Posted by: Myself | April 9, 2008

The asian growth story

The stage was perfect. Audience was in full strength. Even the biggies were all ears.

Well the event was a talk (or shall i say book publicity) by Prof. Kishore Mahbubani, Dean @ NUS and a renowned asian Diplomat. Whos who of Infy ranging from NRN, Kris, Mohandas Pai were part of the audience. The topic of talk was basically abstract of the Profs. new book The new Asian Hemisphere and sharing his experience with the infy crowd and as i felt a very sophiticated way to tell ppl that i have written a gr8 book. Sorry Sir but i felt it to b a cheap publicity stunt on top of all.

Coming to the discussion. It started with the talk about how India and China are fast catching up the west in terms of development. He was of the fact that west feels it too uncomfortable to cede power to asians now. Speaker was of the view that this rise is mere replication of the west and not something to topple their supermacy. In a nutshell what i understood from his views that he want to convey that this rise in Asia will do good in the world by levelling standards of people and not just shifts of power. It seemed that he wanted to wrap this neo-capitalism in wrapper of neo-socialism !!

Found a very basic flaw in his assumptions which were very hard for me to digest. I dont think India and to some level china is even coming close to the west and in particular US in terms of development. The reason behind it is that the american development was based on sound in house demand. Henry Ford while making cars made sure that his workers get extra wages so that they can afford the cars being manufactured. He himself created middle class which turned out to b his biggest customer. I dont find even a single example of it here in India. Some may argue that our incomes are on rise consistantly but thats not enough. Still a large portion of industry is dependent on minorities be it urban upper middle class or Americans and Europeans. So however much we earn in this current situation we ll b always worrying about american subprimes or dollar weakness. Until we have a solid base to support our industry it cant sustain a long time.

We might be reaching higher spectrums of the salaries with a huge talent pool earning in urban india. But this alone is not sufficient to compete the already established superpowers. We need a all inclusive growth which will include large chunk of population. If a small section keeps on rising while a larger section is still looking for a rise then surely we ll face standoffs like we already are witnessing against stores like Reliance Fresh. You cant ignore interests of such a large section of society howsoever selfish it maybe.

In 80s business and political leaders have been tlking about how Japan will take over US and will emrge as superpower. But still its working silently and working as hard it was just after WWII. Perhaps India and China should do the same and instead of proclaiming themselves as world leaders keep on working towards a +ve goal and enjoy the fruits of success that may come in the way.

PS: The MC hall where such talks r held in infy is the best audi i have even seen in real or in pics … it rox big time.

PS1: Its late in night so shud go to sleep 🙂 



    1. This again strengthens my hypothesis that we are under influence of west. When we try to think of our development we try to compare it with West rather than think of our development based on sound rationale from point of view of India and her needs. The same is reflected in review “catching up the west”. The writer(Mahbubani) is damn sycophant(of west) in that sense.
    2. Dont make your viewpoint entirely on economic basis. Development has a lot of branches…

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