Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Transforming India from Good to Great

Some simple thoughts on how India can improve its position in the world of information technology...

Corporations such as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft are expanding their global presence and not just outsourcing work to India unlike their enterprise peers, but acknowledging that they want the best talent regardless of geographic location of which India is just one of many beneficiary countries.

Many corporations with research arms, leverage India for low-cost access to people where there are lots of young, bright well educated individuals who have passion around technology and the desire to learn. Over time, people from India diversify to other parts of the planet and take advantage of opportunities to visit other research centers. A typical observation is that they may arrive with a degree from their home country but will leave with postgrad or doctoral programs from their host countries.

Once the mind has been expanded with possibilities that for a variety of reasons aren't explored in India, the country loses its best and brightest. Universities in India seem to be less flexible in terms of their curiculum than their US counterparts and are under control of private trusts which constrains their greatness. In the same way that the United States has benefited from education innovation, such as the University of Phoenix, India can benefit as well if it were to permit this model.

India also seems lacking when compared to the US model in that corporations in India have less of a sense of endowments and therefore are more heavily reliant on government grants and student tuition. As we all know, with the exception of the military, the government can only achieve mediocrity at best.

India needs a system where proper stimulus is received from their corporations (think Wipro, Infosys, etc) and given in quantities a lot higher than what has been done to date where it is targeted at undergraduate programs. India has an additional advantage over US universities and that is to leveraged the untapped Indian diaspora. Imagine what could happen if Indian universities started opening branches in countries such as Trinidad, Guyana and Suriname. Expanding the sphere of influence can only help a nation become more than itself...

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