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Indian entrepreneurs think big now

The integration of India's economy into the global map has made big impact on its entrepreneurs, writes Uday Kotak.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2006 02:58 IST
Uday Kotak

The integration of India's economy into the global canvas has made a major impact on Indian entrepreneurs. It is a shift from the incremental to the aspirational.

Historically, Indian entrepreneurs were in an incremental mode, where they were looking at increasing their business from a base of 100 to 120 or 130. Now, they are in the aspirational mode, where they want to grow in geometric progression from 100 to 200 or 300.

The driving force

Therefore, the challenge to have an aspirational mindset is to get to a scale that is global in size, without compromising on quality. In the global economy, two factors – scale and quality – will not only be the driving force, but also help rule the world.

Companies likes Infosys and Wipro have demonstrated that it is possible to scale up operations and maintain quality at the same time. If you have aspiration and the management bandwidth, you can be a force to reckon with in the world, which is currently dominated by multinational powerhouses.

The message is clear: Quality is non-negotiable. There is no dearth of capital. However, the core issue is: Does the management of a company have the required mental bandwidth to face the challenges thrown up by globalisation?

I strongly believe that globalisation is a reality. One has to embrace it. To make the integration process less painful, it is important for them to use the opportunities, which are immense. Future success depends on the companies and business that can manage scale and quality at the same time.

The biggest challenge

Capital is not the issue. Execution is the biggest challenge. Many of India's industrial sectors are in the forefront of globalisation and have managed to raise resources at the most competitive rates. The success of these companies depends upon executing the projects and meeting the expectations of investors.

Compared to other emerging markets, India has a better-regulated and efficient financial market. But the size is much smaller in comparison. The total size of India's financial market is between $50 and 60 billion as against China's $750 to 800 billion.

In the times to come, I expect a few Indian financial institutions to compete in the global market with the likes of Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch. I strongly believe that some Indian financial institutions would scale up and become world class.

(Uday Kotak is Executive Vice-chairman and Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank)