is a documentary #WinInChina that uses the world’s largest and most lucrative business-plan competition –Win in China– as the metaphor to explore the radical cultural changes taking place in China and the surge of Chinese entrepreneurs, to consider the implications for the rest of the world.

The documentary directed by Robert A. Compton, the Executive Producer of the Two Million Minutes series on global education describes how in the 30 years since Mao’s death, China has evolved from deep poverty to the second largest economy in the world – quietly lifting 400 million people out of abject poverty.

The documentary shows Chinese capitalism in its rawest form. Beneath the game show’s surface lies a nuanced, subtle view of Chinese business practices, ambitions, ethical norms and competitive behaviors.

The timing of the documentary couldn’t have been more apt, what with India looking more like a sitting duck for the Chinese onslaught with every passing day!


4 thoughts on “Indian Entrepreneurship in doldrums

  1. china has reached where it is now, due to its extensive reforms. In the early stages of the economic reform in China there was the emphasis on the independence for both enterprises and individuals. the boom period of private sector in China began after Deng Xiaoping’s theory of ‘getting big forward and development is the first principal in China’.
    China’s basic political, economic, social, cultural, and legal environments have changed completely since then till now.
    As per me, China has reached this stage completely due to its aggreesive reforms.

  2. When I was small I was told, to learn any game Play with the best, you will learn more! Same applies here rather than comparing what they did in China, I would say lets compete. There is a new breed of young indians coming up who are being groomed for entrepreneurship, I would say wait and watch for some years and everything will be clear. Whole India may be watching dramatic marriage hunts but the producer of that show is a Indian entrepreneur who gets the worlds highest TRP sometimes. Just a simple e.g would be this and see how are Indian coming up with new businesses. I know till now its been people working for 5-6 figures salary, But, with so much of manpower, everyone don’t has to be entrepreneur. There are a set of young people in every field making their debut in business (even in politics to bring that so called reform). These businesses are not limited to Service and outsourcing. Young guyz are coming up with awesome innovative ideas and products from food chains, micro finance schemes to hi-tech, biotech or green tech. I don’t know what generation you are, but I am 25 and with my generation, we are not sitting duck for the Chinese onslaught. Just because Chinese businesses produce bulk production, that does make them more innovative. Yes they are selling goods on a large scale but with a tag on it “Use and Throw” or “Cheap Chinese Product”. We will surely not be that. And BTW I am writing this message parallel while writing a already successful business story that to in India by a youngster.

    • Agree that entrepreneurship is not “everything'”! but still it is “something” my friend; that something which has great potential. 🙂 I am 23 and very much a pert of the generation that is rearing to go but feel sad that we are just the arms and legs of great businesses and not the head.

  3. Pingback: Ten ideas for a better India | The Color Purple

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