About India: The Red Pill

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India is a fast growing super economy and all that. Yah Sure. But there is a bit of horror attached to that reality.

A recent report that was published makes some pretty scary predictions about India in 2020.

“India is going to create 120 million new jobs in the organized sector in the next fifteen years”. Most of it will be coming from the rural masses. Atleast that’s what is said.

Manish Sabharwal makes a mention in Knowledge@wharton that “In Five Years, 25% of the world’s workers will be indian”

All that is being painted rosy so far. Then it begins:

Ajit Balakrishnan, the founder and CEO of of Rediff.com, in a convocation speech made the statement, closely-following reports coming from various sources that:

“….and this part is often overlooked, is that in 2040, India’s per capita GDP will be just 15% of that of the United States and a third of that of even Russia.

Another way of putting it is that even thirty five years from now, the average Indian will earn just Rs 5,000 a month. On this income he will have to feed and educate his children, look after their healthcare needs, afford entertainment and life insurance.

This means he must have a place to stay with clean water supply at, say, Rs 200 per month, uninterrupted electric power, perhaps at 50 paise per unit at the consumer level, medical insurance at, say, Rs 10 per person per month and life insurance perhaps at Rs 5 per person per month. ”

I am not sure what you feel, but that is pretty scary numbers there. The economics, when broken down do stare blankly at you and begging, actually threatening you for an answer.

We are really going to have to re-look at the very core of how we do things – right from building businesses that are not focused on the dollar signs, but inclusive and can in return capitalize more on the returns and involve more human resources and such – but such initiatives require a much united front and someone to lead them – which will be the government’s role, but sadly that is a role that the government has failed to play time and time again in the past.

Coming back to the report on India 2020, and if we were to let out a sigh of relief that the prophecy of doom shall withhold till 2040, it is not so. We will be seeing signs of our economy fluctuating and struggling to adapt very soon. In 2020, it is said that – as per projections – the indian ruppee will strenghten and will equate to a dollar in 14 ruppees. The complications of that will be all over the place – from changing valuations, right to the price of commodity goods and edibles in the market, to the instability of the currency – which is predicted to drive 50% of this country below the poverty line. This is probably one of the most rapid growing economies that the world has seen and this is a challenge that China and India both will face, in this rapid global economy – simply to adapt, and do it fast – lest we should fall and find no more a time to stand up to the world.

 
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Mobile Marketing: Have the Gates been Unleashed?

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Mobile Marketing + Social Networking (with the age old referral pyramid) = mGinger

The email that they sent out, (with a personalized name as the sender of the email, might I mention) reads:

“mGinger.com pays you to read ads on your cellphone! These ads are only about your interests.
Not only that, you get to decide when you want these ads.
Based on my calculations I can easily make enough money to free up my cell phone bill.”

They even have a calculator on the site which allows you to calculate how much money you can make via reading ads.

How do you respond to this?

 
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Proto.in: Nominations Open

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Proto.in is a platform focused on nurturing the entrepreneurial culture in india. Its an effort to bring the stakeholders in the ecosystem – the entrepreneurs, VCs, Angels, Professionals, Industry Analysts, Journalists and Bloggers onto a common platform to mutually benefit from each other and leverage them for success. The dire need for such a sustainable ecosystem surely has been haunting a lot of startups who are chasing dreams.

After the first edition of Proto.in in January, and the results that have been accomplished, we are certainly sure that we are heading in the right direction and are organizing the second edition of it for the year. The dates are on July 21st and 22nd, Chennai, India. The scope it from all of Asia, so companies from Singapore, Malaysia, China, Taiwan are all invited.

The nominations for companies that want to present just opened up today. So do send in your nominations.

 
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Don’t Fight Time

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As one that is slowly wetting my feet in the investment community here in India, I do get my chances to come across aspiring entrepeneurs wanting to talk about the ideas and how to take it further. I think its worth mentioning, and even writing about … it is not a good idea to fight time. You simply never win.

Entrepreneurs believe in a dream that only exists in their head. Thats true with me atleast and a few other entrepreneurs, and very successful ones. I believe then that it must be true. With this alternate reality in mind, a lot of us also sometimes lose focus of what is important and tend to exaggerate and lose the grip of reality as it is… time either moves too fast, or too slow for us, and we are certainly in a world of our own.

Let me lose the cryptic phrases and speak in english.

If you tell me that unless you get funded next month and start work the very next minute, you can’t get into the market and “tap” into this opportunity, I’d say forget it. It is one thing to say that there is a window of opportunity, and yet another to say that it is a small window, and even more foolish to say that we are going to race and win the attempt to get there in time.

If you know anything about development, bootstrapping, and organizing a team, the law is that, “Nothing goes as per plan”. everything that can go wrong, WILL go wrong.

Afterall, as an investor, why should anyone be interested in your venture, if the window of opportunity is such a small one, which also makes a dent on the valuation of your solution?

 
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