Here we are, in continuation of the previous post, on ways to tackle the problems faced by the country due to the abundant nature of the Indian economy, as explained in the previous two posts. The excerpt is from It Takes Two To Tango, written by serial entrepreneur, Gaurav Marya. We have divided the subject in three parts. This is the first of the three-part article.

I am an optimist but I don’t wear rose-tinted glasses. I am well aware that problems exist for us in India. The World Bank global “Doing Business Project” ranks India 132 among the 183 countries judged on the criteria of the “ease of doing business.” This is a rank lower than Gaza and the West Bank, but higher than Nigeria. Our neighbours score better; Bangladesh – 122, Nepal – 107, Pakistan – 105 and Sri Lanka – 89.

I share the concern expressed by Prof. Dipankar Gupta, an eminent scholar who started the Business Ethic and Integrity Services at KPMG, when he says: “If India is teaming ahead with a growth rate of roughly seven top nice per cent. . .why is India shining on some fronts and not on others?” (This is from the book The Caged Phoenix.) Prof. Gupta goes on to talk about the “structural impediments. . .[that] deny growth benefits to the majority of one billion plus Indians.”

He is not alone. The Anna Hazare movement has put corruption back on the popular agenda. Aamir Khan, through his television reality show, Satyamev Jayate, has tried to awaken the nation’s conscience on many horrifying facts that still hold true in the country. We still face the challenge of providing quality education to our youth and children. Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilenkani has said: “Technically we have free public schooling. Government schools exist for that. However, in reality, the government schools are dysfunctional.” In his book Imagining India, the quotes that of the 350,000 engineering students who graduate every year, only half can be considered to be employable.

In sum, we need to evolve ways in which the retail investor, the micro customer and the small entrepreneur feel more empowered to design useful, profitable and desirable initiatives. So is the glass half-full or half-empty? Frankly speaking, I don’t have the time to debate that. I want to focus my energies on joining the entrepreneurs who are coming forward to fill the glass. And we are slowly yet steadily succeeding to do so.

My concern here is to move beyond the complacence that “feel good” thinking gives us when we hear growth stories. My urge is to shake off the despondency that is settled within when we think of all the things we still have to achieve as a nation. My urgent need is to share the conviction that ultimately we can only sustain our individual growth if we can create benefit for the whole nation. What encourages me is that I see this same spirit that moves the Indian entrepreneur.

Continued. . .


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