To build the India 2.0, what India needs are strong and determined visionaries as leaders who can make the future happen at every level – in politics, science, government and industry. Indians need to envision how the New India can be – and then build it. There needs to be shared goal, a common vision. Admittedly, it is hard to do it with a billion people. The last time this was done was when India fought for Independence!
It is easy to lay the blame with the government for many of India’s ills. But leaders like Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh and Digvijay Singh in Madhya Pradesh have in their own ways shown what is possible. No surprise then that in a country where the feeling of anti-incumbency runs high at election times, both were re-elected. Government can be an enabler (or a disabler), but genuine change requires a change within each individual.
For too long, we have accepted mediocrity as “best-of-class”. Attitudes in India need to change, wherein anything sub-standard will be rejected. The “chalta hai” (will do) attitude has to be eliminated. India needs to ask for more – from its government, its leaders and its companies. Education will help, but an attitude change has to come from within. The feeling should not be “It is okay. After all we are a poor country” but “We want to be the best. We deserve better”. In a single word, the demand should be for More.
Change has to be begin at the top. Leaders in India – in government, companies, and institutions – need to set an example. It is a world where the battleground is not the floor of Parliament or the border with Pakistan, but in the economic markets. There, India struggles at get a tenth of the Foreign Direct Investment that a China gets. The world of today is one wherein the fast eat the slow. India needs to show Speed in order to get attention, mindshare and walletshare.
In the past 20 years, since China opened up to the world, its per capita income went up by a factor of 7. In India, during the same period, it has probably doubled. Imagine what wealth, prosperity and growth can be created if in the next 20 years India’s per capita income can go up by 7. Now, let us work backwards to make that happen!