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PM Modi must take long-term decisions economic revival

Josey Puliyenthuruthel     December 17, 2014

Business Today Managing Editor Josey Puliyenthuruthel
Business Today Managing Editor Josey Puliyenthuruthel
In his book Change by Design, Tim Brown, CEO and President of global design company IDEO, recounts clients queuing up with their "Give me the next iPod" demand. Their number, he says, was "probably pretty close to the number of designers I've heard respond (under their breath), 'Give me the next Steve Jobs.'" Jobs famously didn't care what people around him thought and led Apple Inc. by his "people don't know what they want until you show it to them" philosophy. And how! Apple is valued at about a third of India's GDP.

If India's leadership can focus on what's good for the nation and its people ("...the next iPod") rather than whether it will be voted back to office, it has an opportunity to catapult the country from the bottom deciles of global middle-income economies. To do this, our leadership - Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to our business captains to our civil society - will have to make and influence enlightened decisions even if some of them are bitter in the short term.

Ideas for a new India
Ideas for a new India
This anniversary issue is about giving direction to that decision making. The first read I'd recommend is an interview of Harvard Business School's Clayton Christensen, who talks of disruptive innovation in the Indian context.

K.V. Kamath, director no. 1 at ICICI Bank and Infosys, and Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, talk about the services-manufacturing debate . Manish Sabharwal, Chairman, TeamLease, and Ashish Dhawan , Founder-CEO, Central Square Foundation, give their prescriptions around India's human capital, followed by a round-up of the sorry state of our health capital by Dr K. Srinath Reddy.

Other essays that stand out include: Bharti Enterprises's MD Manoj Kohli on ease of doing business, a call for value addition in agriculture by Cafe Coffee Day's V.G. Siddhartha, how to fix inequality by Rama Bijapurkar and Rajesh Shukla of People Research on India's Consumer Economy, an exposition by IESE Business School's Pankaj Ghemawat and Steven A. Altman from Stern School of Business on India's low levels of globalisation, a case for administrative reforms by Prajapati Trivedi, former Chief Performance Officer of the Government of India, and Google India MD Rajan Anandan on the leg-up the Internet will offer India 18 months ahead. Enjoy the ride.

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