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India Shining

By on Jun 18, 2006 | 21 comments

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So we invented Zero! We had the best knowledge of universe and farming! Our scholars knew the math and medicine! Our knowledge and wisdom was one of its kind. Today we have the best of institutes – IITs & IIMs. Today we produce large number of Engineers & Doctors. Our scientists are, they say, among the best in the world. Then why, my friend, are we still a developing country?

Only one answer comes to my mind – We are busy serving the ‘others‘! Name one Indian brand that is known worldwide. Name one innovation from India in past 100 years that has changed the world. Why, I wonder, can’t an Indian ( there are gazillions of them ) think of an idea as simple as ‘Google’? Why, I wonder, can’t an Indian gather a team of top-notch computer engineers from IITs to develop an Operating System that will put Windows & Linux to shame? Why can’t we have a Dosa-Hut or Samosa-Hut operating in Germany, Italy, Canada and Australia? Why can’t we have cleanest roads, fastest trains, excellent customer service & beautiful buildings? What is stopping us?

Yahoo! Inc. did a survey in America and came up with stunning results. 66% of Americans want to have their own enterprise and even more amazingly, only 3% of them want to do it for the want of money. A major share of America’s GDP comes from the small businesses. No doubt they have the best of the best stuff.

Our newspapers brag about Indian software biggies like Infosys, Wipro, Satyam & TCS. None of these companies could come up with a product for the common people. None of them could develop a search engine way before Google or Yahoo. None of them could change the world like Google & Microsoft did. Probably we are busy servicing the ‘others’. We brag our expertise in outsourced software development. Frankly, we do not get projects because we are intelligent. We get projects because we are cheap. But who cares, each $ makes around 50 Rs here!

We grow our new generation to be employees. That’s the safest bet. ‘Getting Married’ is the ultimate aim of life which, without a steady-high-paying job, is almost impossible to achieve. Probably we are too busy building new home for ourselves and staffing it with the Fridge, Plasma TV, Home Theatre etc. Probably we are too busy returning the debts to the bank. Probably we are too busy to take risks and do whatever we always wanted to do. Probably we are too content with ourselves. Probably we want Napoleon ,Edison, Bill Gates, Richard Branson to be born not in ours but in neighbor’s house. Probably we are not anyone among above because not-everyone-can-be-Bill Gates. Probably we don’t want to try. Probably we are lazy. Or we are too happy finding excuses.

Then how my friend, will India Shine?

-The Big K-

p.s: As I predicted, Gary left to get the M.B.A sticker. The player below plays a song that I had recorded few months back. Its special because it was the first song that I had sung for my friends. Will you ever forget those terrace days? 😉


  1. Alamelu

    June 19, 2006

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    I agree with you Big K. We Indians are too busy being slaves that we forget the strength that we possess. Even Jambavan had to remind Hanuman of his strength at appropriate time. And I hope that is what we are doing with these posts at regular intervals. Hurray ………. Keep it up……… We admire such crazy engineers……….

  2. sristi

    June 23, 2006

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    i agree with u biggie….hope our Indian mindset will change after reading posts like this

  3. Leena

    August 10, 2006

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    Absolutely correct.We have forgotten what we were. we were masters but now became slaves. Keep posting these things.It will keep the flame burning.

  4. Sreeja

    October 16, 2006

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    yes .. we are lazy .. and also not disciplined.. I could make that out when we have our business partners in US and working with them made me realize that.

  5. Elecsys

    November 7, 2006

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    One of the best posts that I have come accross recently. A very well written. I would suggest you to take the post forward by penning down what you think should be done regarding this… kind of.. contribution from Govt or contribution from Edu intitutions..etc

  6. The_Big_K

    November 8, 2006

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    Thanks Elecsys! :mrgreen: First of all, the change is no possible unless there are thousands of persons like you and I who want India to make progress. In order to make progress, any country *must* go into ‘manufacturing’ and not ‘services’. I strongly feel companies like Infy, Wipro are not doing any good to India’s progress. How far can we go while being dependent on other countries for work?
    Government or Educational Institutions have failed in planting the seed of “curiosity, creativity & innovation”. The key is to innovate, make better products and sell them to the world.

