Has Globalization Done Enough for Indian Entrepreneurs?
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In 1990 Dr Subramanian Swamy became the minister of commerce and law. This is the time when the planning commision of India came to the conclusion of changing the policy and later the same thought process was followed by Dr Manmohan Singh. This changed the face of Indian Economy.
Globalization and liberalization of the Indian economy has undoubtedly opened doors to cross-border trades and business, but has the rapid influx of technology from the west and newer business trends done enough for the Indian entrepreneurs, and now the new-age entrepreneurs which has been seeing professionals abandon their high-paying jobs for the cause of propagating good for the society through innovative business models.
With globalization being the focal point, Entrepreneur India attempts at decoding whether the influx of technology and even expertise from other economies of the world has indeed served Indian entrepreneurs in furthering their passions (from the perspective of startups); over the last two and a half decades since the Indian economy was opened for globalization.
Outsourcing and emergence of tech behemoths
“Globalization brought tech revolution to India in the form of IT outsourcing. We have seen how that turn out and put India on the map of World Business,” states Venkatesh Iyer who is Founder and CEO at Goli Vada Pav, a startup that attempts at promoting the traditional Indian snack amongst the pizzas and burgers of the world.
Venkatesh believes that the technology outsourcing wave helped India adapt new technology and synced it with the available local talent so as to result in entrepreneurial models at the local level by increasing the hunger for establishing startups.
“Globalization has certainly opened opportunity for entrepreneurs to talk to potential customers/investors all over the world, so I would say yes it has definitely helped,” adds Ruchit Garg who is Founder and CEO at Harvesting which is an agritech startup.
Now, with globalization, it has indeed become relatively easier to adapt disruptive technology viz the Internet-of-Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence, and Blockchain; towards actually mitigating issues which have been traditionally considered as cumbersome and problematic to Indian society. Potential disruptive sectors include Healthcare, Agriculture, Retail, Traffic Management, and Management of records.
Hence, technology-wise, there have been increased advantages introduced by trends of the west.
“Large corporates have just recently joined the bandwagon of these new technologies which long ago became business mantra for startups,” says Venkatesh.
"Globalization has definitely expanded the markets and growth potential, otherwise scale businesses could achieve many fold. It's given entrepreneurs opportunities and business ideas that wouldn't have been relevant and be limited to the context of the Indian economy alone.From tech products to services companies - all have benefited from globalization," chimes-in Sowmya Iyer - Founder and CEO at DViO Digital
The key takeaway from globalization has been the fact that startups and entrepreneurs have been relatively quick to adapt new technical trends, even earlier than the multinational corporations.
With globalization having led to an influx of technology expertise and exposure to Indian entrepreneurs, there are takeaways that are still yet to be explored by the local talent.
“Indian entrepreneurs can potentially learn from valley startups on the power of thinking real big and being able to present it in an impactful way,” informs Garg.
Nonetheless, entrepreneurs also believe that today’s startup community has in fact keenly absorbed new trends as far as innovation is concerned.
“Startups especially, after winning their survival battle are now increasingly looking at building companies ready for a global leap. There are active conversations happening within these new age offices around equal gender pay, hiring more women for the jobs, sensitivity at work etc,” states Venkatesh.
Mitigation of issues also assumes significance as far as lessons from globalization is concerned; this is evident when the sheer number of women entrepreneurs today are concerned.
"iLearning is such a thing wherein we must learn from everyone and anyone," adds Sowmya Iyer.
She also adds that the one thing West has done well is marketing,.
"While we should learn the art of marketing from them - we have our own strengths that we should leverage. The West gets projected as an early adapter of technology purely because technology takes care of their survival needs."
Improvement in quality of life
This is a Numero-uno question; has globalization made lives of Indians; the entrepreneurial Indians better?
“For the first time we have tools, information, and other resources available which allows a nimble startup to think and take head on challenge on solving some of the biggest challenges in the world,” adds Garg.
“Businesses like Ola and Uber, for the first time made it possible for the drivers to be their own boss and earn good money. This helped in uplifting a big chunk of the blue collar workers who were otherwise earning comparatively less and struggling to raise a family,” chimes-in Venkatesh.
Creation of jobs has been a key focus; technology adaption has in fact created an impression of job creation; but there is still lot left to be done as far as actually empowering entrepreneur sis concerned; nonetheless, positives are slowly starting to take shape.
"Large corporations are committed to creating an environment to help social entrepreneurships to flourish through funding and ecosystem building. Our government too, is creating focus through initiatives like StartUp India," informs Sowmya Iyer.
“When you read the stories of some of the most successful entrepreneurs or CXOs in the industry, they all have the following in common – they are early risers, prompt in their response, constant learners and diligent about professionalism and time,” emphasizes Soumini Sridhara Paul who is Vice President at Hungama Digital Media.