A recent report in the United States of America showed that out of the top 10 performing students in major American Universities, a majority of them were Indians. That might persuade Indians to tap themselves on the back, but, in stark reality, the same report claimed that the top 3 performers were always Americans.
We Indians are definitely blessed with unmatched brilliance, but, when it comes to completely outperforming everyone in the field, we seem to be missing a trick or two. It is perhaps the right time to ask why despite being a country with a huge population, there has never been any major global company whose foundation has been laid in India, by an Indian. Why is that we are great at what we do, but often times end up playing second fiddle to people from the West?
As Indians, we have had our fair share of major companies but none of them have been major players. The question is why? What has made us wait so long for that big entrepreneur who took India’s name to newer global heights? What has been stopping us? Well, over the course of this article, we’ll try and find reasons as to why there has never been a big global company to have come out of India in centuries and in conjunction to that, we’’ also try to look at if things can be made any better and the scene be set for the young entrepreneurs to flourish in our very own country.
A Flawed Education System
Well, we all know that an introvert young kid who has other hobbies than studying can almost never prevail happily in India’s education system. Take, for example, a young 17-year-old who loves programming and does a lot of programming in his free time. We all know that the passion of this child will never be encouraged and he will, at some point of his life, be pressurized to do what everyone else has been doing to live successful and happy lives. On the contrary, a similar child in the West might not make a lot of friends in school, but he can rest assured that his hobby and talents will be recognized and he will most certainly be provided with the right amount of support and encouragement in order to realize his dream.
(Image Courtesy: The Companion)
In short, India’s education system is absolutely hostile towards outliers; it believes in a fixed way of doing things and if anyone wishes to so things the other way, he will never be encouraged for that. It is then only a matter of time for anyone to succumb to the fixed ‘norm’ of the system. Let’s face it; we Indians have never really appreciated people who want to do something other than engineering, medicine or civil services. There are surely a lot of lessons to be learned from the West in this regard. The education system has to become a flower bed for young entrepreneurs and provide them with the right amount of facilities in order to bring about any kind of a change.
The Western Influence
When you say that the Indian education system is highly inflexible, in the same inevitable breath, you have to admit that it holds true for a lot of other things as well. Indians have the tendency to believe in a tried and tested structure; something that is sure to bear results. Now, you might argue that there is nothing wrong in that; the fact of the matter is that it kills of any kind of freedom of creativity to explore new ventures and take new risks.
Everything we have in India today, starting right from our furniture, to our televisions to even our television shows have a strong western influence on it; but why? Because it is a common notion in India that if something has been successful in the West, it will be successful in India too. This discourages people from trying out new things and sends out everyone to just present a glossier and more Indian version of a western commodity. Even venture capitalists invest in such recycled commodities because they know that it is a safe investment. In short, Indians are just not bold enough to invest in new projects that could become groundbreaking.
(Image Courtesy: HubGA)
A Follower IT Sector
India is almost synonymous with the It sector and provides most of the IT outsourcing that the world needs. But, sadly, the same trend of followership prevails in its IT sector too. People pursue engineering and go abroad to work in a big company. That is how we Indians have programmed ourselves to be; where an escape from our country to the West seems like the most lucrative lifestyle to us. Perhaps amidst all this rat race, we have forgotten to dream big. Add to that, India’s technology is not cutting edge and hence it can’t provide young entrepreneurs to get a breakthrough.
As a matter of fact, there is no Steve Jobs to guide a young Zuckerberg in India. As sad as it might sound, we have fallen prey to our own inflexible and stagnant customs and norms. We have failed to produce a bunch that can inspire millions and youngsters in our country simply have no one to look up to for that matter. For the realization of any dream, it is very important that it is preserved and nurtured.
It is perhaps just the lack of innovative entrepreneurship that is lacking in India. Instead of an education system that forces two prodigies into a competition, the call for the need is to let them integrate and create on a global stage. Dreams should be realized and respected and people should be encouraged to do what they really want to. The truth of the matter is, you’ve got to set them free; chains are often the biggest and sometimes the only barriers between success and failure. Yes, the education system needs a complete overhaul but more than that, the change should start from the very household. Start-ups should be encouraged and young prodigies should be urged to come together and create and it perhaps only then that India will have a major global powerhouse, in India.
(Featured Image Courtesy: One Year MBA)