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Old 3rd June 2015, 15:54   #61
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Default Re: Why doesn't India have an Elon Musk?

Very interesting topic. My two bits

1. Bureaucracy - red tape, red tape, red tape. Yes, most of the tape has been removed (it seems) but the babus still interfere in everything. And we don't have things in place. For example, it took me 2 months to just register a Pvt Ltd company just because the systems were being migrated from some pvt company to another pvt company. I lost so much of money right there. Something that essentially takes a maximum of 10 days. It was pathetic. A friend had quit his regular job and we had to pay him. My finances went for a toss!

2. Our peculiar mindset. Maybe, just maybe this has to be the first point. We're just programmed to be safe in our thinking. I come up with some crazy business ideas sometimes (and I agree that most are hare-brained) but as soon as I even mention them, at once, all I get is negativity. Some people question me asking why I am trying to move out of my strong areas into something I know nothing about. Another, about how I expect to make any money out of the idea. So on and so forth. Most people just want to play safe. I find it funny when they all say that they hate their jobs and wish they could do something exciting. Bleh!
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Old 3rd June 2015, 18:59   #62
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These don't constitute entrepreneurial ventures. These were done by corporations with vast budget and with established practices.
Yes, I agree. But there has to be an individual (atleast a group) within an organisation to drive such ventures. I am trying to compare such individuals. In my days, there was a term 'INTRAPRENEURS' - to identify such people. Don't know if it is relevant today.



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In fact, I trained the TCS team that developed the reservation system in C++/OOP. In that process I recommended they use TurboVision (from Borland) as the UI, and trained them on it. But I had no hand in the design of the system. After this system got in place, one could stand in any line and book their tickets to anywhere. Amazing freedom... for years I used to be thrilled when I saw them using TurboVision UI at the counter.
Thanks to you, I am now able to sit in my office and use my phone to book my Airavat tickets - in a matter of seconds, and totally paperless!

I think the Railway PRS used something like BASIC / COBOL / FORTRAN. Connectivity was a joke those days (the railways had (have?) their own communication network). Oracle has made lives easy for today's gen - I am sure they must have had hell of a time to develop a customised database... someone did have vision and he / they did use their knowledge / skill to build a robust system, and in my books it means quite a lot.



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This is an amazing story of dragging India from the stone age, kicking and screaming. Keep in mind the technology was very mature, can't call this an innovation story.

Sam Pitroda succeeded in that environment for one reason, he ignored all the bureaucrats and bureaucracy. Whoever opposed him were answerable to Rajeev Gandhi's PMO. And no bureaucrat wanted to explain the PMO why he was standing in the way. Thus Sam Pitroda bulldozed his way through all the red tape and modernized Indian telecom.

Yet another example of how things can work if government bureaucracy steps out of the way.
Well said - and exactly what the present day government should take care, if they want really to do some positive changes. But all said and done, Pitroda used the same infrastructure and got it done. Similar examples is what is needed and it is lacking.

Once the environment changes, then probably we may be fortunate to find a Elon Musk or two



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Most people just want to play safe. I find it funny when they all say that they hate their jobs and wish they could do something exciting. Bleh!
Yes, indeed. It bleeds my heart to see all types of youngster wanting to enter into the domain I am working (financial services). Apart from the run of the mills MBAs, the ones on the list now include CAs, BEs and BTechs, knowing fully well there is no co-relation to what they have studied and the work they will do. There was even a doctor who applied - and said he'll work during the day and practice during evening

Mindset will change when the environment changes - and I am hopeful that the current trend will foster such development.
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Old 3rd June 2015, 19:12   #63
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Default Re: Why doesn't India have an Elon Musk?

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Thanks to you, I am now able to sit in my office and use my phone to book my Airavat tickets - in a matter of seconds, and totally paperless!
No thanks to me. I only trained the team that built their 1.0 reservation system. The connectivity between different locations was via VSAT link. The current web based reservation system is probably 3.0 or even later.
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Old 3rd June 2015, 19:58   #64
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Default Re: Why doesn't India have an Elon Musk?