  7. c00lesh

    February 20, 2007

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    I really agree u, Big-K. India shining – a phrase that has been drummed into the heads of every Indian `Junta’ ever since elections were contemplated. A phrase that political parties were toying before two years. A phrase that made people aware about determination of the nation.
    But does really India is shining. India is a golden sparrow with wings butchered by foreigners. We always follow rule that is very well known in software field i.e. ‘Copy and Paste’. Though we know that ‘Imitators one day becomes inventors’ but this is not in case of Indians. We can on only become imitators not inventors. Truly speaking India had never made any revolutionary invention in past five decades. We totally rely on others for innovations, and use them for our benefits. Though this policy may work for few years, but to really present India as ‘Shining’ nation we should have our basics clear.

  8. whats in a name

    July 25, 2007

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    companies like infosys,tcs,satyam DEFINITELY have contributed a lot towards the indian ecomomy and the bragging they get is not overrated because , they have provided employment to a large number of people, established brand INDIA, . What u say is RIGHT, they are nowhere to google,microsoft, but in a country like india with its high unemployment rate, do u think we should compalian about these companies which hire thoudands and thousand and pay then well according to INDIAN STANDARDS




    common! INDIA got independence only in 1947 ! after being raped for hundreds of years by foreign intruders ! usa got theirs in 18th century

    TOday even indian companies are exploring the world

    indian software cpmpanies have centres all over the world,employing lot of foriegners too……………..

    secondly, we must understand! the risk taking capability in of thiese US is obvioulsy more than india ! they have lot of social security, govt backing! even unemployment wages ! they don’t have scenarios like —-> OH! boy get a job fast, u gotta look after your parents, get ur sister married blah blah! try to judge the conditions yaar!

  9. whats in a name

    July 25, 2007

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    INDIA is OBVIOUSLY SHINIG! …….. well u won’t find it shining if u unreasonably cmpare it with US/europe………. but see the mammoth change
    it has undergone! salaries are rising much faster ! infrastructure is getting better day by day,foreign investments flooding in, malls,shopping complesxes,multiplexes everywhere…………. the development in rural india too is happening in a furious rate……….. leave aside software man, BIOTECHNOLOGY,CHIP DESIGN,etc etc …. its all happening here

  10. faizal iqbal

    July 25, 2007

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    Big K…u got me going wait for 5 yrs and i’ll i write back to you…mark my words..5 yrs

  11. whats in a name

    July 25, 2007

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    and we can’t say INDIANS are not talented! we might say the talented leave for US

    Who created hotmail


    who designed the PENTIUM PROCESSOR

    ——– vinod dahm

    name on founder of SUN MICROSYSTEMS

    ——– vinod khosla

    who is the 9th president of the legendary BELL LABS!

    ——– arun netravalli

    Name two women astronauts

    ——– kalpana chawla, sunita williams

    which is biggest film industry in the world

    ——— bollywood

    Name on managing director of Mckinsey & company


    indians have it in then but brain drain and lack of govt support previously discouraged them…………. but since 1991,scenario is changing! every year so many IIM grads refuse foreign offers for creating their own start ups in iNDIA………. for example i remeber one wanted to open a music company and another a PC gamimg company !!! [:o]

  12. The_Big_K

    July 25, 2007

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    @ What’s in a name –

    I’m glad you understood my point. I’m not ‘complaining’ about Indians mental capabilities. ‘Complaining’ would be a wrong word. Note that INFY, TCS, WIPRO are all into ‘services’ as compared to ‘products’. That’s a huge differentiator. When you are into services, you give your client something that is worth more than what you get in return. Think about it. As against, in product making, you will sell your product for more than what it took to come to life.

    The fact that the three biggies of Indian IT are worried by the strengthening rupee is an indicator of the point I’m trying to make. We need to be self sufficient. I don’t think government backing or family responsibilities have much to do with (of course, they can make a huge difference) people turning into entrepreneurs.

    India seriously needs people like you who care about India’s growth and want to contribute to it. So, keep up the good job and don’t run after the dollar dream.

    @ faizal –
    Sure mate, we all would be waiting. All the best and keep up the good job!

    -The Big K-
    p.s: Sunita Williams and Kalpana Chawla are not Indians. They just bear the Indian Name.

  13. whats in a name

    July 26, 2007

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    ” I don’t think government backing or family responsibilities have much to do with (of course, they can make a huge difference) people turning into entrepreneurs. ”

    i think it DOES make a huge difference, when u have tremendous financial restraints and pressure to start earning early, you cannot just throw away a high paying job,to start your own start up,….. very few people can afford….. i personally know many good students of poor families who instead of securing good marks in cass 10 boards were not allowed to continue education because their parents immidiately needed them to join work! it happens in india man

    govt support also needed for encouraging entrepreneuship…. some people can still manage but only a few manage, unless the govt supports them in all ways, in terms easy loans on low rates,subsidised rates for land,electricty, reducing legal hassles whatever, etc etc,, we won’t get nationa wide spirit of entrpreneurship…………..

