The level of happiness of Indians rose to ecstatic when Parag Agrawal took charge as CEO of Twitter. According to a research report a few years ago, about 33% of immigrant bounded companies in America were started by Indians. About 25% of Engineering and Technology companies between 1995-2005, and about 33% of Engineering and Technology companies between 2006-2012 have been the contribution of immigrant Indians. Americans have also bought several of these companies for billions of dollars.
The dominance of Indians among CEOs of 30% of Fortune 500 companies, and one third of engineers in Silicon Valley companies have also been detailed in research reports. Management, Communication, Hard work, and Human Resources have been the chief causative factors responsible for the accomplishments of Indians.
Indians make up 1% of the American population ; and 6% of employees in the Silicon Valley area. More than 10 lakhs out of the 40 lakh Indians are scientists and engineers. In cities like Seattle Indian engineers make up 40% of those from other countries. It is no surprise then that Indians occupy positions in the higher echelons of specialists in many organisations.
The secret of Indian success is also not new. Management Guru, Corporate Strategist, Educator, and Author – late CK Prahalad ( Michigan State University) cited the following as our success mantra : undue importance to caste certificates, undue importance to birth and death certificates, fierce competition for space in schools and colleges, inadequate educational infrastructure facilities, and failure to recognise and accept abilities openly constituting the ‘barriers’ one needs to ‘break’ for progress in India from a very young age. Indians gain immense experience in healthy competition, tackling rivalries, and problem solving in every stage of life making them well equipped in these traits. It also constitutes the main stepping stone to a person’s success. On the flip side it gives rise to insignificant, inconsequential, and inessential pleasures whenever an Indian becomes the CEO of any American company in the idle hope that we will be the ultimate controller of American companies and even American economy. In effect it is not of any great importance either. Many may not be even be aware of the fact that long before anyone becomes the CEO they become “American Citizens” with their full belonging to our nation India less revealing.
It is against this background we should with pride view the contributions of the doyens of Indian industry through a different but rational prism. Ratan Tata, Rahul Bajaj, Venu Srinivasan, Mallika Srinivasan, Narayanamurthy, Asim Premji, Sridhar Vembu, Mukesh Ambani, Aditya Birla, Kiran Majumdar Shah, Anand Mahindra, Shiv Nadar, and other such Indian corporate giants afforded opportunities and employment to crores of Indians in diverse sectors economy like, Computers, Information Technology, Communication, Housing, Construction, Consumer goods, Renewable energy, Hotels, Entertainment, Media and the likes without being recognised or remembered ‘deservingly’. Instead we even go to the extent of criticising or even pouring scorn without any respect on some or many such individuals as Leaders of too big companies with an indirect hold on the governance of our nation as a whole. Aditya Birla employed 1.5 lakhs, Infosys’s Narayanamurthy employed 2 lakhs, Reliance employed 2.5 lakhs, Mahindra employed 2 lakhs, HCL employed 1.5 lakhs, Wipro employed 2 lakhs, Tatas employed 7 lakhs, TVS employed 60000, Bajaj employed 50000 and the list goes on. No less than 30 lakhs and even comparable enough to the Central Government Employee strength of 40 lakhs or so. We need to discept and debate if the immigrant Indian CEOs /employees in America had willingly accepted the positions offered or were compelled to accept jobs due to lack of the right opportunities and support for their talent in India.
Indian entrepreneur, GR Gopinath looks at this issue from his own perspective. He terms this as : ” Victory for America ; not for India”. His reason : ” Skills and enterprise of Indians have been utilised in a constructive manner by the Americans. India lost its ability to channel this expertise.”
At this juncture it will be worth looking at China and its manoeuvres on this issue. China has built on its own accord, on its own land hugely competitive organisations of high calibre in the world like “Alibaba, Ten Cent, Baidu, Weibo, Huawei, Xiaomi, ZTE, Great Wall Motors, Fox Conn and the likes with the right kind of opportunities, education, training, and experience with little brain drain. Chinese people are the sole beneficiaries of employment and sustenance. India needs to strive hard to encourage and establish Indian talent within its own land even while fully recognising the fact that China and India are nations portraying different governance structures and abilities.