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Yes, I agree. But there has to be an individual (atleast a group) within an organisation to drive such ventures. I am trying to compare such individuals. In my days, there was a term 'INTRAPRENEURS' - to identify such people. Don't know if it is relevant
Intrapreneurs have different challenge than entrepreneurs. Intrapreneurs have everything in place except top management buyin. When they get the buyin, then it is as good as executing any other project in that company.

For entrepreneurs, it starts from scratch - right from opening the main door to hiring receptionist and beyond.
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Old 3rd June 2015, 22:18   #65
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Default Re: Why doesn't India have an Elon Musk?

What an enlightening discussion!

Isn't the fear of failure the single and the most powerful deterrent preventing innovators and entrepreneurs in India?

Every imaginable support system in India, right from education, family, society, peer groups, government and the banking/ credit system instills fear of failure and innovation cannot happen without trial and error. Elon Musk and his tribe weren't/ aren't afraid of risks and they are probably fine with failures too. That probably gave Elon the courage to build everything from global payment system (PayPal) to electric cars (Tesla) to even space flight (SpaceX). The beauty in all these ideas is its ability to foresee a potential problem it could solve way before its time..

In the meantime, is Tesla truly an innovation? Didn't GM introduced EV-1 almost 10 years before the Tesla roadster?
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Old 4th June 2015, 11:25   #66
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The Indian Elon Musk setting up his office in Bangalore would have to recruit from all over India and imagine the loss of productivity when the brightest minds are stuck in traffic or pulled over to pay LTT.

Take a look at the KA RTO LTT thread, you notice a few members trolling saying that a shakedown of the "rich" techie is social justice, then claiming that the ITC industry that contributes practically the largest single chunk of taxes to the treasury is choking the city and if it shifts away the loss of jobs is no big deal. The jealousy is against the service sector, imagine what the attitude towards product company folks, who will be paid much better will be like. The type of person who feels warm the state harasses citizens may be a minority on this forum, but in the general population, the proportion is much bigger and they would be the first ones to agitate to demand that the government steal oops tax Elon Musk's windfall profit claiming financial success breeds inequality or some such rubbish.
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Old 5th June 2015, 07:16   #67
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Default Re: Why doesn't India have an Elon Musk?

Time to have a little less fun.

Having set up from scratch an IT company that has been rated as the 4th largest IT Product company by Business World and as the Top Ten Most Successful IT Startups in India by Hewitt Associates, I can only view as very lame excuses the reasons being put forth here. Because setting up a large IT company is not anywhere close to inventing a Tesla as, to put it very simplistically, its just matter of leveraging cost arbitrage, managing quality, effective business development and being lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time - none of which is rocket science.

And even for that I see folks talking of customs duties and governmental regulations. Frankly those who talk about that just aren't competent enough to build large organizations. And one needs competence to even be aware of the limits of one's competence.

Forget Teslas and Leon Musks, has India come up with a single product that is accepted by the world to be of global quality?

Japan has Toyota, Suzuki, Sony, Korea has Hyundai, Samsung, LG and so on.

So let's first see whether India can come up with at least one product that is accepted globally to be of international quality.

Even if we do, the Leon Musks are still in a completely different league.

So until then, this thread is like the old story of several blind men who discuss an elephant without knowing anything about it and hence can get nowhere.

Last edited by VeyronSuperSprt : 5th June 2015 at 07:34.
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Old 5th June 2015, 08:37   #68
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Default Re: Why doesn't India have an Elon Musk?

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Having set up from scratch an IT company that has been rated as the 4th largest IT Product company by Business World and as the Top Ten Most Successful IT Startups in India by Hewitt Associates
And this experience leads you to think the following?

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Human brains have different capabilities according to race. We are better than the Chinese when it comes to IT problem solving. We are better at multitasking than the Brits or the Americans.
...but we will never come up with great technological inventions because it is just not in our genetic DNA.

