Modi’s Thatcherite talk cannot restore India’s flagging fortunes – Telegraph

Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Deutsch: Taj Mahal im ...

Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Deutsch: Taj Mahal im indischen Agra. Español: Vista del Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Français : Le Taj Mahal, à Âgrâ, en Inde. Русский: Мавзолей Тадж-Махал, Агра, Индия. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an excellent article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, published in the Telegraph. Check it out!

via Modi’s Thatcherite talk cannot restore India’s flagging fortunes – Telegraph.

As somebody who has spent nearly two months in India this year, plus many years working with Indian businesses, I very much identify with the broad thrust of the Evans-Pritchard article.

Let me declare my bias. I love India, its history and culture. It is proudly the largest democracy in the world. In the last two years, I have also spent many months in Eastern and South Eastern Asia, including  lengthy periods in China. I’m also privileged in having worked in India in the 1970s, which was indeed a very dark time.

I have witnessed, first hand, India’s enormous success in technology and outsourcing services, yet even these once world-beating industries are struggling with India’s escalating costs. For me, much of India’s success has been on the back of lower unit costs but with high inflation and aggressive labor unions, India is in danger losing its way. Ultimately, there are two overarching models and India has dabbled with both. On the one hand, there is capitalism and free enterprise, fully exposed to global markets. On the other hand, there is a statist model closer to communism. Whilst India has enormous strengths in education and knowledge of English, there is unbelievable poverty, illiteracy and unchecked birth control in the lower classes. Although outlawed in the 1947 constitution, the caste system is alive and well, dominating social and cultural life.

India’s greatest strength is democracy but perhaps it is also its weakness or Achilles heal . With widespread widespread corruption highlighted by Evans Pritchard, India is strategically very weakly positioned against powerful competitors, like China.

Let me turn this to an open question:

Should India take a leaf out of David Cameron‘s book and make austerity the government’s central strategy?

Any thoughts?

 

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Reflections on my top 20 blogs in nearly three years of blogging

Bank of America Tower

Bank of America Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought that it might be of interest to share my top twenty blogs, over nearly three years,  ranked by number of hits, with the most popular first. To put this into perspective, there have been approaching 2,500 blogs and nearly 50,000 hits, yet these are the top-twenty according to WordPress statistics:

  1. Bank of America Merrill Lynch intern Moritz Erhardt found dead after working long hours | Mail Online
  2. What are the three types of Interim Management assignment?
  3. What’s the difference between an Interim Manager and a Management Consultant?
  4. UK Local Authorities and Shared Services: Cost-Cutting – Myth or Reality?
  5. Immigration: The Polish paradox | The Economist
  6. Interim Management:  Ten Emerging Trends and Outlook for the Future
  7. Malaysia travel: What to do in the Cameron Highlands | CNN Travel
  8. Public Sector Catch 22: Cost-Cutting Vs. Cost Reduction (Part 1/4)
  9. Utilising Professional Interims to Help Reduce the Budget Deficit – Removing Catch 22?
  10. Public Sector Catch 22: The Role of “IT” in Business Transformation (Part 3/4)
  11. Public Sector Catch 22: Structural Reform, Strategy and Implementation – How to avoid a Omnishambles Recovery Programme? (Part 4 of 4)
  12. An in Depth Look at Deleveragings – Ray Dalio – Bridgewater
  13. UK Local Authorities and Shared Services: Cost-Cutting – Myths, Realities and Escalating Risks?
  14. The cult of home ownership is dangerous and damaging – Adam Posen – FT.com
  15. Gray Wolf Picture – Animal Wallpaper – National Geographic Photo of the Day
  16. Osborne has now been proved wrong on austerity – Martin Wolf -FT.com
  17. Public Sector Performance: Catch 22 type Dilemmas 
  18. BBC – Travel – Two days in Siena, Italy : Tuscany
  19. Interim Management: Seven Key Trends
  20. The Open Public Services White Paper, the Budget Deficit and Thirteen Key Reasons for the Government to Deploy Professional Interims for Risk Reduction?

To be honest, I still don’t really know what makes a great blog. Certainly I try to search out some excellent articles on breaking news but at the end of the day I just add my two cents. It’s never clear to me whether the hits are due to:

  • Title
  • Author of primary article (where appropriate)
  • Publisher of primary article  (where appropriate)
  • My two cents of commentary
  • My open questions
  • My photographs
  • My related articles

There is also another strange statistic. The most hits do not correlate with the most likes.

Anyway, taking the above list of twenty top blogs, let me try to distill a few underlying threads.

Firstly, it really surprised me than my most popular blog ever, was my reblog of the MailOnline article about Moritz Erhardt, the German intern, who died whilst working excessive hours at Bank of America, the investment bank. This was major news story, so I believe that my two cents on this occasion probably hit a nerve with worried students and parents. In a world where the millennials are missing out on the opportunities of earlier generations, this tragic story highlighted the extreme competitiveness of the aspiring top 1%. What’s happened to society when greed and ambition cause competition to the death, with a prevailing culture of winner take all?

The second important theme is probably my subjective insights into the interim management industry. Some of these blogs were written nearly three years ago, and I have moved on, so it is not clear to me whether I was a visionary or just angry with life in David Cameron’s UK?

The third important theme concerns a number of detailed blogs about the public sector in the UK. I took a hard-line but given the impact of three years of austerity, I believe that I was probably right. The amazing thing is that the public sector in the UK is still going to get much worse, in both cuts and reduced services. George Osborne’s financial projections into the next Parliament require still further aggressive cuts. Ahead of the election, politicians will look to the arguments that will win elections, rather than serious reform of the public sector. With the help of my fellow blogger, John Gelmini, I believe that this blog has provided some refreshingly different suggestions to tackle the challenges of the UK public sector.

The fourth theme that I would like to pick up is that people love quality travel articles. Perhaps, travel articles provide hope, and encouragement to many, or they are a form of escapism.  Anyway, the most fascinating blog was about the Cameron highlands in Malaysia. Rather than focusing on travel, I often wonder if a number of bloggers were looking for the ancestral home of David Cameron!

So to conclude with a common theme and an open question:

What’s David Cameron done for the Millennials?

A view of Fields and fields of...... Tea in Ca...

A view of Fields and fields of…… Tea in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Any thoughts?

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