Editorial – Amazing India
By James Wright
Enormous, economically poor yet growing fast, rich in culture and culture and diversity, India caught the imagination and filled with wonder the FIA Executive MBA travelers who visited that country in February 2012. In Bangalore, we saw a busy town where brilliant engineers created cutting edge companies like Infosys, where a beautiful ultra modern campus shares a wall with slums of the poor. In India, more than one hundred world class R&D centers compete for talent, and in talks with company executives, we found that companies like GE and SKF offer high level technological solutions created in India for clients all over the world, attending both to first world and emerging market needs. In Delhi, where old and new, wealth and poverty, Hindu and Moslem coexist, we visited Sistel, a call center where meticulous production techniques provide quality service and young Indians solve problems for travelers all over the world. At Business School lectures in Bangalore and Delhi we discussed with faculty the diversity across all economic, linguistic and social dimensions, and the implications for policies, development and marketing to the Indian market. With Marcopolo, the Brazilian world leader in bus manufacture which operates two factories in India, we explored some of the enormous market potential and opportunities arising from India’s rapid economic development and massive urban growth. Infrastructure, energy, transportation, food and many other items, are opportunities for companies both in high end and in lower income markets. The marvelous symmetry of the Taj Mahal, the grandeur of the Red Fort, the excitement of speeding through crowded streets by bicycle rickshaws and tuc-tucs are all experiences that must be lived to believe. The holy cows, the generosity of simple folk who spontaneously invites Brazilian strangers to dance and share food in their daughter’s wedding , the gentle philosophy of the Hindus who celebrate life, created a challenging and fascinating opportunity for business, study and mutual learning. All this in a country which in a few decades will be the most populous and the third largest GDP in the world! In a journey like this, we always come away having learnt many lessons; that there are many different and creative solutions to problems; that much can be done with very limited resources; that as international executives, we must be aware of different approaches, different values and that we must be prepared to deal with the unexpected and be ready to seize opportunities which may arise.
Many thanks and our wishes to all who joined us on this challenging experience that these lessons will serve you well. James Wright.