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Dreams, AIMS & Maira

india Updated: Aug 26, 2006 00:15 IST
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“DO YOU want India to stand atop the world?”

When chairman of Boston Consulting Group Arun Maira asked this at the 18th annual convention of Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) that began at IIM-L on Friday, hands went up spontaneously.  “Do you want an India where everyone lives a life of dignity?” The hands went up again. “Do you think we have arrived there? The same happened!

Maira smiled before moving on with his presentation on “Emerging Global Opportunities: Leadership and Action”. He first began on an optimistic note.

“More companies make good money in India than they do in China,” he said. It felt nice.

He continued: “Indian businessmen are most confidant doing business in their country. The confidence of businessmen in USA, UK, Japan is on the decline.”

Corporate India, he said, may not be the biggest. But, it’s aiming to be among the best. “The largest number of auto parts’ companies outside Japan to win the coveted Deming Quality Prize are in India. Tata Steel rated among the three best steel companies in the world in a row by Steel Dynamics,” he said. What’s more, top 10 Indian private sector companies are twice the size of top 10 Chinese companies! And for those who thought that our population boom was a disadvantage, Maira offered some food for thought. “India would have 47 million more people in the working age group by 2020 while France would have a deficit of 3 million,” he said.

India shining! Just then Maira broke the spell. “We have the potential. But, then with 47 per cent of our children malnourished and only 120 million out of 200 million children (6-14 years) attending primary school and 60 per cent of school dropouts comprising girls, we ought to do some rethink about whether we are adequately preparing ourselves,” he said. Worse was to follow. “With just 8 per cent pa GDP growth, unemployment is expected to increase from 27 million to 48 million by 2012,” he said.

So, he said, we need to adopt a different model to ensure development because the present delivery mechanism has failed.