Monday, October 26, 2009

Moving to India - part 3

Now that it has been decided that I am moving to business, the obvious question is where. I toyed around with building a business in US, Canada and Singapore, but finally settled for India. While India has always been a part of my dreams, there were two recent catalysts that helped me make the final decision that it is going to be India where I'm going to start my business from.

First is the movie Swades that still keeps troubling me after I first saw it 4 years ago. The Hindi movie is about an Indian-born NASA engineer who visits India to bring back his childhood nanny to US, whom he considers as his only relative. But in the process of convincing her to move from her native village, he undergoes transformation in his perspectives and finally quits being a rocket scientist to move to India.

My classmates and I used to argue whether the movie is practical, but that got me to thinking why it should not be practical. I thought one could be a rational engineer and a capitalist and make use of the wide market of rural India. As an Ayn Randist, I believed that building capitalistic temples - corporations, can do more to world's development than all the charities put together.

Second is when I visited India early this year, I saw this transformation in my village. (See post here) The village that could easily compete with the worst of subsaharan Africa in yesteryears, is not undergoing real transformation with capitalism and technology. The village school didn't have a building 5 years ago - but now classrooms have PCs and DVD players. The teachers talk about world issues, and villagers own pricey motorcycles, mobile phones and TVs (5 years ago there was not even a telephone connection to this place). But, while they had hardware, skilled labor was in short and the school had all their PCs shutoff since they didnt know how to operate it.

I think this is a beautiful platform from which India could be rebuilt. I'm not a social activist or some kind of social worker with elevated thoughts, but an ordinary engineer who thinks there is a symbiotic potential - I can develop India while at the same time developing myself. I know its human development index and economic indicators are among the poorest in the world - but the entrepreneur in me sees the opportunity rather than problems. I came to this position (however meek it might be) crossing through rural India, and it is time I made did something for it. I enjoyed studying America's history and now believe that the conditions in the late 19th century US that brought Ford, Rockefeller, Edison, JP Morgan and my other heroes, are pretty similiar to what India is having now. I dreamt of US for 2 decades, but I'm an Indian and it is time to apply what I have learnt to India.

1 comment:

thegemconcealed said...

thankfully movie entertainment has some good effects i can cite u as a prime example.. :)