Lack of opportunity, lack of potential and lack of funding are typical lame indian excuses which is another skillset we have in our DNA.
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Because setting up a large IT company is not anywhere close to inventing a Tesla as, to put it very simplistically, its just matter of leveraging cost arbitrage, managing quality, effective business development and being lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time - none of which is rocket science.
No disagreement there. Nobody said setting up large IT company is same as Tesla.

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And even for that I see folks talking of customs duties and governmental regulations. Frankly those who talk about that just aren't competent enough to build large organizations. And one needs competence to even be aware of the limits of one's competence.
Big words, obviously aimed at me. But I am very much aware of the limits of our competence (me & my partners). Which is why we have stayed small, not over extending beyond our capabilities and go bankrupt.

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Forget Teslas and Leon Musks, has India come up with a single product that is accepted by the world to be of global quality?

Japan has Toyota, Suzuki, Sony, Korea has Hyundai, Samsung, LG and so on.
Isn't that what I have been saying? One can't produce world class products from scratch anymore, you need world class R&D setup, and smooth supply chain.

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So until then, this thread is like the old story of several blind men who discuss an elephant without knowing anything about it and hence can get nowhere.
Wow, you just insulted whole bunch of people without knowing anything about them.

If you have a convincing argument, make it. Saying Indians don't have it in their DNA as your primary argument is not going to fly, no matter how much business success you have achieved. Your success might indicate your ability in marketing, management and business acumen. But it is no indicator of your competence as a thinker.
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Old 5th June 2015, 09:54   #69
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Isn't that what I have been saying? One can't produce world class products from scratch anymore, you need world class R&D setup, and smooth supply chain.
No, thats not what you've been saying. You've just mentioned a couple of excuses. Setting up a global R&D facility does not, by itself, solve the issue - we need people who can think beyond cutting edge inside that R&D facility.

And supply chain activity can be outsourced to global experts. (I've just clarified these two so that you know how lame the excuses sound, not going to clarify anymore as it's a pointless activity)

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Your success might indicate your ability in marketing, management and business acumen. But it is no indicator of your competence as a thinker.[/b]
You've just articulated that ability in marketing, management and business acumen comes without being a competent thinker. So I'm guessing ability to list excuses makes you one. Cheers to that

Last edited by VeyronSuperSprt : 5th June 2015 at 10:12.
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Old 5th June 2015, 10:11   #70
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Default Re: Why doesn't India have an Elon Musk?

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we need people who can think beyond cutting edge inside that R&D facility.
That I believe we have... if the fertile environment is created, they will come out.

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And supply chain activity can be outsourced to global experts.
Who can transcend or neutralize the red tape... Really?

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You've just articulated that ability in marketing, management and business acumen comes without being a competent thinker.
Yes, because I have seen such people. I know a few brilliant businessmen who don't know the first thing about innovation, nothing wrong with that. So far you appear to be from the same category, unless you prove me wrong with better arguments.

BTW, let me articulate something about Team-BHP forum etiquette. Your claims about business success or insulting other members adds no credibility or weight to your DNA logic. Make a convincing argument sans mockery, and we will listen and even appreciate.

Last edited by Samurai : 5th June 2015 at 10:17.
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Old 5th June 2015, 11:04   #71
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That I believe we have... if the fertile environment is created, they will come out.
I appreciate your sense of humour.

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Who can transcend or neutralize the red tape... Really?
Its better to start a new thread on supply chain management to discuss this rather than continue to belittle Leon Musk with such statements.

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..we will listen and even appreciate.
Am past looking for appreciation. Thanks for the offer all the same.
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Old 5th June 2015, 11:22   #72
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Default Re: Why doesn't India have an Elon Musk?

I am from the Automotive Industry, err, not currently but will get there one day. Let me tell you why India does not haven an Elon Musk. Innovation and Out of the box thinking is not encouraged in a country like India, let me explain in brief, atleast from the Automotive Industry point of view.

