Zerodha co-founder and CEO Nithin Kamath has some valuable and sane advice for students. He said that whenever students ask him for advice, he tells them to not leave the country. He clarifies that this is not because of an obligation towards the country, but because India is the place to be in right now with its opportunities and growth.
He shared his views on LinkedIn along with a blog post by Shruti Rajagopalan, Economist at Mercatus Center at GMU, and fellow at NYU Law.
“Whenever students ask me for advice, I say, stay in India. Not just because we need to avoid the brain drain or that there's an obligation to the country, but because India will most likely have the best opportunities in future,” he said, adding that one in five people globally below 25 is from India, and 47 per cent of Indians are below the age of 25. “This group of young Indians has some unique characteristics,” he said.
In the post titled ‘Why everyone should pay more attention to India’, Rajagopalan said that this is not because of the usual reasons including scale, civilisation, history, nuclear power, G-20 but because of the “changing demographics”.
She said that India’s population will peak in 2065 but China’s will peak next year. “China will depopulate and age over the next forty years, during the same time, India will add the same number of people China loses, over a quarter of a billion,” she wrote in her blog.
This young group has some unique characteristics such as they grew up in a market economy, post-command-and-control socialism. They were born after the 1991 reforms, have lived in an India that grew 6 per cent on average for three decades, have access to global goods and content, and want to compete with the world. Secondly, she said that they have grown up with access to the internet, with more additions every year. Two-thirds have access to smartphones, and access to some of the cheapest mobile data plans.
Third, they have some exposure to English as compared to their parents and grandparents, Rajagopalan added. Another difference, Rajagopalan pointed out, was the growing number of entrepreneurs and the vibrant startup culture.
“This generation of young Indians will be the largest consumer and labor source in the knowledge and network goods economy,” she said.
Rajagopalan said that Indian students will form the single largest international student cohort at most top universities in the English-speaking world. She urged universities to develop courses that contextualize India, encourage exchange programs with Indian universities, and facilitate working at Indian institutions. “The single largest pool of talent will be STEM graduates,” she said as US and UK labour markets face massive shortage of STEM graduates.
She said that the US has a particularly difficult immigration system as far as Indians are concerned. But during the tech boom, Indians seamlessly moved to the US and rapidly made it to the top.
Obstructing Indian talent is bizarre, said Rajagopalan, considering highly skilled Indian immigrants have an excellent track record of assimilating, are often considered the model immigrant community.
Moving on, she said that Indians are already the largest audience for free content and network goods/platforms like Meta and YouTube for content creators and distributors, and that India will be the largest market for English-speaking content in the future.
“Foreign VC and PE funds flowing to Indian startups have been increasing, and investors have created pipelines and systems to evaluate Indian entrepreneurial talent and hire those who can crack Indian social and cultural codes to help make the best bets,” she said.
Giving more examples, Rajagopalan said that more bets will pay off as Indians get richer. She said that it is only in everyone’s interest to root for India. “As South Koreans grew rich, the world got everything from better TVs and TV content, to innovation in sunscreen and cosmetics,” she explained.
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