    —————- regarding services—————

    services have to be there allong with products, companies like infosys,tcs etc utilized the strength of india,—- large numbers of engineers from moderate colleges graduating every year…………… and serives does give u good profit

    if it is not so, why are IBM and ACCENTURE into services ……..

    ———- ANOTHER POINT———–

    If INDIA is not about talented people


    i am right now not sure but when microsoft opened in india,it surely was the only development centre in the world outside USA

    ———- regarding KALPANA CHAWLA————-

    KALPANA CHAWLA was born in INDIA and graduated from PUNJAB ENGINNERING COLLEGE ! she moved to USA only after her graduation!

    SHE was an indian RESIDING in USA,,,,,,,, (u are talking about some papers and cards the make her american,but she has INDIAN blood, and most importantly graduate of an INDIAN UNIVERSITY )

  14. NO NAME

    August 25, 2007

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    Dear friend,
    What you say is absolutely true……. Leave alone government funding, even Infosys has enough money to take risk and take-up a new product….. I wonder what are they waiting for????

    *** If 30% of the workers in Google are Indians, then why dont we have a good search engine in India itself??? Why doesn’t Infy take up the task???
    Why to serve others, when we can rule????

    Leave alone KALPANA CHAWLA…… If she would have worked for ISRO, India would have been a lot happier…… Never ever talk about her……

  15. NO NAME

    August 25, 2007

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    Google was founded almost 10 years after Infosys….Now it is twice as large as Infy…….
    Product oriented companies do matter a lot……We need them……
    WHAT DO YOU SAY?????

  16. mayank

    September 26, 2007

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    I guez we are correct in looking at the imitation phenomenon from India.

    We are masters of reverse engineering rather than innovators.

    And yet we had invented things like zero etc. – once upon a time.

    ALL is correct – how I look at this is –

    We were once called SONE KI CHIRIA – we had diamonds and rare stones embedded on the walls of our forts – the courtesans (as we see in our comic books) used to be relaxed and discussed trivial matter and laughed – they used to be merry and devote time to our culture, music dance etc, we evolved most tempting spices and flavour to our cuisines and so the culture developed – ALL BECAUSE WE HAD AMPLE MONEY (RELATIVE TO THE STANDARDS OF THOSE TIMES) – people could engage their energies into things constructive, creative and phenomenonal. You see the transportations carts, Chariots, steel, weaponry, Farming techniques etc were one of the most advanced. In an abundant atmosphere, life flouishes. Even we were more evolved when it used to come to sex – see kamasutra, khajuraho, the devdasis of old age and the dancers of early 20 century – every thing was respected – we wanted our fun and had our own ways to get that things were not disrespected – we were not hypocrites. – And so the population got nutured despite n numbers of wars and famines. WE WERE POSH AND HAPPENING.

    But then with every rising phenomenon there is there is an entropy which keeps generating – a force which keeps pulling the system downwards –

    We say the divide and rule policy was implemented on us – but I say we always created divisions amongst us – the most ugly being caste – I am superior you are not. What the hell?

    The Ph. D. of yesterday used to be called a PUNDIT – we decayed and some self-promoters started calling their castes as pundit. The reservation system of yesterday (which was intended to uplift the poor became politicized and resulted into the glorification (negative) of the word untouchables) The new caste system created SC & ST – (Once during my school my parents were out of station – one of my best friends invited me for dinner – only next day he came up scared and guilty – he asked me if I have no problem coming to his house – I said NO why would I? he said he was SC – I said wow what is that? – I just knew he was a doctor’s son and very dear to me – that day I vowed never to abide by the caste system which can intimidate a dear friend for nothing ) Only a few years later it dawned upon me that a new segment has risen the OBCs and whether I like it or not my caste is part of that – ok the people who used to see the rape with blind eye – were now being raped – Good that’s sociology – (My SC Friend again commented – You are still better than me – wow so deep is the system etched in his mind that inferiority complex is too timid a phrase for that.)

    The Rajputs of yesterday became the OBCs of today – the proud Yadavs as they used to call themselves sons of Lord Krishna were now OBCs.

    During their better times the Rajputs and Yadavs made approximately 20% on Indian Population (more than Muslims!!)- obviously there must have been a lot of silent converters who adopted to these during their erstwhile glorious days. Today I am sure their population is bound to dwindle – reverse osmosis.



    One word which most Indians are familiar with – “BATWARA” – Even Films are made with this title.

