Sunday, October 10, 2004

Perceptions of "Today's Indian in America"

Another View By Ramboaus, IIT Global from Australia

I just finished watching "A Big Fat Greek Wedding". I am sure most of you would have seen this nice comedy. If you have not I highly recommend it to you. There is a scene where the brother says to his sister "Don't let your past dictate who you are,let it be part of who you will Become."
I hope impressionable young Indians in America understand the depth of this statement.
This is perhaps the most appropriate quotation I can come up with in response to this
article by an American Indian.

I was quite impressed with the beginning which spurred me to read on. By the time I got to the end I was just left saddened by how Indians who have gone to America (not all but definitely the sort of people who endorse articles like this or similar views) have been brain washed by the American ways of doing anything and everything for money.

To feel that there will be no life or future for India unless we become American Lap dogs and hang out for the crumbs definitely gets to me. Indians in America should get off this HIGH horse that makes them feel superior. There is lot more to life than money. If money and the Green Back was taken out of the equation, it will be interesting to see how many Indians in American would like to say "Back home in America" and continue living there.

We all know not every Indian who goes to America is successful. A handful make it big and it is their destiny not their doing. The rest are gainfully employed like people anywhere in the world

Majority in USA proudly told their families back home in India that they were doing Body Shopping Business. The first time I heard this from a friend of mine in Hyderabad that his future son in law was doing body shopping I was shocked and appalled. I assumed it was some sort of Brothel business. I now know it is a name for recruiting IT workers at low wages to serve in America a sort of slave trade like it or not. Since 9/11 all this body shopping artists have been without jobs them selves.

The one advantage is that every American dollar buys you Rs 55. Take that out of the equation life in America Stinks. Like it or not. There is no life for Indians in America if they have no money. You cannot even get a decent medical treatment if you are ill.

Ours is an age old Indus Valley civilisation and we have a rich culture, which has withstood so many invasions and assaults, life in India will go on with or without America. The Caucasians ruled the world with gun powder and slight. They have deceived the world for well over a century. Of course the allied forces saved the world from Hitler in the second world war. Now the same allied forces are determined to exercise the same control over the world as Hitler did by disarming the entire world while they arm them selves to their teeth.

They are not allied forces anymore. The British and the Aussies (the people) want to disassociate themselves from America. John Howard is getting pelted with rotten eggs and tomatoes since America announced that Australia cannot sell wheat to Iraq any more and cancelled all previous contracts in favour of American companies. .

From now on it is going to be the "UGLY Americans Vs the Rest of the world." Bush's administration has destroyed what America stood for in the past. We trust and hope the next election will restore America in its true glory. .

Terminology like American Start up's, Venture Capitalists, Fortune 500, Board Rooms, Profitability all reminds me of Michael Dougla's Movie the Wall Street. 'It is Greed and all about GREED".

Let us change the equation says the author by becoming better at being Lap Dogs to America hoping we might get to gnaw at bigger bones with may be some meat.

I am constantly reading about India becoming the Silicon Valley of the world. Is this really true ?.
Consider this, in the 70's one Australian dollar fetched two and a half Singapore dollars. A whole lot of manufacturing was moved from Australia to Singapore. When the Singapore dollar got stronger there was a shift of focus toward Thailand and Malaysia and in the 90's the focus was on China when it came to manufacturing. India was out of question those days because of Government controls. Even Coca Cola did not survive in India. Companies lke Nike run sweat shops in Vietnam and Thailand to manufacture their shoes for a pittance to sell them with perhaps a 1000% margin to the western world. Sheer exploitation.

Now the IT business is no different. India educates perhaps about 200,000 IT graduates each year and thus creates a huge supply of cheap labour. American companies can employ five Indian Graduates in India as compared to one American graduate. If course it amounts to getting five times productivity for the same cost.