I have been for many interviews with many Indian car manufacturers. All my interviews have gone fantastic with me presenting them new concepts and technologies I developed in the Automotive field while studying in UK. They would greatly benefit from all of these if only they took me in, but here they are more bothered with 'How this guy will get promoted faster if he joins in with all his new jazz technology he has' and hence he should not be given a job.

Yes the higher management can put you through interviews, but the people taking the interviews, who's team you are going to be working in as you are just starting out, would not want anyone who is smart, they would want donkey's and just about anyone who is below them from the knowledge point of view, they are looking at their own career growth and not the growth of the company.

Imagine, once the HR after the interview even told me 'Your reviews according to me is fantastic, but the guy taking your interview won't take you'. Its been a year of job hunting after I quit Autocar India and I am still struggling. I repent ever coming back to India and I repent I was born an Indian. Yes harsh but the politics in companies and this country is deadening and the attitude is pathetic.

The Elon Musks in this country, either just end up in depression or end up leaving this country.
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Old 5th June 2015, 11:34   #73
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1. I can only view as very lame excuses the reasons being put forth here ... And even for that I see folks talking of customs duties and governmental regulations.

2. Forget Teslas and Leon Musks, has India come up with a single product that is accepted by the world to be of global quality?
Japan has Toyota, Suzuki, Sony, Korea has Hyundai, Samsung, LG and so on.
1. I would agree with what you say - hurdles are excuses, since we do have quite a lot of businesses that have succeeded in becoming large, despite these hurdles. But then hurdles are hurdles - right? If these hurdles are not present in other countries, the citizens do have a right to lament!

2. Here I would differ with you.
Britain started scientific industrialization during late 18th century.
Rest of Europe during the early 19th century
US had influence of Britain and mainland Europe all along, but came into its own mighty existance in late 19th century
Japan also began in late 19th century

Added to this, imagine where the modern form of Common Law and Property Law originated?
Britain. This brings about a conducive environment for all "modern" activities because of predictability of legal system. And this predictability and consistency is what drives business growth. And successful technology Innovation can only happen if there is a potential business seen behind it.

Before trashing the brains and DNA let us examine where does India stand in all of this?
(Perhaps it is because of the brains and DNA only that we stand poor in this light)

I have kept China and SKorea out of this because of another factor: "benevolent" dictatorships. We would not want that in India, I am sure.

3. One point that you have perhaps missed, but I would like to bring upon here (as I have done in some other threads) is the concept of demonizing the money that happens in India via socio-religious contexts. Nothing happens without money. Not even quality and performance.

Last edited by alpha1 : 5th June 2015 at 11:50.
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Old 5th June 2015, 11:48   #74
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Its better to start a new thread on supply chain management to discuss this rather than continue to belittle Leon Musk with such statements.
It's Elon Musk, actually. Since we are all admiring his capabilities, let's at least get his name right
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Old 5th June 2015, 12:34   #75
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Default Re: Why doesn't India have an Elon Musk?

If there is something wrong with DNA, how come Indians who went to USA made some very succesful products and steered companies?
How come, the first Single chip modem on chip in the early 21st century designed in India and fully developed here?
How come, one of the worlds most popular and successful Digital Signal Processor was designed and created in India?
How come the current leading cutting edge cell phone gaming processors were designed by teams composed fully of Indians.

The current mediocrity I see, esp from people who have setup up the most successful companies is because they could game the system to enrich themselves. That's where the energies were focused. How to join the Dalal. Not how to change the system.

Infact, because this system fostered a certain type of large conglomerates who had the means to grease this machinery, innovation started dying. True innovation seldom comes from large red-tape top 10 places. It comes from the guy in the garage. Indian system discourages the guy in the garage, and encourages massive enterprises which can facilitate kickbacks.

Consolidation may be good for the economy in numbers, but its never good for innovation, because innovation thrives on out of the box. India currently is a nuclear wasteland with lead lined boxes. you step out and you can get roasted, unless you can design your own hazmat suit.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 5th June 2015 at 12:37.
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