Tuesday, November 2, 2010

“Fresh paint is fine, but fresh thinking is more essential”

That is the nice line from Kiran’s article in today’s ET but what interested me is the story of asking thousands of migrants workers to go away from Delhi (to their native place) because of the mercy GAME which we were all aspired to see. Somehow I was not in the city during the Uncommon Wealth Game because I attended a wonderful gathering of likeminded people in Jakarta.

A bit from Kiran’s article:

  • A month ago, Delhi emerged in a new avatar: after spending many months like a woman with hair in curlers, mudpack covered face and dressed in a shabby gown, it metamorphosed into a beautiful, radiant lady, dressed in finery. Mumbai is now attempting to go through the same Cinderella-like transformation. Delhi was preparing a new face for the Commonwealth Games; Mumbai is preparing itself for President Obama.

  • Delhi spent thousands of crores, doubtless with some long-term gains, but also with make-up that sought to hide the scars of removing the warts (expelling many poor residents from their homes on the pretext of ‘security’). Mumbai is, apparently, a little more humane, limiting its beautification to superficial make-up to conceal its extensive blemishes.

  • Tidying one’s home to receive guests is a justifiable activity. However, when the visitor is here to discuss business, then preparations need to go beyond the cosmetic. Fresh paint is fine, but fresh thinking is more essential: strategic thought and tactical planning need to go hand in hand to help define realistic expectations of outcome. Over the last few years, in tandem with a dramatic change in US perception about India and its role, but also thanks to orchestrated media hype, hopes have soared.

  • Over the last decade or so, this relationship has bloomed further with the growing trade and economic links. Nowhere is this more evident than in the IT sector, where the partnership between Indian IT service providers and US companies has brought immense value to both, and greatly benefited the US citizen through cheaper products and better services. US IT companies have set up large operations in India — offshoring work from US and global customers, but also tapping the growing commercial and government market in India, and for R&D.

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