The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

September - 2007 - issue > Cover Feature

India: Start of an interesting Journey, but are we building the right Roads!

Kanwar Chadha
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Kanwar Chadha
India of today is very different from the India I left in 1981. In those days we had a lot to talk about our glorious history and maybe India being the largest democracy in the world, but not much about India blazing new trails. It seemed as if the world had moved forward and India was still dreaming about history. World was focused on China and the “Tigers of Asia”, while India was more associated with snake charmers and camel riders. Indian bureaucracy was world famous for its “License Raj” mentality and almost everything was on allocation with people waiting for years to get a telephone line connection or a car, among other things. Although we had some world-class educational institutions such as the IITs and IIMs, some of the best technical brains were leaving the country and driving innovations globally, especially in the U.S.A.

Today we have a well established “Brand” especially in the high technology industry. License Raj is gone and some of the best economic brains are driving our economic policies. Our economy is growing at a rate of 8-10% a year and there is a thriving middle class that has become a big consumer of products and services. India and China are considered the emerging global economic power houses. We are starting to see the reverse brain drain with Indians in India and from abroad starting many new companies and institutions here in India. Some of the big business houses in India such as Reliance and Tatas are going global and taking leadership positions in their respective fields. When we set up our India operations at SiRF, we called it our “Center of Excellence”, not just a development center, with a charter to develop products and technologies for global and local consumption.

During a visit to Europe recently, a German editor asked me a very interesting question: “What should Europe and U.S.A. do to be competitive against India and China in future?” Who would have imagined such a question few years ago!

It has taken significant effort from Indians within India and all across the world to establish the credibility of India as a country to reckon with. However, we cannot rest on our laurels; we are just getting started on an interesting journey and where we end up will depend a lot on the kind and quality of “Roads” we build as we go along.

Good “Roads” make the journey easier

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