Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Future Is Bright

Chandy to address 4 sessions at Davos World Economic Forum

TRIVANDRUM, JAN 25: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, one of the only three CMs invited to the WEF, is to present four papers at the World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland), including one on "Divide in Digital Technology'.

He is to address four sessions from January 27 to January 29. On January 27, Mr Chandy is to speak on the `Development agenda of the millennium'. The topics the Chief Minister has picked up out of the sessions on January 28 are `Divide in Digital Technology' and `Social Entreprenurship'. On January 29, he has been invited to address a gathering of world economic decision-makers. The theme of WEF this year is `Creative Imperative.'

The Canandian Business Forum had extended a special invitiation to Mr Chandy to participate in its interactive session at Davos sidelines. "This would yield informal investment promotion opportunities to showcase India and especially Kerala," Mr Chandy said.

DAVOS, Jan 26: For once, India is really everywhere at Davos.

With the 35th World Economic Forum (WEF) opening at the Swiss mountain resort, one cannot help but notice "India Everywhere". Right from the moment you step off the aircraft at Zurich airport, big hoardings proclaiming India greet you. Upon reaching Davos, located about 150 km from Zurich, the Indian colours are just about everywhere.

In fact, you see more of India than Switzerland in Davos this year. The buses wear Indian colours, the bus shelters have Indian advertisements, and key bars, pubs and hotels in the city where the economic meet began Wednesday evening are serving up Indian snacks and Indian wines and beer.

I get overwhelmed by feelings most of the time. And my patriotism and pride of being an Indian is no different. Like everyone else, I have a dream for myself and my loved ones. I have a dream for my Kerala. I have a dream for my India too.

Right from college, I have seen friends and family leave India for a better education, better employment, better environment, better lifestyle etc. I have studied in school about the phenomenon called "Brain Drain" that was plaguing India. Infact, even I had many opportunities during college, university and even recently to go out of India for a better career. But I chose against it and continued in India. Now I am not talking against going out of India for any reason. It was my individual decision based on my circumstances and preferences. I have travelled out of India, and plan to do more in the near future, god willing. Infact I believe if one has the chance to a better quality of life or education or system, he or she should take it or leave it depending on what the best for that individual is - though it will be a great idea to either come back to India and work here after your education, or "give back" to your country how ever you can, like a lot of great NRI's, IIT and IIM graduates living out of India do. But never lose love for your country. I cannot stand people who put down India once they go out and I have seen many such characters.

Probably its because of my upbringing that I feel so much about all this. My grandparents were ordinary folks, who struggled day and night in fields and deserted lands to educate their sons and daughters. And my parents too struggled and built up their lives from scratch. Today they have comforts and assets that they can bank on and be comfortable in life. When I drive across Kerala, I stop by a small house somewhere next to a large paddy field. Kind of like a monument for me, that marks the place where my grand folks lived, and struggled through life to bring up my mother. I hope some day every Indian can look back and feel proud like me.

I read somewhere that if you love and respect your mother, you will love and respect your country too. And if you love and respect your dad, you will love and respect your company/ employer/ organisation too.

Anyway the point is, India has come a long way. Today we are at cross roads and ready to take the world head on. And when I read news columns like the above, I feel so proud and overwhelmed that India is what she is today. Today we are seeing "Brain Gain" and "Brain ReGain" with Indians and even foreigners coming from abroad seeking better opportunities. India is no more just a land of snake charmers and elephants, and every Indian can look back and see where we are now..and more importantly where we can reach!

I have interacted with some of the great "men behind" these struggles, campaigns and victories. Campaigns like "Incredible India" and "India Shining" (which had its bit of controversies) which have brought out to the public the silent transformation of India as a nation. And it is truly amazing to know the sheer grit and determination of these men and women. Even a program like the NDTV show on Amir Khan's new movie "Rang De Basanti" ( which is about the courage of young India, about "awakening and standing up for ones beliefs") reflects the transformation and the exciting possibilities. It had around 100 youngsters interacting with the cast and crew of the movie and it showed how smart and talented the youth of New India are, and their pride of being Indian. No wonder if youngsters idolise Aamir, rather than politicians or "leaders", because I see in him substance and sense - absent in our politicos, except a few like our current PM, FM, CM and others. ( Amir is my favorite actor, and the movie soundtrack is great by the way.)

