How does the world identify India?
Gandhi, Taj and Poverty are the top three associations that world makes when asked to identify India. This conclusion is based on a recent survey conducted by BBC. When I read about it in E.T, I was actually quite surprised that technology or economic development did not figure anywhere.
The survey, conducted in collaboration with international research company Synovate across 20 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia Pacific and Australia, questioned 12,670 respondents about their perceptions of India and Pakistan.
“It was conducted to coincide with the celebration surrounding India and Pakistan’s 60th year of independence from Britain,” the BBC said.
Interestingly, where French, Spaniards, Italians and Danes thought India topped in poverty on the planet, their Eastern counterparts Singaporeans, Japanese and Hong Kong nationals thought India to be a modern nation, high on development and technology.
On the other end of spectrum some think that about India quite differently. For example, take Michael Schrage’s blog post “Indianovation” where he perceives India to be high on entrepreneurship and Innovation.
As fascinating as I find China, I think India will be the more intriguing emerging innovation superpower story over the next five years. The global reach of its diaspora entrepreneurs (Lakshmi Mittal, for example), its calibrated linkages with America and China, and a population that is bound to grow more innovative and playful as the burdens of the Bureaucratic Raj ebb should all combine to make the Subcontinent even more influential than many might expect. I’m not uncomfortable making the case that India’s biggest value-added export is its human capital.
Yes, the infrastructure here is not world-class, and that will become even more of an issue gating India’s future economic growth and success. But between the wealth of its human capital and a global marketplace that appears uneasy with China’s grasp of both rule of law and “quality circles,” India may attract more than its fair share of entrepreneurial expats and direct foreign investment.
How do you identify India ?