I heard two stories last week. First was from a person connected with a foreign newswire. He told me about how China was so far ahead that India will not be able to catch up, Modi or no Modi. According to him, Indian businessmen and government officials are all about how not to do business rather than doing it. He underscored his point by stating that in a meeting of about an hour, Indians spend three quarter of an hour chatting about sundry matters and then getting down to the work in the last fifteen. In China, he said, people work for the first 45 minutes and then chit chat in the last five. It’s all about getting things done.
The other story came from another friend who narrated a personal experience of his in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. He flew into the city in the morning and went for his scheduled meeting with the local government official. Expectedly, there were some hitches. The official told this friend to correct the papers some and resubmits. Not wanting to make another haul to the city, my friend got all corrections made swiftly and resubmitted the papers. He was told to come back by 4 pm. Expecting more roadblocks, he went back as instructed. To his total amazement, the government official handed over the approval certificate to him! Not believing his good fortune, he nevertheless reached for doing the next normal thing- give the Babu whatever is his due. Imagine his surprise further when he was told that things no longer work that way! He still couldn’t believe that his work had got done in a day even as he was taking the late evening flight back home.
There we have two Indias. The first is the former India and the second is an example of the New India. The latter is an example of the Modi effect in Gujarat. Hopefully, we shall see this effect now at the Center and the New India will really take hold. Welcome to the New India, ladies and gentlemen.
Implementation Shortfall is a term that is used in association with execution algos. Its origin surely would have been from our UPA government! But given the way the Modi government is talking about lighting up the bureaucracy, this will soon become a thing of the past.
Once that happens, then India can no longer be unfairly compared to China. Our first quarter growth may have lagged China’s by a big margin but I am betting that we will be seeing something quite different as the quarters roll by. Skeptics are sure that political realities will catch up Modi and he will,very shortly, be hampered by the babus and other politicos. My sense is that such skeptics haven’t really seen something of the sort like Modi. I cannot recall being so excited about the political landscape since 1977! That ended as a disappointment. I am betting this one will be roaring success.