"India, China will close gap with West"

Updated: Apr 5 2009, 05:46am hrs
China and India have more to offer than just about offshoring. MNC instead can do a lot more in these emerging mega markets. Haiyan Wang co-author of Getting China and India Right, explains the ground realities to Monalisa Sen.

Are the potential of China and India getting realised

The book is titled Getting China and India Right. The book provides business leaders with a strategic roadmap for capturing the growth, efficiency, talent and innovation opportunities offered by China and India.

Many multi-national corporations view China and India solely from the lens of off-shoring and cost-reduction, and direct their marketing strategies towards the top 5-10% of the population. This is a missed opportunity with dire implications for the future. To help business leaders plan for the future, the book provides an in-depth analysis of the market opportunities in both countries and discusses how a company can position itself to capture the hearts, minds, and wallets of the consumers in China and India.

With their enormous populations and rapid economic growth, China and India are the only two countries that constitute four realities that are strategically crucial for the global enterprise. These countries offer:

1. Mega-markets for almost every product and service;

2. Platforms that will dramatically reduce a companys global cost structure;

3. Platforms that will significantly boost a companys global technology and innovation base;

4. Springboards for the emergence of new fearsome global competitors.

Organisations that want to build effective strategies for China and India must address each of these realities. Shedding light on the brutal competition for markets and resources in China and India, the book lays out the strategic action implications for organisations that want to emerge as the global players in tomorrows marketplace.

Do you think both the countries will be successful in fighting the recession

While the developed world sinks into a severe recession, China and India are the only two large economies that are still growing at a 5-8% rate this year and next year. The reactions from both governments, especially China, have been swift, comprehensive, and with both a short and long-term orientation. The period, 2008-10, represents a turning-point in history, where China and India will accelerate the pace at which they close the gap with the developed economies.

Both countries financial systems remain sound with little toxic assets. Both countries have also adopted swift monetary and fiscal measures to fight recession.

With $2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves and a current account surplus, China is in an even stronger position than India to roll out large stimulus packages such as the $570 billion stimulus announced in November 2008 to fight the recession.

Entrepreneurs in general play an important role in our society. So do women entrepreneurs. SMEs have been providing job opportunities faster than large corporations. The world needs entrepreneurs to create jobs and to create wealth.

How did your profession help in managing better

I work as the managing partner of China India Institute, a research and consulting organisation, to help companies leverage the transformational rise of China and India. Through executive education programmes, consulting projects, and speaking engagements, I try to influence companies to rethink their global strategies and to put a China plus India strategy at the core rather than the periphery of their global strategy. I help companies and individuals develop a global mindset fit for a multi-polar and integrated world.

What role will entrepreneurs play in this century

I would say entrepreneurs in general drive and define the economy of the 21st century. Entrepreneurship thrives whenever there are major changes in the society. Major changes require new thinking and new business models, something thats harder for mature companies and much easier for entrepreneurs. Look at the major changes ahead for India and China arresting environmental degradation, addressing energy and resource shortages, and coping with massive migration from rural to urban areas. All of these will require innovative solutions. Green industries offer a new playing field that would allow entrepreneurs to have a chance to survive and thrive. Companies, large or small, will have to compete more and more on the basis of innovation and differentiation in the 21st century.

I tend to look at entrepreneurship in a broader sense. Its not limited to just start-ups, but also includes starting new ventures within existing enterprises, and coming up with new products, services or new business models.