    We were plundered by one and all ( by the ‘patent’ creators of today and even middle world) At that time we were relaxed and they were restless in their homeland and looked outside. I would not say that they did not do anything good – (we must be indebted for rerise of organized education etc) but then – our energies our blood our future our charm our potent for innovation – just look at today’s scenario – the muslim nations whose warriors ruled us – even if those nations are sluggish their muslims are more advanced than the muslims of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan in terms of culture and openness. Even the Whites, which decided to stay back after Indian independence and Goan Liberation, dwindled relatively if you compare orange to orange in terms of lifestyles progressing with time.

    TODAY – we can’t innovate we can only reproduce both the population and material.

    We went to become one of the most scacre nations – I would not agree or disagree with whatever our politicians did initially to stabilize the country during post independence times – may be somebody could have done better but then somebody could have made it worse than pakistan or nepal.

    Thank God at least we are where we are. At least.

    SO WHERE are we – after facing the absolute scarcity – we had to earn bread and we know the western standards now – they have evolved mush faster – TODAY THEY HAVE AMPLE MONEY – Their schooling etc is taken care by the govt medical bills etc are reimbursed – Just watch english/american movies – their kids will drink a packet of milk and throw away have – they are cool because they don’t care – they can afford wastages – they are free birds – can devote time on innovating on things AMERICAN CHOPPERS, or anything of their lets say Aston Martin or HOMES is more desirable because they go into details of everything – making it more and more desirable every time – ALL BECAUSE THERE IS SOMEBODY OR AMPLITUDE WHICH IS FEEDING THEIR FAMILIES.

    NOT IS TEH SAME WITH US – A guy who comes from small town – has to first earn respect – that he can study – that he can start earning – that he can can marry – (because we still have values – marriages are preferred over live ins – so it makes a permanent responsibility)

    Now the poor chap buys a B/W television, folding bed, cane sofa, gas stove 165 L fridge and starts a family, if he is lucky the bad system bring him a scooter in dowry – and his wages for 3-4 years are booked – within this time if he doesnt have kids – his relatives will make sure his life is hell.

    So additional responsibilities – all the promotions are not pleasant surprises anymore but mandatory requirements to keep fueling the ecosysytem of his household. With this 3-4 years pass away. the social relativity tells him and fires his ambition that colour TVs are must – mobiles are in – 165L is too small – and would he be able to afford a maruti 800 ever. A flat, god knows – 1 bedroom?

    This is all about low class – when you go high after the Colour TV its LCD – computer is a must for growing kids – the car has to have AC – the cooler must die – & let AC avatar.

    This cycle goes on at different levels in the society and the innovation leaves its place from Indian dictionaries and the Indian brain has to occupy itself in today’s survival (“Do wakt ki roti” as they say – how true it is)- If he leaves his jobs and thinks that I love designing – let me redesign the icon of my country Ambassador vehicle which desperately should be reprocessed to compete with foreign cats – I am sure his family we loose the lifestyle whgich they must be enjoying other wise –

    ALL our pharma companies are imitating – there not one commercial molecule in our name. Because the rich have to be so rich that they can go on holiday in Mediterranean or Caribbean – After all their brains must be recharged and refreshed for keeping up the ability to reverse engineer – even that is important – at least that way we able to keep up the lifestyle of Industry owners and lot many dependant on them.

    Our pride in Automotives Premier Padmini & Ambassador were imitations – Modern car TATA Indica designed by europeans – its every new facelift is a direct imitations of some European car – The initial V2 models bumper was a rip off of Skoda LAURA and the bumper of new Indigo is rip off of BMW 3 series. This is a product driven directly by the leader of one of the largest Business houses in India – I am sure he and his company are rich.

    Yes – Vinod Khosla, Sabeer Bhatia etc etc etc will be there because in every process there is a margin of error. BUT ENTIRE SYSTEM TODAY IS PRODUCING imitators and not innovators. Dont you observe the way birds like ostrich which we used to see during our childhood are a rare sight – such extinguishing sequences are taking our – kavi’s, mushayras, hindi poetry, ghazal programs, indian traditional dances – into oblivion.

    We need many steroids, like “Chak De” for Hockey, to say the least.

    And soon the west will put all the garbage – manufacturing units with dirty effluents in Asia and like robots we will comply to their requirements because we have to go to the expensive theatre for movie. I must say excellent carrot and stick motivation technique used by West to drive Asian workers. BPO is one of those machines employing robots. Gains will keep the robots blindfolded.