While all te major multinationals are setting up business in a big way in Bangalore and Hyderabad and sure help create employment it will be interesting to see the annual returns to see how much tax these companies pay to the Indian government. Australians only know too well as most of the multinationals pay less that 5% in corporate tax. Funds are juggled around between companies globally and audits are conducted by the likes of Andersons who have access to all tax specialists who know all the loop holes that Local tax offices are scared to take them on. Companies like Exxon, Mobil , BP etc pay very very little as a token gesture to Australia as annual tax. I am sure the same is true in India unless it is a joint venture.

Let us Change the Equation: (My way of Thinking).
-IITians have been away in USA for more than 50 years now.
-Let us hope fellows in USA have learnt some good tricks (I do not mean dope sniffers and the like) that they can teach our people in India.
- Sit in your OWN Board rooms in India instead of playing second fiddle in some American firm. I am sure some will turn around and say what are you doing? For your information exactly what I am preaching. I have certainly learnt a few tricks in my time and am doing my little bit to pass them on. Australia is a fine country and the Australians are lovely people and I have no regrets about that either.
- Forget that India is a third world country as this is a Tag given by the west to keep our country down-trodden and with Rs 55 to one American dollar we will be a third world country for may be another century.
- Go and see the real poor in USA and UK and you will find that the poor in India can still smile as they know nothing better, something the poor in the west cannot do as they have seen better times.
- Get out of the slave mentality that we have grown up with as our parents and grand parents were used to serving the British Sahibs. Stop being subservient and be a BOSS yourself . I am proud to say that at least three of my class mates are doing exactly the same. One friend, in fact, is designing Chips in Hyderabad and making them in Taiwan and selling them back to USA. Now this is the equation we are after.
- Successful Indians in America and elsewhere in the world would agree that Indians are a much cleverer race than the Caucasians. The ones we have to contend with in the future are the Chinese as they are just as clever if not cleverer.
- India was held back the last 50 years by Nehru's stupidity while China's set back was Communism. Both countries are free of these shackles to grow at will and become the Forces to Reckon with.
- Stop thinking about how sitting in USA you can create a few opportunities for Indian companies. It is time to stop looking up to the western world and become independent and lead the way in research and technology. Let us stop playing the catching game and take the lead. This is where China's strength is. They can copy anything overnight (which we in India cannot) and the next day are ahead of the west where they copied something from. At the moment India has a small edge in IT because of the language advantage. This will not hold out for ever.
- I remember a family migrated to Australia from mainland China and the little girl joined year nine without knowing a word of English. In year twelve she scored a 100 TER and went on to join the medical school. We Indians may boast of education in English. Majority however cannot compose one grammatically correct letter and lack communication skills. Most Indians are scared to stand up and make a speech. Why? because there is no such thing as show and tell in our schools.
- The Chinese are learning English very very fast, like it or not, as Australian Universities are behind it all the way. AGSM in Sydney is full of students from mainland China. Australian Universities are setting up facilities in China. If I remember right, China is interested in setting up 100 IIT type institutions and, if I remember correct, our own Rajat Gupta of McKinsey is working on this Blue Print for China.
- If Indians were smart we should forget about the west, that will for ever use us as slaves and cheap labour. Bill Gates is not interested in India. There is only one thing that Bill Gates or for that matter any American is ever interested in. That is "The Bottom Line."
So Let us Change the equation " Forget the west, it is a spent force and will liquidate itself soon by its own greed. Look up to partnerships with China. For those of you who have not grown out of the incursion in the sixties by a Communist Chinese regime, I mix with a lot of Chinese in Sydney and, believe me, they are nice people. (Ravi Prasad, take note: Indians' future depends on strategic alliances with China ) If India and China stand united then no one will ever dare to call India a THIRD WORLD Country EVER again.

I fully agree it is Time to Change the Equation folks. It will be interesting to ward off the brick bats for the next couple of days.

I support the Australian farmers who have just as much right to sell wheat and meat to IRAQ as the UGLY Americans. I am sure the French and Germans have no chance at all if UK and Aussies get booted out.