I leave you with some proud facts on the emerging India:

India's GDP will reach $ 1 trillion by 2011, $ 2 trillion by 2020, $ 3 trillion by 2025, $ 6 trillion by 2032, $ 10 trillion by 2038, and $ 27 trillion by 2050, becoming the third largest economy after USA and China.

India is the second fastest growing economy of the world at present.

Free, vocal, alert and quality media. 5600 dailies with a combined circulation of 60 million, nearly 15000 weeklies and 20000 periodicals in 21 languages. (without counting blogs :))

Large and growing market of 1 billion people of which 300 million are middle class consumers.

India offers a vibrant market of youth and vigor with 54% of population below 25 years of age and over 65% below the age of 35.

Every month, there is an addition of one million cell phone subscribers.

India is the stock market with the greatest short-term and long-term potential in Asia.

India has the third largest investor base in the world.

Of the Fortune 5000 companies 220 outsource their software from India.

80 out of world's 117 SEI CMM level-5 companies are from India.

India's IT and IT-enabled services exports go to 133 countries.

If anyone against outsourcing is reading this, The BPO operations of GE capital in India saves the company US$340 million a year.

Second largest reservoir of knowledge resource- engineers, scientists, managers and skilled personnel and the largest pool of IT manpower in the world. It is estimated that there are 150,000 IT professionals in Bangalore as against 120,000 in Silicon Valley.

Other than USA and Japan, the only other country, which has built super computer indigenously, is India.

India has become a major provider of biotech information to clients around the world.

There are over 100 MNCs who have set up R&D centers in India, including GE, Bell Labs, Du Pont, Daimler Chrysler, Eli Lilly, Intel, Monsanto, Texas Instruments, Caterpillar, Cummins, GM, Microsoft and IBM.

India is home to the largest number of pharma plants approved by USFDA outside USA.

Indian companies have started venturing into other countries for production, acquisitions, and even research and development.Indian companies have acquired 120 foreign firms in the period 2001- 2003 worth US$ 1.6 billion.

Seven Indian companies are listed in NYSE and three in NASDAQ. There are over 15 companies listed in LSE.

Indian students are the largest in number among foreign students in USA.

While India is being globalized, there is also a quiet Indianisation of the Globe.

I used to say " The Future is Bright, The Future is Orange" when anyone asked me about India, but since orange is now taking religious and political hues, I will just say:

The Future is Bright.

Happy Republic Day!!


silverine said...

What amazing statistics. Truly overwhelmed with a feeling of pride after reading this. The future is definitely bright for India, a country that struggled against itself to overcome and outperform!

rocksea said...

didnt complete the whole but it's amazing to see Oommen Chandy is going to WEF! Hope Kerala dreams come true in the near future.

JamesBright said...

Wonderful post..
My best wishes.

quills said...

Brilliant Post! And thank you for reminding everyone what a great country India truly is. Economists say that if India maintains its current growth rate (there is even possibility of it going double digits), she is on the right path as you said to becoming a world superpower.

Maya Cassis said...

Wow..great to read about all our struggles.It should always have a happy ending,else nothing feels worth it.

Mind Curry said...

@ silverine - thanks dear. overwhelm is the word. and as you rightly pointed out, all this is after the "country struggled against itself" as much as with others.

@ rocksea - when you get time, do complete the whole :)

@ dreamslittle - thanks man, dream big!

@ quills - dont let anyone ever forget what a great country India is. as per latest projections, India will become the largest economy by 2020, overtaking USA and China.

@ maya - yes, we can sing "so much for my happy ending" at Avril's concert, you on someones shoulder ofcourse.

ursjina said...

That was quite impressive...and hey..saw rang de basanthi..cant rate it as excellent..but quite a good one...
Thanx for the movie n ur post for raisin my spirits on republic day...

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