Today I was fortunate to be invited to a very interesting conference hosted by ExecutiveBiz and titled ’Surviving & Thriving in the Flat World: China, India and You!’Â�
The structure was a moderated panel hosted by Howard Frank (Dean at the Smith Business School at UMD). The panelists included: Amir Hudda of Apptix, Wei-Wu He of Emerging Technology Partners LLC, S. Tien Wong of Opus8, Jai Saboo of the Saboo Business Group and Tony Surak from Global Logic.
I wanted to share the notes I took as many of the panelists’ answers were both surprising and thought provoking. The conference was especially timely based on yesterday’s market dive caused by a drop in the Shanghai Index:
-There are currently over 200 cities in China with a million people or more
-’Modern India is in a very similar state to that of the US just after World War II. The difference being that the economic and technological gains the US accomplished over 50 years, China will do in 20.’Â�
-“People are fooled into thinking that India and China are not environmentally conscious. In fact, China’s emission standards for cars are much more stringent than those in the US.”
-“The Chinese as a people think in much longer time intervals than in the US. Where the US thinks in 3-4 year periods, the Chinese think in generations. China was the world’s superpower for centuries and the Chinese fully expect to return that state – to them it was not that long ago.”
–Productivity of workers in India is actually less than workers in the US. Travel time (1-2 hours) plus infrastructure issues such as blackouts are realities often ignored.
-Ukraine and Eastern Europe are extremely attractive as areas for outsourcing as they are flooded with unemployed engineers who are generally less concerned with scaling the corporate ladder than are engineers in China or India.
– A major trend is for US schooled foreigners to return to their home countries after 5-10 years of work in the US. For the first time ever, these same people return earning US salaries. In some cases a salary of $150,000 USD is equivalent to $700,000+ back home.
I though the most powerful thought was also one of the most simple: to succeed in either India or China, you must ’control the customer.’Â�
Note: These quotes are not direct, but rather my shorthand from the speakers’ comments