Sunday, November 30, 2008

A tale of two countries

A tale of two countries. Separated by about 24 hours at their (official) birth, both countries have taken a different path.

Over the more than 60 years of independence, both countries have advanced, in slightly different directions though. Today, both the countries use the abundant manpower available with them. They have set up industries from scratch with barely any foreign assistance. Today they are renowned across the globe for their industries. Global interns are keen to work in these enterprises and it is a talent magnet from around the world. The training centres are huge and require considerable investment. Selection procedures are tough and require a decent level of motivation. Both countries have access to the latest communication systems including blackberries which they use for effective project management. Some projects bomb, but they take in their stride. Clients and vendors are global, as has to be the case whenever the projects of large of such nature. Billing can be upfront or milestone based and can be paid in almost any currency. Many of these companies have operations in other parts of the world - both acquired and organically grown - which allow for a certain degree of operational independence from the headquarters (and plausible deniability if required). A company needs to have, preferably, multiple training centres, offices and enough back up and risk planning capability. It is also important that they are located in catchment areas for the labour. And recruitment centers for have to staffed with local experience. Campus recruitment is ideal though laterals are hired too...The industries that these countries offer expertise in, is considerably mature today...

But in those common paths, there is a distinct difference. Like the by now cliched story of Bollywood movies with twins separated at birth where one ends up becoming a robber and one becomes the police, the story of these two countries is remarkably different.

Today, one country is the epicentre of global terrorism outsourcing and another one is the epicentre of global technology outsourcing. Just as every single terror attack big or small finds a linkage in Pakistan, almost every single IT product big or small has some Indian connection.

Without the terror and the technology part, you will actually not see any difference - both of these countries used globalization for entirely different aims. Which goes on to show, each of these countries could have swapped paths or could have used it in a synergistic manner.

No, I am no peacenik, but the consequences of the path one chooses will come to haunt them at some point.

Yes, this is slightly rehashed from a previous post...probably will take it further

15 comments:

aalahazrat said...

Actually, there should be a differetiation between state sponsored terrorism and terrorism by a small group of citizens. Which is what it is. And of course India has had it's share of terrorists. So, lets join hands and work on the problem together rather that getting at each other's throats for these issues.

jesvin said...

Sovereign socialist secular democratic republic..... We are cool!

Neelakantan said...

Well, Indias IT industry is not entirely state sponsored either :) The state facilitated it, though...Thanks for bringing up this point.

And sure, India has its share of terrorists and there are few intrepid Pakistanis trying out IT outsourcing...

But imagine aalahazrat, the human potential wasted...

Kavi said...

And i guess both countries are coming to terms with what they have unleashed upon themselves. And perhpas have unleashed on each other as well !

I quite liked the post ! it made me pause and smile. At the art of comparison and not in anyway, the plight of Pakistan.

I somehow am beginning to believe that the common man on the street in both countries..is the one who suffers !

aandthirtyeights said...

I really think you're oversimplifying the issue. I don't think either state chose to take the paths that they have taken.

And while India took positive action - once it realised that IT was the way to go, gave tax reliefs and incentives; Pakistan's move towards becoming the epicentre of global terror has resulted in the Government's inability to control this 'industry'.

Arif said...

Neelkantan, I am a great fan of Interim thoughts, infact even advertised it, however this series of posts of yours hurt me deeply. I truly never expected you to stereotype and demonise an entire nation because of the action of a handful of individuals.

In Dubai, growing up, I have played with, schooled with, and even worked with Pakistanis there. I have had Pakistani neighbours, classmates, bosses and subordinates. Be it a Senior partner at KPMG or a humble taxi driver I have found them to be as warm, loving and hospitable as one could be. One of my fonder memories is when I happen to visit the home of my Pakistani Senior Audit Manager (now a Partner) for some official matter, he insisted that I come inside, and in the absence of any household assistance, he himself sliced a ripe juicy mango himself for me to enjoy. I was many many ranks below him-a mere trainee who had recently qualified. And these are experiences that are shared by all my office colleagues irrespective of our religion or nationality.

Neelakantan said...

Well Arif, Point taken - but put a hand on your heart and tell me that the observation isnt true?
(And not just by me saying it, it is all out there...so it is not my imagination at work.)

To me, it is an irony, I hope you see it...

Neelakantan said...

Also Arif, the incidents you recounted are true to every nation/nationality/religion, yet it is people like them (or us) who are most affected...

I hope that the large group like the well meaning people you mentioned helps rid them of this scourge perpetrated by the small group...

Arif said...

Hi Neelkantan,
I can put my hand on my heart and sincerely say that more than 99% of the 172 million Pakistanis are as kind and hospitable as you and I, which is in complete contrast to the image that this blog post gives. To which I am sure you would agree too.

And if that's true, then what purpose are these series of posts serving? If I were you, I would do the right thing and take it off.

Comment left with all sincerity.
Arif

Daniyal said...

You have bought out the contrast between both the countries well. While Pakistan has no industry to boast of, they do spend a lot on arms and munitions and also in training terrorists as part of their anti India operations. What the Pakistani people are not aware is that the snake their masters are breeding will bite them first and not their masters. Unfortunately regular brainwashing against India by their state controlled TV and Media has left deep impressions of the wrong kind on the ordinary Pakistani. I think Arif needs to understand that exporting terrorism is a multi crore industry in Pakistan comparable to the 52 Billion Indian software outsourcing industry. And unlike India the Pakistan terrorism industry is run by a powerful few and uses the poor unemployed Pakistani youth as their canon fodder. It is a dangerous game being played out and in the end it will be the ordinary Pakistani that will suffer the most. This is crusades all over again but with different players.

Tanuj Lakhina said...

Hi.I really liked this idea you raised and would like to use this posts' link on my blog located at http://le-chronicle.co.cc
Hope that's alright.
Nice work.
Tanuj

Neelakantan said...

Arif: Sure - the day the "vast majority" overcomes the "tiny minority"...

Tanuj, sure, go ahead...

kicking.and.screaming said...

acha interim sir. please dont mind this intrusion..

i have a question- how do u put those links things in ur post? like the one to 'a previous post' ?!

sorry man.. for this.

Tanuj Lakhina said...

@Kicking and screaming,Just retrieve the URL for the specific post and make a link for that anywhere you want.Simple.

Smriti said...

Apt comparison!

@Kicking and screaming - Go to Edit Posts. Copy the link and then highlight the text which you want linked. Now click on the link icon. A window will appear and you paste the link onto that window. The highlighted text gets linked.