Indian Entrepreneurship in doldrums


Recently while surfing the net for reading material on Venture Capital in India, I came across an interesting article.(http://www.sramanamitra.com/articles/venture-capital-in-india/)

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!

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