India is a flourishing democracy ; its leaders are elected once in 5 years usually by the citizens democratically. India is also home to rule by a single party or a coalition group in both the Centre and States.
China is a one party nation; one party government ; prevailing 8 hour work day with employee welfare laws and schemes; no strikes or bandh ; no struggle or scuffle; no lockouts or obstructions ; no condemnation meetings; and no false propaganda against the Government (they are put down vehemently). Ability and capacity beget credit and acknowledgement, and prosperity can be attained within the nation itself.
It is still doubtful in our country if such promises and recognition are possible. It is also difficult to compare the two nations as each has its pros and cons.
Just like the beetles go where the flowers are, Indians will go to places where there are better opportunities. It is our natural law; it is in our psyche.
About 6 lakh Indians have adopted the citizenship of America and England in the last 5 years. There is a need to look into the reasons why it has happened. Research is also needed on the aspects of why and how Indians successfully start organisations in America.
Equality of Education and Job Opportunities within India ; Opportunity to start one’s own enterprise with ease and without any red tape ( less beaurocratic paperwork and officialdom) ; A system shorn of bribery ; Approval for business based on Single Window processing spontaneously ; Implementation of people welfare/progress plans and programs without political interference and Opposition – will be the key requirements to keep Indians within our shores and make India Great.
The above may sound ‘obvious’ and may even be dismissed easily. But, as the 30th American President, Calvin Coolidge, emphasised in his governance : ” Take care of the OBVIOUS ; 50% of the PROBLEMS will be taken care of themselves”.
” Dieu avec nous”
Tuesday, December 28, 2021 – 9.59 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” He is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive; but those who can best manage change”. – Charles Darwin.
( This is meant to be a short essay )
” Despite the many differences the fact that I am an” Indian” has been deeply entrenched in our minds inexorably linked to each other and unable to be treated separately ” – believed our Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. But, Jammu and Kashmir was separated and accorded a special status prominently attributable to the immense people popularity enjoyed by Sheikh Abdullah inducing good faith largely. Today that status also remains repealed.
In another instance,, the obstinacy and pertinacity of Muhammad Ali Jinnah that the region highly populated by Muslims should be separated creating a new Nation, Pakistan, combined with the indirect support of the British could not prevent Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, and Vallabhai Patel from the formation of the new Nation, Pakistan. It took its birth on August 14, 1947.
That Pakistan took its birth as twins ( West Pakistan and East Pakistan) separated from each other by 1600 km geographically is its exquisiteness. There was no connecting Road from West Pakistan to East Pakistan. To go from East to west or from West to East one has to cross the Indian land or Indian skies. I cannot remember any other country divided into two regions geographically in this fashion in the World.
That East Pakistan could not sustain its cooperation with West Pakistan since its foundation because of differences in language, culture, and even physical characteristics of their people is not surprising.
The total land area of West Pakistan is 8.8 lakh sqkm. Its population is 19 crores. About 97% are Muslims and only 3% constitute individuals of other religion(s). Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi, and Lahore are the big cities. People speak the languages of Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi.
East Pakistan or today’s Bangladesh has a land area of 1.48 lakh sqkm. Its population is 16.2 crores. About 83% of people are Muslims and Hindus constitute 16%. People speak the following languages : Bangladesh, Chakma, Hindi, Urdu, Bawm and other.
Punjabis and Pathans constitute predominantly the West Pakistanis. In the East it is mostly Bengalis. By their looks, appearance, colour, and configuration they are however different. For Bengalis their language and not the religion is prime. For West Pakistanis religion is prime.
The population of East Pakistan is more than that of the WEST Pakistan. East Pakistan also contributes 70% of the total Pakistan Export of Tea leaves and jute. But only 10%of the opportunities were afforded to East Pakistanis in Pakistan national military. It was against this background that a revolution erupted under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It made Ayub Khan lose his power and military General Yahya Khan took charge of Pakistan. But the situation on the ground did not much change.
