Friday, March 30, 2007

It's not just India Shining - The Big Nilekani and the Bigger Ambani

The other day I earned my executive MBA degree from IIM, Bangalore. Long two and half years of gruelling hard work, a couple of job switches due to not so friendly acceptance to a management course by some organization I worked for. Whatever it was the convocation evening was a great occasion. One side of me felt happy that I do not have to explain what I do on a Friday mornings and Saturdays. The other side thought it must have been love but it's over now.

What made the evening more interesting was the presence of two of the biggest names in the Indian industry. Nandan Nilekani and Mukesh Ambani. Mr. Nilekani gave a long speech on how Indian services industry is shining and how everyone there in the meeting will bring in a major dent into that and all. What are the five qualities that will make a man successful in the future. Well at some point I felt I am sitting in a class room in IIMB and listening to a great professor speaking about qualities that makes a man.

Mukesh was different. A short simple speech. The most important thing Mukesh saw in the eyes of the students is a confidence to do something and that's what is the true path to success. Secondly, he suggested everyone to make their parent's proud of them. A typical Indian sentiment that every Indian feels at all ages.

The difference was clear the bonding was visible. Something the software industry lacks in general. We try to build a transactional system in software industry and talk of team work; yet, we lack how team work is to be fostered. Team work in industry is just talking nice but candid no nonsense talk is lack of respect. Individual contribution by senior staff in India is a real oxymoron. We do not know how to run a culture of innovation. Software managers typically in India spend half their time justifying how greatest technologist on earth they are (Are they technically half as good as they claim?). In software industry knowing technology is not a requirement but something geeks do for lack of anything better to do. I guess it was evident why the managers lack connection with individuals in their companies. Overall Indian software industry lacks maturity.