By Mohit Saxena
“Living the American Dream” continues to be a “desired state” to be in, for all individuals. But the question is whether such a dream today is really possible only in America? Not really. Other countries are catching up and are able to make such an experience feasible in their own homeland. Is this a change that has taken place overnight? Let us look at India’s case specifically.
In the last decade India has been going through a paradigm shift, thanks to the IT boom – this boom is not restricted to purely the IT services that the country has been specializing in since the 80’s given its relatively cheap manpower and abundant talent. The buzz in recent times is increasingly about product companies of global standards that are conceptualizing and thriving in the country and branching out. What has triggered this boom?
Historically speaking, India is a very rich country – in its culture, resources and talent. We have been agriculturists, traders, mathematicians and strong believers in education. While we have contributed immensely to global civilization with all this potential, we have traditionally been peace loving, adaptive and in some sense conservative people who have not stepped largely out of our comfort zones. As a nation we comprise of flexible sets of people, content within our spheres of operations. This scene is however fast changing. Our millennials today are a very different crowd. They want to stretch themselves beyond known bounds – they are not satisfied with an uneventful life, both personal and professional. They bring in a lot of hunger and drive to instil change, all of which is giving India a much needed facelift on the entrepreneurial scene. Among several reasons that have shaped them, the important one is the global exposure they have had growing up- both in their educational space as well as early in their careers. Moreover, we have embraced evolving technologies – be it the Internet, mobiles, social networking, cloud, analytics and so on. Technology is touching the lives of people at the grassroot level – even a farmer is now able to get insights on the weather, latest farming practices and agricultural do’s and don’t’s with easy access to mobile apps, which are further enriching his core domain expertise.
The country is also simultaneously witnessing a strong positive push on the political front – never before in history has a President/Head of State leveraged his celebrity role to connect with young Indians and the student community, susequently inspiring them to step up. I am talking about none other but our beloved Late President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He was a man who has led by example- with his rocket launch missions decades ago- when technology aids were not in the forefront. When such a person advocated entrepreneurship nation-wide, even in his last breath, there is a new found trust the youth have in themselves to do something different.
At the very core, for a venture to succeed, a few factors are critical. These include a deep understanding of the problem to be solved, a targetable and receptive market segment, sufficient capital to at least demonstrate initial results, and the right minds with a fanatic drive to bring all of these together in shaping and engineering the solution. India has never had a dearth of right minds. However, it is only in the recent years that these other factors have started falling in place. With everything in place- including people’s mindsets, technology access, and a socio-economic climate that is conducive to growth- we all of a sudden have all our ducks aligned to scale new heights.
Additionally, the world has long seen India’s growing population as an obstacle to our advancement.
For the first time, such a large and diverse user base gives us a very rich testing ground right in our home land.
This is a mixed user base of both- young population that is willing to take on risks and an overall user base that is receptive to using new solutions that are entering the market. The Alibabas, Amazons, Microsofts of the world amongst others, are equally looking at strengthening their presence in India. Such an exciting time for both startups and established enterprises in India is unprecedented.
With such talent, user base, and technology presence, there is no option but for global funding to flow in, making India the new land of opportunities where the overall socio-economic positioning of the country is positively impacted. What more do we need? Let’s bask in this ongoing golden era of opportunities and make the best, both for ourselves and our country, pushing India to an enviable spot in the global ranks