Historians recognised and spelt out clearly that a combination of two regions with such disparate characteristics will not be sustainable only based on religion. History also has no such record of unification of contrasting geographical land areas.
There has not been any record of formal or systematic election processes from 1947 to 1970. Democracy did not blossom either. Only West Pakistan nationals enjoyed power and fame in Governance, Administration, Justice, and Authority. East Pakistanis were treated as second grade citizens..
The Pakistan Government in 1952 pronounced Urdu as its national language. Bengali speaking East Pakistanis resisted this proclamation strongly. A revolution began against this move of the Government. Thousands of young East Pakistanis lost their lives. This became its first Internal War against the Pakistan Government. The dead youth were celebrated as martyrs.
Severe Cyclone in 1970 created huge damage to people and prosperity in East Pakistan. Lakhs of people lost their lives. Authoritarian Pakistan Government did not pay any attention to Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation. The step motherly treatment meted out to East Pakistan triggered an angry and hate filled response towards the Government.
General Elections were held in late 1970. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Awami League party captured 167 of the 169 seats in East Pakistan. Pakistan People’s Party led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto secured the largest single party status in West Pakistan. But it was unable to form the Government due to lack of coalition success.
It became proper for Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to take charge as PM of Pakistan. Bhutto refused to yield. Military leadership also played against Mujibur Rahman. Yahya Khan was the military General then and he postponed the Parliament sitting. Under the pretense of initiating diplomatic conversations he prepared for an all out attack against East Pakistan. His singular objective was to control the revolution in East Pakistan. This led to the imprisonment of Mujibur Rahman in West Pakistan.
Dhaka rally of March 7, 1971, and the flag hoisting of March 23, 1971, (flag of Bangladesh) marked the beginning of a new Nation under the Leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Pakistan army began the war on East Pakistan killing nearly 3 lakh people ; wounding nearly 5 lakh people ; destabilising about 3 crore people ; and resulting in nearly 1 crore people fleeing to India crossing the borders. There was no limit to the atrocities let loose by the Pakistan Government under the “Operation Searchlight” to curb the Bengali Nationalist Movement in East Pakistan.
It continued for 7 to 8 months. International dailies and magazines covered the brutality let loose by General Yahya Khan’s military establishment. Except for India no other country came forward to express sorrow/worries leave alone showing even lip sympathy to the people of East Pakistan.
American Consulate in Pakistan sent information to U. S. Administration. Opposition leaders like Ted Kennedy even released warning messages.. But the administration turned a deaf ear to these and even sent the military ship, ” the Seventh Fleet” to the Bay of Bengal to prevent India from taking any action to salvage the people of East Pakistan.
Closely observing and analysing the situations developing in East Pakistan, the Indian PM, Indira Gandhi, established contacts with world leaders and submitted to control and stop the atrocities meted out to the East Pakistanis. It didn’t meet with any significant effect. America and China just watched the events ; Europe remained silent ; UN establishment could not stop the killings ; Only Soviet Union stood in support of India.
China regarded India as its enemy, and Pakistan as its friend. Indian leaders were quite aware that in the event of any India-Pak war, China will be on the side of Pakistan.
PM, Indira Gandhi, met with President, Nixon, seeking to prevent this oppression and brutality by Pakistan. Nixon replied, ” You shoot anyone crossing your borders.” Implicit in his reply was the fact that he will be in support of Pakistan only. The conversation led to a verbal duel with Nixon seriously admonishing the PM, Indira Gandhi.
Returning from America, Indira Gandhi sought to initiate manoeuvres of ” peace, friendship, and cooperation” with the Soviet Union. Internally in response to JP Narayan’s query of India’s response to the brutality in East Pakistan, a neighbouring nation, Indira Gandhi politely responded with these words : ” please wait for sometime patiently”.
Indira Gandhi then called General Sam Manekshaw to know if defence services will be ready for a war. General Sam Manekshaw replied, ” Always Ready”. Indira Gandhi wanted the first attack to be from Pakistan; and the end result to be India’s victory. This is what Finally happened, ” A VICTORY FOR INDIA”.
