India is one of the most sought after destinations when it comes to software outsourcing. We are a very young country, in terms of its population. The Indian population is a population of youngsters , and as Nandan Nelikeni said, “There was an age when we were seeing this explosion in population as a bane, now this same thing has turned into a boon for us.” This being said, where are we in terms of progress? Where are we in terms of a name of our own? Is “Brand India” recognized around the world? These are some of the questions that we need to ask ourselves. Does simple patriotism , like flying the National Flag on the Independence Day and Republic Day suffice ? The map of the world is still agnostic about the existence of a country called India. I know a lot of us will come forward and flame with quotations of what we have done so far. But again, what we need to ask is, is that enough?
What was the last major contribution of India to the world? How many Nobel Physics laurets? Chemistry? Bio? For an ever growing population which is just putting its head above the poverty line , this might seem like a difficult ask. But no path , absolutely no path in this world is easy. So then how do we , collectively as a nation bring about this systemic change? We all celebrated the first Oscar ( a proper one! ) to an Indian when A R Rehman proudly recieved the two oscars for Slumdog Millionaire. But that is just the beginning. We have just entered the race, and the distance we need to cover in order to “truly be there” is huge and every one of us, who calls himself a true Indian, has to contribute , in order to win. We as a nation fought for our Independence and we won. Now we need to fight for a name in this world, and I’m sure we have the mettle to win this one too. So now, what do we have in order to succeed? What do we lack? What stops us from these goals? These are the first few questions that we need to ask ourselves and provide an answer, and in places where necessary, bring in a change.
It is my firm belief that , it is the people of the nation, who are the true assets of the country. Not just assets, they constitute the identity of the country. If you want to put a country on the international map, you need to put sufficient number of people, time and again on the international news. If you need to make it into the international news, you need to put something into peoples homes, into their lives, which becomes an itegral part of their life. When that “some – thing” becomes a part of peoples lives, along with it , its origins will reverberate in the minds of the people. Over the last century, there have been a few things that have made an impact of this magnitude, on the life of the masses. To quote a few, the radio, the telephone, the television , the computer, the internet, mobile and google are a few things that come to my mind. These are some of the products that have currently put America in the forefront , and has established it as a super power in this world. If we want to enjoy similiar benefits as the citizens of America, then we need to give something to this world. A product, an asset, which makes the world wonder how it survived so long without it!
What is stopping us:
We celebrated our 62nd year of Independence today. We have made progress, but is the progress enough? When people enjoy sudden richness, I have heard that , they become confused. They dont have an idea as to how to react to it, what to do with it. Is this the syndrome that is affecting most of the youth of India today? The father in an average middle class family was typically a government employee. The money that was earned thus, was sufficient to run a middle class family. For people who have seen this kind of a life, a sudden jump into high paying private sector jobs , might seem as sudden richness and people will tend to get confused. If we need to focus and bring about a change in the system, then we first need to bring about a change in ourselves. A government job, a middle class family to feed was the mantra of the 80′s and 90′s. But if we are planning to step into our fathers’ shoes, we need to think again.We all believe that the contribution of our parents in our life is in, them making us who we are today. But when we are seeing this, the most important aspect that we forget is that , they have provided us a strong platform to step onto and rule the world of tomorrow. Its a perspective shift and probably a lot many of us wont catch it at the first shot. My hope is that , this small snowball that I am throwing at you turns someday into an avalanche.
The Indian Mentality ( The pack rat ) :
Yes. This might sound derisive to some but if we look inside ourselves we will all see a pack rat within us. We are afflicted by a compulsive hoarding syndrome. This particular mentality or behaviour was acceptable earlier, since the time called for it. But what started as a necessity should not end up as an addiction. If you look back at your stash, you might find that what you have is enough to live a respectable life. In the fear of losing the standard of living of the future, we forget to live the present. In fear of losing what we already have, we try to dream less, we accept compromises. We have become a race that strictly , as a dogma , follows ” A bird in hand is better than two in the bush”.
Recognizing the Platform :
If the first step comes in shedding the “pack rat” mentality, then the second is in truly recognizing the platform that we are provided. Isaac Newton said “If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants“. Right now, this platform is one such giant. If we have to go further, it is only by trusting this platform that we can dive into the future. Only when we see this, can we shed our shells of inhibition and fear and sperad our wings.
Build the attitude :
To achieve something different from the rest of the world, we will need one weapon that stands out from the rest ( Ok, I’m not talking about a BFG). It undoubtedly is the attitude. In order to make this change, we need to push this change into our habits, into our attitude . If we look long enough and hard enough, eventually we will find it. But the catch phrase here is “looking long enough and hard enough” which is an adjustment in the attitude that we need to inculcate. It is my belief that it is not sufficient to perspire to succeed, we also need to persevere. Now , you might be wondering, what is it that I am supposed to be looking loong and hard upon? Its ofcourse at the Next Big Thing. What is the next big thing? I really dont know. But surely one of us does. It is towards this goal that we should paddle towards. We spend a lot of our brain power at petty things. Petty fights, petty name callings, blaming the politicians etc. But what we forget is that, a revolution, is possible by every single one of us. All we need to do is look.
Break the vicious circle :
Until you get into a habit of success, you wont take bigger risks and until you take risks the lesser is your chance to succeed. It is in this vicious circle that we all get caught up into. Im not advocating that every one of us quit their jobs and go start looking for this Holy Grail. Sometimes it is not necessary to quit your job , to do something different. As I said earlier, all that is necessary is the right attitude. We can all make this a fun activity and if we really get ourselves involved , it becomes a wonderful dream world that you can get lost in.
Application is more important than accumulation :
We , as a nation have grown to this extent because we are good at building our careers. Im sure that each one of us is highly qualified, highly intelligent and a knowledgeable being. This is one of the reasons why we are sought after by huge multinational companies. We are called as knowledge workers. Apart from this, the beauty lies in the fact that , India being such a diverse country, we come from different backgrounds. Someone is the son of a potter, weaver, banker, trader etc. We, being part of a family which deals with a particular trade, bring in with us our own experiences from that domain. The industry that we work on today , may be poles apart from the trade our fathers did. But , as I have told time and again, true advancement happens only when you can successfully merge the ideas and knowledge present in one field into another. Since we come from such diverse backgrounds , it should not be difficult for each one of us to apply the knowledge and experience that we bring in from our respective parental trades into the current scenario. This is where innovation happens. This is where lies the crux of the matter. Application of that knowledge in this field will work wonders in the future.
Being an employer :
We become soo accustomed to the idea of being an employee, that we totally forget the concept of being employers. This goes on to such an extent that we even forget to employ our own creativity and innovativeness. Satisfaction takes over. “I have done so much, I have earned soo much ” kind of stuff. Satisfaction comes from the root word “satis” which means “enough” and this satisfaction is a pretty dicey thing. Its a problem if you have too much of it and its going to be a problem if you have too less of it. There is always a balance that we need to strike when it comes to satisfaction. You have to be satisfied and content with what you already have, but that is not where it should stop. Your eyes should always try to see whats next and look and try to find ways to get it. One step at a time.
In conclusion , Im expecting the next big thing from India and I believe that we are well poised to achieve it, if we, as a collective lot put the efforts. A certain few of us have already started the ball rolling and in the future Im sure we will see even more joining the race. So lets just put our thoughts towards this singular goal ” How can I make a difference in this world? “