From the proficient team that put together Reimagining Japan comes another concise, timely compendium.
McKinsey Asia editor Clay Chandler and senior partner Adil Zainulbhai have gathered a rich array of voices on what makes India both so incredible and so frustrating. Written by foreign policy experts, CEOs, journalists and professors, the essays are grouped into themes and inevitably bleed and overlap. Topics include politics and policy, business and technology, challenges (e.g., hindrances to growth), culture, soft power and India’s place in the world. All of these enthusiastic writers agree on the fabulous richness of India’s diversity, its vigorous democracy, strong social fabric and work ethic, and joy with its reformed economy, yet they rue the nation’s underachieving status on the world stage. India is not going to grow at the rate of China, despite its “breakout” in the early 1990s. Half of its 1.2 billion people are under the age of 25, and while most of the nation’s wealth is generated in cities, the bulk of its population still resides on the land and is extremely poor, often lacking toilets and electricity. In the first part of the collection, offering overviews by some of the big-picture thinkers, the contributors point at the harm of “crony capitalism” (Ruchir Sharma) and the need for a “robust rule of law” (Gurcharan Das). Bill Gates chronicles the country’s stunning achievement in eradicating polio. The business section—comprised of pieces by the CEOs of Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Tesco, etc.—mostly reads like product advertisements, while other authors impart terrific insights into the potential of new technology in terms of infrastructure, digital, biotechnology, renewable energy sources and education.
Thoughts on the Bollywood “dream machine” and what successful Indian émigrés in America can impart to those back home round out this clear, illuminating study for all readers, business and academic.