Yahya Khan began the war expecting the support of America and China on December 3, 1971. Pakistan Airforce attacked the Indian Airforce Site. They were destroyed and driven away by the Indian Airforce. India also retaliated with defeats to the intruding Pakistan Army in Kashmir. India then entered East Pakistan with its army ably supported by the ” Mukti Bahini” forces of East Pakistan and defeated the Pakistan army clearly. Indian Military Lt General, Jagjit Singh Aurora made a call and warning to Pakistan to surrender within 48 hours. Pakistan Lt General, AAK Niyazi and his army of 93000 soldiers surrendered unconditionally making this “WAR” the greatest “VICTORY” after the Second World War in history. The war was over in just 14 days. December 16, 1971, became the Liberation Day.
Celebrating this victory, Indian PM, Indira Gandhi declared in the Parliament, ” Bangladesh is now born ; Dhaka has become it’s Capital ; Sheikh Mujibur Rahman becomes the First PM of Bangladesh ; Greetings to the PM and people of Bangladesh “. She also added, ” Our Generals of Army, Navy, and Airforce together with their soldiers, and the Border Security Forces are responsible for our Victory ; Let us all bow to their valour and sacrifices “.
It was not surprising that the Indian Opposition Leader, Atal Behari Vajpayee held Indira Gandhi as the image of, “Mother Parashakthi” for standing up firmly to thwart the sinister moves of Pakistan. The combined attack of India’s military, Navy, and Airforce alongside the “Mukti Bahini” were responsible for the creation of Bangladesh. General Sam Manekshaw stands tall in the heart of every Indian..
The history of formation of Bangladesh is not an ordinary one. Religion, Language, and Indian Cooperation makes the triad constituting the establishment of a revolutionary “BANGLADESH”.
Creation of Bangladesh enhanced the pride of India in the WORLD. Today marks the completion of 50 years of the formation of Bangladesh. Even amidst the highs and lows of our relationship in these years we cannot forget the characteristics of our people resembling them just as water changes its nature from the nature of the soil it flows..
Some of those responsible for the murder of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman have not been punished yet ; and the increasing voices against India and Hindus in Bangladesh are agonising and harrowing to say the least.
Bangladesh should prosper ; relationship between India and Bangladesh must also gain further strength.
This is the expectation of every Indian today..
” Dieu avec nous ”
Thursday, December 16, 2021 – 3.19 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Great countries are those that produce great people “. – Benjamin Disraeli.
The beginning of this decade (2021) marked the historic event in American history of an immigrant Indian woman taking on the mantle of the Vice-President, one could have never imagined. Records and accomplishments of immigrant Indians in America make the entire world discover and confirm the astonishingly impressive command presented by them. The latest entry into this brilliant, celebrated, and distinguished achievers is Parag Agrawal of ‘Twitter’ who became its CEO last week.
The academic and professional progress of Parag Agrawal (he holds a BTech from IIT Bombay ; and MS, PhD from Stanford University) leading to the credited recognition of CEO makes India proud as much as it makes the preference accorded to the talent and efficiency congratulatory in American society. The fact that Indians have been able to etch their impressions in most sectors of the economy besides being the leading CEOs of at least seven prestigious organisations cannot be easily dismissed.
If Sundar Pichai of Alphabet Inc. ( born June 10, 1972) ; Satya Nadella of Microsoft (born, August 19, 1967); Arvind Krishna of IBM ( born, 1962); Shantanu Narayen of Adobe Inc. ( born, May 27, 1963); Nikesh Arora of Palo Alto Networks ( born, Feb 9, 1968); Jayshree Ullal of Arista Networks (born, March 27, 1961); and now Parag Agrawal of Twitter ( born, May 21, 1984) hold the CEO positions in organisations, many like them also hold their prestigious positions in Computer/Software organisations. About 30% of Future 500 organisations boasted Indian Leadership in 2018. It may have certainly been more now. This has to be viewed as the symbol of Indians transforming themselves as ‘Key Opinion Leaders’ in America, a pride in itself.
