Archive for the ‘India’ Category

Back from the land of opportunity

Monday, August 20th, 2007

Been missing from action the past couple of months due to increased responsibilities at work and my dysfunctional organization skills :-)

Hopefully I’ve gotten my act together now and can spend more time on my blog …

I’m just back from spending over a month in Bangalore, India working with my colleagues based there. It has been a very long time since I spent this much time in India and it was a wonderful opportunity for me to really observe and understand what is going on with the Indian economy. I will try to capture some of my key observations in posts over the next few weeks.

Overall, I must say that I am totally amazed at the level of activity and energy I saw – India is definitely a happenin’ place. Very different from the India I left over 16 years ago.

Indians in their twenties who have either recently graduated or are about to graduate from college are the most confident bunch of people I have seen in a long time. They really feel like the world is theirs for the taking and are not shy of putting in the effort to take it. What is very interesting to observe is that some of the older folks in the work force – those that have been working for over a decade in the Indian industry and are doing extremely well economically are also the least risk taking. On the other hand,  folks fresh out of college are jumping straight into launching their own ventures!!

All is not quite so rosy – the infrastructure in India is pretty poor. The roads in all major cities are totally clogged, there are issues with the water supply and frequent power cuts. Pretty much anyone who can afford it spends the money to insulate themselves from these problems. It may take time and energy to navigate the crowded streets, but one’s personal chauffeur takes on the stress while they kickback and chill in their air conditioned car. Clean water may be a un-affordable luxury for common folks but for those who can pay, it can be delivered home in sterile bottles.  Sultry days and nights without power are only for those who cannot afford a generator or an UPS system to ride out the power cuts. Of course, lot of these workarounds add more problems like pollution, smog and traffic – but not many people are thinking about these long term consequences – they’re just enjoying their newfound wealth and status …