I am a big fan of PC, our FM, our FinMin. I missed his speech at NDTV Profit Business Leadership Awards but managed to get a copy of it recently. (I am a fan of NDTV and Pranab’s leadership but their websites really sucks, can’t open 50% of the time. Plz do something about it.)
I also liked Sunil Mittal’s interview but PC’s speech was far more impressive.
Some points from PC’s speech that impressed me:
- The Rule of Three – He said that becoming top 10 is not sufficient, we need to be #1 or atleast be in top 3 (as per the rule of three). He asked Dr Reddy’s, Tatas, Mahindras and other companies to strive for it. At business level we are also trying to be #1 and proudly at #1 for few global communities. Its not only about the achievement but about your vision to be there. Dream big, Dream different.
- Accountability – Are politicians accountable? His speech was soft but honest. He said, he is not only accountable to media but also to the village girl who asks, “where is my school“, to the old lady asking, “where is water and electricity for my village“. He said, “I am accountable to all the voters“. I appreciate it very much. As a leader you are accountable to everyone who works with you and also accountable to their families.
- $12.1 billion Tata-Corus deal making Indians proud in spite of extra debt on Tata. I wanted to write about this for some time. I saw a billboard “No Indian can ever set up a steel plan“, this was a statement by British steel, Corus’s predecessor company, to Jamsetji Tata. (After some years)Today Jamestji’s company Tata owns Corus, WOW. Indians are rocking.
- What is after 9% growth rate? I liked his vision/daring to achieve a growth rate of above 9% when most of us are trying to sustain the existing growth. He wants to dream and challenge the growth to a higher level.
- Then he talked about need of inorganic expansion for a growth rate of above 9%. He also offered all possible help for such global acquisitions.
I agree with Finmin about inorganic expansion but here are some simpler steps to make above 9% a possibility:
AjiNIMC suggests P.Chidambaram
- Govt should encourage investment in web entrepreneurship: Web business is a pure brain business (India is rich with brain power) and investment is comparatively very low. Encourage web entrepreneurship at different levels. Even a small kid can make some cool stuffs with web. I suggest offering some free hosting and domain names through some preliminary filtering. This will give exposure to this growing sector which can generate enough revenue for more experimentations.
- School level training for entrepreneurship: Now I often collide with young entrepreneurs at malls, parties, churches and other places, some of them are in early twenties. Paul Graham says, “The three big powers on the Internet now are Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft. Average age of their founders: 24. So it is pretty well established now that grad students can start successful companies. “. One of my dreams with SOCH was to introduce this thought to school kids.
- Small companies will kill bigger ones: Even Sunil Mittal mentioned this point in his speech. You will see more smaller teams coming and challenging bigger companies. An idea with 2 people created a rich Google, which is now investing everywhere. Support smaller companies (esp web related) that they can grow and challenge bigger companies at global level. In web an idea can change a smaller company to successful one. There are many examples, be it digg.com, del.icio.us, ….
- Web has a global reach: You don’t need an inorganic growth with web (most of the time) as Internet in itself is with global reach. Internet is converting the world to a local village, India should get its share.
- Research oriented people are required: For innovation you need more research oriented approach but our universities (except some like IITs, IIMs and some more) are not well equipped with this attitude. In my journey as a student I was more appreciated for redoing the wind mill than for the attempt to create a hatching machine (which destroyed a dozen of eggs). Web allows you to do more experiments with a very low cost of failure. Creating more research oriented environment for further entrepreneurs is must for our growth.
In simpler words, to sustain the growth rate and to get a higher growth, the roots of Indian business needs to be strengthen. Research oriented education, risk taking attitude and entrepreneurial opportunity should flow to the roots of India. Also PLEASE ALLOW SMALLER COMPANIES To GROW, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT (with special tax benefits). In order to grow (esp in IT sector) we need to hire the best talents and need to pay much higher than the bigger branded companies to retain such talents. Tax benefits will allow us grow a little faster and to create the infrastructure to retain the talent. We need more web companies working at product level else Indian web estate will be sold out cheaply to other nations. Help us in this Gold Rush, there is much to gain here.