This is the reflection of a Quora question that I had asked. And recent thoughts after seeing a lot of imports (excluding petroleum) coming into Singapore from the US and other First World economies.

We in India have this slavish mentality, the reason why we concentrate more on building service-based organizations and end up working for someone else for the rest of our lives.

Companies like Oracle, Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, and SAP concentrate more on creating products. Some concentrate on making innovative products – some clone products or make products that are better than others.

I feel that their success is only because of three reasons:

  1. Innovation, Research, and Design
  2. Completeness, Perfection in their offering
  3. Strong Branding

We Indians go work for these companies to build the innovative products to make their dream successful.

Why don’t we see more innovative products from this part of the world? We end up buying and importing a lot of these products from the other part of the world. From the US, Japan, China and from Europe. This is costing Indian Economy a lot.

While companies like Micromax are making the news, they have to build their Innovation, Research, and Design capabilities and concentrate on building Global companies rather than serving just India.

Being in Singapore I observe that the interest rates are like 5.5% to 7% Effective Interest Rate (EIR). In India, the least I could get is a loan at 14% EIR.

When I observed people replying to my Quora question “Why is the interest rate in India so high?

I observed that RBI is keeping the Interest Rate very high because:

  1. People won’t take more loans
  2. To motivate people to save more
  3. To curb inflation

Well, I think we are going on a wrong path. By asking people to save more, they will end up working for someone else for the rest of the life and save ‘X’ rupees every month, buy a house and pay ‘Y’ rupees for the mortgage. And because of people are like this, the top 1% will continue “using them” and keep the Middle Class!

As Asians, we are risk-averse. And Indian culture is in such a way that people won’t be motivated to try something new. Even if they try something new, they are not encouraged rather they are criticised for trying something new and if they fail that’s it – it’s end-of-life.

We need too many things in India:

  1. Motivate students to try new things from Schooling onwards
  2. Embed innovation culture into the school curriculum
  3. Give more grants and funding for people who work on innovation
  4. Encourage colleges and universities to fund such innovation projects
  5. Build a network of successful CEOs, VCs, Corporate Executives as mentors
  6. Teach students and parents the importance of Innovation
  7. Make it easier to fail and encourage to fail
  8. Bring India to the top 10 in the ease of doing business index (http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings) – At the time of writing this article, we are at 134th rank.

Why do I say that they should start at the school itself?
Because they will end up with commitments and the social pressures once they finish college or while they are at college. Most colleges just do spoon feeding in India. They don’t have quality teachers who know practical stuff. They just teach Theory. Practicals are like “name-sake”.

In my life, while I was in college, I am really gracious to have very good teachers who knew stuff in and out. I used to ask a lot of questions. Sometimes some teachers started getting angry at me for asking questions. So eventually I developed a mentality to stop asking questions. But thankfully the Internet was a better option and google was my best friend at a later point.

Another video I came across, really gave a lot of inspiration. It’s a Harward Under Graduate’s Graduate address. Watch this:

Undergraduate Speaker Sarah Abushaar | Harvard Commencement 2014

This reflects on how her parents killed her curiosity and how Harward University gave her the freedom to become curious again. We should develop our Universities and colleges like Harward, Stanford, MIT or any other top University.

We need companies like Tesla, SpaceX, and Apple out of India. This cannot happen if the politicians don’t support them. Reva from Bangalore could have been the Tesla. But because of the stupidity of Politicians and Petroleum companies that is a lost dream! I envy them!

The government should increase their grant schemes for innovation. Like Singapore Government does. They have multiple schemes to help citizens build innovative companies in Singapore.

We should become self-reliant. Move to solar power, electric cars, use more products from out of India. The government should help and encourage companies, give aids in all the industries. Build a better supply chain. Stop online trading of commodities. Make Rupee, a global tradable currency.

India needs to improve production from India and increase exports. It could be technology, it could be agriculture, it could be manpower. Whichever way, it’s only going to improve India’s economy.

What do you think that India needs to improve its economy and to become a SuperPower? Discuss!