The Business of Scarcity

In India how do you become rich or richer ? How do businessmen become more powerful ? Why is intellectual property development negligible ? Why is it that the little that gets developed in the campuses of multinational companies does not proliferate  the local markets ?

If you look at the largest industrial houses in India, none of them have any core technology that India or the world wants. Probably one reason why India has not produced any global brands. All large companies private and public  have access to some resource or rights that is scarce, popularly called the unfair advantage. It could be land, spectrum, natural resources like gas, coal, aluminum, iron ore or an exclusive license where no one else is permitted to get in.

India has become very difficult for honest people to do business. With liberalization everyone would have thought the involvement of the government would diminish. It hasn’t. The good opportunities in business are controlled by the government.

The death of YSR is very unfortunate but he was the guardian to the biggest fraud in corporate history. I have read so many obituaries, not one highlighted the fraud, only  as a great leader  who knew the masses, felt for the poor and  did for them etc. Have you ever bought a piece of land in India ? can it be done without government support ? Raju acquired 17,000 acres of land around Hyderabad, was it without the participation of the late YSR. Maytas bagged the Hyderabad Metro project again was it without the support of YSR. It is very likely Hyderabad will see the Metro last, till all the financial issues are sorted out. They should thank the right person for the delay.

If you go to the richest areas of Delhi and ask, who stays here ? Have these residents created products and services which the world is using ? Of course not. They are basically dalals or pimps for the next big contract the government will dole out. These agents will collect money from the service provider and of course give the due share to the various bureaucrats and politicians in power.  These dalals will even sell the country for money. How else could the bullet proof jacket of martyr Mr Karkare of 26/11 fame be made of bamboos. If you do find a professional in these upmarket areas, it is an exception rather than the rule.

I have a prediction that in 50 years, India will go the Pakistan way, where 50 families will rule this country, govern the scarce resources, everyone else will be a bonded slave to these families directly or indirectly. The question to ask is whether you want this environment for your children, where they live in fear of speaking their mind and doing what their heart wants them to do.

Some wise man said, India is not a poor country, but is poorly managed.

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