  17. Amar Gautam

    September 26, 2007

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    Nice to read this article. I came accross this and thought of leaving a comment. I will not say that I disagree to the whole of it but there somethings I feel should be brought up.

    There are lot of Indian brands that are international, e.g. Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Pigments (and actually almost all the TATA Flagship companies), Reliance, ONGC, Sulab International etc etc. If you want a list, please check out

    If you talk of an innovation that has changed the way the world is then the Big answer is Free web based email services (Hotmail by Sabeer Bhatia). This is not to far into the 100 years span. This is very recent. If you want more please check on

    We have lots of places in Frankfurt, Germany where you can drop in have the taste of Dosa. Difference is we do not term it as HUT. All the Indian foods are famous worldwide. Point here is we as an Indian do not realise this.

    If you come to customer services. India is at the top and still rising high. It is the only reason that Outsourcing is done to India. We see things in different perspective. Talk to Indians who live in America and talk to people who live in Europe. They will let you know what kind of services they get. It is all the same everywhere. Remember the saying – “Ghar ki murgi daal barabar”.

    The reason we get projects is saying we are cheap is actually cheap. We get projects because we have the expertise. If CHEAP wuld have been the factor then China would be reckonning us in very short span of time. BEWARE of China’s aggression in IT!

    Finding excuses is a individual approach. Most of the Indians have stopped this. We tend to marry soon because we need to have mental stability. We are familiy oriented. Now people in west have realized things and they started marrying fairly early. Getting married is not the ultimate goal or objective. Having a family and reproducing is the nature of every living organism. We need to pay of debts faster because we cannot afford to take it for long. This is how we are genetically programmed.

    We are made such a way to do things differently than Americans because everyone cannot do everything. We need to be complimentary to each other. This is how economy grows. If everone starts selling horses then who will buy one.

    We need to understand that we all are unique in every kind. Comparing ourself and our country to a Dollar branded country like America is not good in any manner. Moreover dollar costs only 40.something. It is depreciating now.

    If you talk of American economy, it going for a toss now. Crash is the word people all over are waiting for. Housing industry, commodities market, mortgage market etc etc, all the colapsing in US.

    I think this is too much as a comment. So think again and you will get to know that India is rising and shining!

    I hope this doesn’t offend you. Cheers 🙂

  18. mayank

    September 27, 2007

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    Please use this text as the earlier one has lots of spelling mistakes –

    Indeed India is Rising and shining – no doubts about that.
    Half of the corporate India is International. Indeed yes.
    It is high on Growth.

    But what we need is the Sustainable Growth.
    Whether this will take us to the moon and bring us back (read figuratively)
    We exaggerate, we get excited soon & with a handful of examples we claim that we have won the world. We need to have hundreds of Sabeer Bhatias. (and his contribution was 1 part, of the gigantic phenomenon called IT – can we give all the credit of IT to him – I don’t think so). This is like saying Somalia is Rising and Shining when Some of their athletes win marathons.

    It seems India is shining brighter after the BJP campaign – India Rising or Shining whatever. I think India has been rising ever since Independence and even before.

    What we must harp on is that we must design our mentalities, systems to last long. It should not so happen that we keep building flyovers around Delhi and by the time one is ready the traffic increase is too much that it cannot support – yes we have created 1 piece of infrastructure but where is the planning / vision?

    Today we need to ensure that this RISE and SHINE last long real long and does not fizz out as premature ejaculation.

    Why must we not create brands for Dosas/Yoga/Samosas – why do we have to sell ourselves cheaply – It is not about selling yourself at the lowest rates but wasting your demand potential – We get IT projects yes because one we are cheap but also two because we can speak good English – but it is a matter of time we will be overtaken by China and no-surprise even Bangladesh – because we have not created entry barriers to safeguard the interest of our own country – Go ahead sell cheaply.

    We must not compare ourselves to US to earn intimidation. But we can always learn some good points from someone who is at Number 1 slot today, and we even learn from the mistakes US has done and preempt in our gameplans. For that matter a man never ceases to learn and can do the same from Iraq, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Thailand, anywhere. Just pick up their good points and learn from their bad ones.

    We must not only enjoy the rise and shine of India but also contribute to the maintenance of the same through physical, ideological and social ways so that this shine stays. And critical analysis does not self-destruction – unless it is negative criticism. We must also learn from our pitfalls and ensure to emerge more mature and robust.

    Cheers all on participating in the dialogue.

  19. Sharell Atwood

    December 24, 2009

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    Hey. I got a 502 gateway error earlier today when I tried to access this page. Anyone else had the problem?

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