Gone were the periods when Indians leaving their shores seeking greener pastures in foreign land dubbed as “Brain Drain” in general discussions ( foreigners termed that as “Body Shopping” sarcastically). Now every family here wants to send its child/children abroad. Americans are bewildered, dumbfounded, and even frightened at the talent of Indians.
Even though the above facts make for India’s pride, the sadness behind this cannot be erased from our memories.
While America opens its doors for external talent, we do not take advantage of the same within our country in a glaring paradox. It cannot but be blamed on the misunderstanding and short-sightedness of our leaders. The respect and living comforts/conveniences that Sundar Pichai or Satya Nadella have earned are sadly absent in India – also a bitter truth.
The hard work and effort put in by Indians in America cannot be understated even as it is glaring that the same talent, hard work, and efforts would not have given similar levels of success here. It is obvious that not fostering and nurturing the capacity to think; not providing encouragement and opportunities to fructify their thoughts ; and not supporting with financial and technical resources to put to fruition combined with large scale reservations to various categories of people stifle the success while leading to the export of the ‘talented’.
We do not have as yet any Premier Technical Institution(s) ; administrative management institution(s) ; and Universities in the list of First 100 institutions of the World. If some of those from these very institutions can make a refulgent glow in their careers abroad, it only sets our thinking wrong – a reality that strikes at the face of the educators and leaders.
Globalisation has given a tremendous fillip to the educational and employment opportunities abroad. And people are certainly migrating. If this continues our dreams of becoming a “Superpower” will remain only in dreams.
The educational and professional prosperity of such people – be it in the case of Indira Nooyi or Kamala Harris or Sundar Pichai or Satya Nadella – would not have been possible in India. We could neither retain them nor could utilise their wealth of knowledge in India.
India’s Loss is America’s Gain.
” Dieu avec nous”
Saturday, December 4, 2021 – 8.39 p.m. (IST).
Tidbit : ” India is a country with rich brains and unfortunately they brain drain”.
” CNN has suspended prime time news anchor, Chris Cuomo, ‘indefinitely pending further evaluation ‘ after the revelation of the improper nature of his relationship with aides to his brother, Former NY Governor, Andrew Cuomo “.
Chris Cuomo said, ” Family is more important than job”, while accepting some of the charges. It can’t be more than true and justifiable in life for everyone.
After retirement and even while announcing early/premature retirement in Sports, Movies, Entertainment and few other fields we are familiar with reasons emerging from individuals concerned about life, family, and retirement as priorities. Management students and personnel may have heard this aspect more frequently in LEADERSHIP and JOB DECISIONS.
Chris Cuomo’s case is different in that he has been suspended for his wrongdoing. But his reaction is common. There will be some investigations and soon a final clear decision.
I have this small account to record on this issue :
- 1. For a lot of time during his career at CNN ( since 2013) he has been gushing at his vibes into accomplishments at work, may be even at the expense of his family. He has been work centered clearly.
- 2. He has been a popular, very effective, and well regarded prime time news anchor at work in CNN.
- 3. I have been regularly watching the three some – Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon – for a few years now and I could not afford to miss Cuomo’s coverage, specially the following :
- (a) the news he continued to broadcast from his home when he contracted COVID – 19 in March ( sprinkling his own personal account of symptoms, testing, fears, and the nature of the spread). It was his family that stood by him strongly then.
- (b) the coverage based on his personal visit to the border areas looking at the life of migrants who had camped near US-Mexico border when the then President, Donald Trump, threatened to close the borders ; and
- (c) the pretty amazing and novel use of the Whiteboard with bullet points explaining the sequence of events like a well trained ACADEMICIAN during his prime time coverages .
- CNN can certainly move on without Chris Cuomo as would any organisation without any individual, howsoever, critical he is to business. No one is irreplaceable. Chris cuomo will now be focusing on winning the support of his team and other groups of people within the network. His job and career may change. But he will certainly have his family with him and for him it will be more important than anything else now.
- ” Dieu avec nous “
- December 1, 2021 – 12.29 p.m. (IST)
- Tidbit : ” God’s judgment is not like man’s judgment “.