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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.

There is an Unbelievable Market in Europe

Shombhit Sengupta
Monday, February 1, 2010
Shombhit Sengupta
Speeding through Europe either as a tourist or business person you may be pleasantly surprised to find how the Euro facilitates your travel everywhere, save in a few countries. The Euro has simplified your money transactions. But transaction efficiency has not translated into an economic upswing. In fact, one may argue that compared to traditional lifestyles the Euro has slowly but surely brought down economic indicators across the region. The much talked about ‘classless society’ of Europe is slowly giving way to the pattern of ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ with ample evidence of the cost of living skyrocketing everyday. Narrating his woes, a big city taxi driver says he can only afford living in the suburbs; his daily commuting cost is killing him. Opulence versus scarcity may not be as visible as in an emerging country as the basic level in the West is more advanced; there may be no abject poverty, but stress levels are indeed very high. The social fabric of the egalitarian society is coming apart.

Globalization has thrown up a set of circumstances that Europeans find challenging to deal with. Europe’s original population is decreasing; immigrants, mainly from Africa and Asia are taking over those labor-intensive jobs that Europeans are not interested in. As a consequence, immigrant related issues create discomfort without anybody willing to tackle them.

The fear of sudden terrorist attacks from anywhere in the world has made security a top-of-mind subject. Education systems lag behind more competitive economies. The fear of AIDS is interfering in lifestyle, making people introverted, narrowing their social subsistence. With outsourcing work to cheaper shores, there is scarcity of jobs in Europe. Global warming is spelling doom and destruction and environmental pollution is quite visible. And at a holistic level, there is a lack of leadership and political will, coupled with a huge distrust in the political system among the proletariat. The rise of India and China has further dented the public’s confidence who perceive this development with more fear and awe, rather than with realism. This lack of mental confidence has drastically reduced the desire level of people in Europe. The markets have become saturated; somewhere that excitement and dynamism are missing.

Contrast with India

Compare this to the situation in India. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1991 and fully opening up to global markets after signing the WTO agreement in 2003, people in the metro areas, urban, semi-urban, and even rural areas are all prospering. The free market and global business opportunities, especially in services, have given rise to financial fluidity in India. Salaries have risen, there is disposable income and retail banking is at a high pitch. From being a protected economy since independence in 1947, Indian markets offer the consumers an enormous choice today. So the middle class has enthusiastically migrated from the need level to an immoderate desire level.

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