An Article on one of the leading Business Newspapers of India reads as such:
“The Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index 2012 revealed that India, Asia’s third-largest economy, ranked 74th out of 79 countries, making it an unviable country to start a business. There is a growing nervousness among foreign investors putting their money in India.”
Conclusion: GEDI represents the reality of the ecosystem – the author also suggests policy changes that need to be done, and the statement suggests that GEDI is somehow driving fear and nervousness among investors, and depicts viability of a business.
Hint to my disagreement:
What is GEDI – It is an index of perspectives of how the west looks at different ecosystems. Nothing real, factual or based on stats. Lots to do with the lizard brain.
To repeat myself : “Stats can be extra-ordinarily skewed”. If you ever work with numbers, and as my good friends in Public Policy will tell you “averages” and composite numbers are a scary scary thing. According to an average, if you ask how rich a country of two – with one being extremely rich and one being extremely poor is, the number will represent someone who doesn’t exist. Averages skew pretty badly when the gulf is far and wide. India fits that scenario perfectly.
So when someone takes an index like GEDI (Global Entrepreneurship and Development index) and goes and write a Co-op post in the Newspaper – I am starting to lose respect for the author and for the paper that carries it. Because the article is a nice rant (based on a single number), and carries no solution. The advice given to the policy makers suggest, almost, like adopting canada’s habit of the masses and leaving everyone’s doors unlocked. Might work for them, doesn’t work for us. Get it?
Let me walk with you and before that, share something very crucial. GEDI if you look at the heading clearly says that its an index that manages “perspectives”.
When I see someone quote a stat that says India is on the 70 of 74, my first question as a entrepreneur and someone who goes nuts for numbers is, okay tell me the factors that influenced it so that I can work my way to the top. And hence I go dig into the report. I have a scary guess that the author never cared to read the report before he went and wrote that post – fundamentally what is wrong about this country in the first place. The supreme court bans films on glasses on knee jerk reactions, the entrepreneur writes an editorial wearing the hat of Chetan Bhagat. No different.
There was an interview in which Kamal Haasan was asked how come Indian films are yet to win the oscar. He mentioned that we need to be careful about a scale where the units are not defined by us (or worse democratically). The baseline for GEDI is the US (note how the Researchers claims that its only the US which isnt affected this year). That starts to raise a lot of questions by itself if you want to go down that rabbit hole, but we’ll pass on existential questions on globalism later. You do become what you measure (or measure against).
GEDI is an perspective index. Of how the west “feels” about India. It has nothing to do with reality. So while the author of the Op-ed has gone on and on about his own perils and in a subverse way writing about how the govt should bring down capital gains tax (to note that Inmobi is seeking an IPO anytime soon and I bet the investors are having tax heartburns already), the truth of the matter is, if you want to improve the GEDI index, you just have to do what incredible india has done for tourism, for entrepreneurship. Hire the same darn marketing team and run ads. Get IBEF to do its job right. Done. Zip. Moving on.
Here’s what GEDI is, in the own words of the researchers: “GEDI is not a simple count of, say, new firm registrations, nor is it an exercise in policy benchmarking. The index also does not focus exclusively on high-growth entrepreneurship, but it does consider the characteristics of productivity-enhancing entrepreneurship, which is innovative, market expanding, often (but not always) growth oriented, and has an international outlook. Because entrepreneurship can have both economic and social consequences for the individual and because the individual engenders entrepreneurship, the GEDI also captures attitudes and aspirations, as well as individual-level entrepreneurial activities.”
Remember what I said a few days ago on Stats ? Numbers, have some strange powers and marketers love to skew it for their own reality. This is a good example.
How do We change this? Well, Keep talking about how Entrepreneurship is great in India, and survives and runs in the veins of its people. Tweet more, Blog more, make powerful videos and talks about entrepreneurship thriving – weirdly the GEDI index will jump out of its place and run right at you. It has nothing to do with actual policies, my young padawan!
PS: I, in no way, disagree with what he is suggesting. But make no mistake, it has no correlation to the index so to speak. If you have an opportunity on a pedestal in such a newspaper and get a chance to influence things the right way, its key to get the facts right – especially when it anchors your opening statement.