Date: Friday , February 28, 2003
Going Back Home
Dr. Bobby Mitra’s strong case for India as a strong market for U.S. returnees is a compelling article. In many instances, the people who want to stay back are those who have come here on an H1-B and fear going back to where they came from, as the opportunities may have vanished. But for those who have gained a U.S. education, especially in a technology or professional course, this fear is baseless, as seen from Dr. Mitra’s invitation to people to come back to India. Today, India is emerging to be a strong player in design and development also, apart from offering economic services.
Upon more research, it comes to light that Dham has raised only about $8 million to invest. I wonder what he intends to achieve with so little. However, I think his plan to leverage Indian design talent is an excellent one, though how he manages to successfully complete the projects will be watched with interest. India still lacks talent in high technology design, and how Dham plans to overcome this interests me. Do keep us posted with another news bit on how he fares.
Chetan Maini should be congratulated for his efforts in bringing an environmentally-friendly car to the market, despite being cheated out of the sops promised by the government. It could be a good business opportunity for all the rich Valley Indians to explore the possibilities of working with Maini in leveraging apt technology and bringing professional marketing to penetrate the tough markets. Are they upto it?
Jagdish makes a compelling case of getting into a mindset to provide a higher value proposition for BPO. But however noble his intentions may be, I suspect India will be (and is branded) as a low-cost provider of high tech services. As long as we continue to grab opportunities that are a chore to developing nations and as long as there is no dearth of well qualified graduates eager to grab any job to eke a living, we cannot move away from the "Rate Arbitrage" which we provide. The way out of this quagmire is to be able to use the low-cost BPO as a foothold into moving high quality, high value offerings. I do not believe that Indian marketing and strategy consultants are inferior either intellectually or ethically than those that exist in the developed countries. We have learn to use the laws of economics to gain a competitive edge. If it is low cost, be it so. But, the important thing we need to learn is not to stop there. Think of Japan's evolution - they went from same electronics at low cost to better electronics at higher profits. I think we need to consider adopting a similar model. George Santayana was right - “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it. "
C K Kumar