Creating India’s Middle Class

[via Suhit] ACM: Ubiquity has an interview with Michael Schrage. Excerpts:

SCHRAGE: Particularly if we’re looking 25 to 50 years out, it’s probably in the best interests of America as a nation and Americans as individuals to encourage this worldwide explosion of invention and opportunity because everyone everywhere will have greater choices for less money. The challenge is the Wal-Mart phenomenon. Look, let’s go back to Henry Ford, who did something brilliant when he came up with the affordable automobile, the Model T, and then did something extraordinary that people, except for sociologists, don’t talk as much about: he invented the five-dollar day for his employees (a huge pay increase!) so they could actually afford to buy the automobiles that they made.

UBIQUITY: And you’re saying the same idea needs to be applied to the developing world.

SCHRAGE: Absolutely. I’m doing work with Intel, and with Microsoft, and with Cisco, and they’re all looking hungrily and with fear at the developing world. So the most important product Cisco, Intel, and Microsoft need to create in China and India is not hardware or software or services, the most important product would be the creation of a Middle Class.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.