Landed middle of the night in Bangalore, we didn‘t witness much of the renowned Indian chaos. It was still there, though. We could feel it first-hand during the past three days, while discovering what I would call the first layer of the Indian economy.
During our stay, we heard from phenomenal thinkers including Ravi Ventakesan, India‘s top executive, ex-chairman of Microsoft in years when India became Microsoft‘s second largest geography and author of “Conquering the Chaos”, as well as from Pramod Varma, Chief Architect of Aadhaar, digital ID and the adjacent software architecture. Apart from experiencing their inspirational leadership, they explained and provided us with valuable insights into the peculiarities of business-making in the world’s second largest economy, an economy with high growth as well as vast disparities, an economy of ten unicorns, third highest number of billionaires where almost half of the population lives in deprived households. In combination with visits to established companies made truly in India as well start-ups, seeing entrepreneurs in action, while sharing their visions and how-to’s, we could familiarize ourselves with the sketch of India’s business world mosaic.
It was a very rich and horizon-broadening taste of what India can offer – still a fraction, the first layer, which covers array of many others. These can be truly discovered only during a longer stay in India, as much is happening vividly on the go or can be grasped on a daily life basis.
As this was my second visit to India, I could add to the myriad of colourful memories I made in India during a round trip two years ago. I was familiar with the never-ceasing honking tuk-tuks, roaring motorbikes transporting whole families, bright sarees, cows on the roads and little bistros filling up on busy evenings. Still many questions were left from that time and so it was great to be surrounded by my Indian classmates, experts on culture, society and business who were ready to provide answers and share their views.
India’s business world proved to be extremely agile and technologically advanced, constituted by brave entrepreneurs, leaders and highly-skilled, highly-motivated workforce. We indulged in intellectual discussions with energetic founders and top managers of companies, debating about strategic choices they made to keep their business up and running in the chaos, making sense of it and conquering it. For many, seeing an emerging opportunity with a potential to scale, setting-up the right team, leveraging existing network and most importantly staying perseverant in bad times were the key success factors along the road.
The power of the talent pool India has at its fingertips is immense, so is the number of business opportunities with new ones emerging almost every day. For me there is no other country as India in the world and I hopeI will have the opportunity to have touchpoints with this pulsing economy in my future career. Stating this, I will try my best to build trustful relationships with my prospect business partners, with full respect to specifics of the Indian economy, bearing in mind one of Ravi’s keynotes:
The biggest barrier to success in emerging markets is not the market; it is the mindset of the headquarter.
IMD MBA Class 2018 is off for one month, to digest the loads of information and way of thinking we have been exposed to, to engage in company or personal projects, to take online courses and language courses, to connect the dots.
Have a great summer!