Suddenly, amidst the coronavirus lockdown 2020, this quotation “Boycott Chinese product” is ruling the heart of every Indian. Further, the speech of our Prime minister Narendra Modi highlighting the importance to make our nation “Aatmanirbhar” acts as a fuel to it. But before making any conclusions, you should question why it is necessary and what is the correct way to implement it? So, before starting our discussions, I will give you an overview about what we are going to talk about.
I have divided this article in three sections-
- Why you are using Chinese products and its direct relation to lack of Entrepreneurship in India.
- Now, if we are using it then why to boycott it?
- The genuine and realistic approach to boycott it and the challenges in it. By the way, half of the tactics that you’re hearing on social media is least relatable to actually boycott their products.
It’s important to discuss what are the challenges we are facing to manufacture our own products. Why are we importing plenty of stuffs from China?
Entrepreneurship in India
What does “entrepreneurship” actually mean? More or less it revolves around setting up a business for profit. Wikipedia defines this term in a broader sense i.e. creation or extraction of value. Entrepreneurship can be viewed as a change which may be different from the economic meaning (business related stuffs).
One who start these businesses or start-ups are called Entrepreneurs. With correct strategy and planning, he can change the picture of the world and beyond. Of course, it’s not easy. If you’re following anyone of them, then you must be knowing that it requires years of dedication.
Let’s not deviate from our actual discussion i.e. “lack of entrepreneurship in India.” We will definitely talk about the potential of an entrepreneur in revolutionizing the planet. For now, let’s start with the obstacles that we are facing in establishing a business-related environment in our nation.
HISTORY OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN INDIA
The evolution of entrepreneurship in India can be tracked back to even as early as Rigveda when handicrafts were manufactured by craftsmen as a part of duty towards their society. These were mostly limited to the boundary of the villages. Therefore, absence of external competition resulted in absence of localization of industry in India.
There were few areas in which industrial activity was observable as they were situated near river basins and used it for transportation. But according to some experts the arrival of East India Company in 1611 brings international trade relations. They started to export raw materials and import finished products.
The Parsis were the first from our nation to actually plant the seeds of establishing industries. One of them we knew today is “Sir Jamshedjee Tata” who explore the field of Iron and steel industries in 1911. We are now one of the major producers of Iron and steel in the world.
It is definitely not the first time when we are inclined towards our self-made products. Infact, the “Swadeshi” campaign of Indian independence movement was also a major factor at that time to inculcate a sense of patriotism in citizens. Due to this movement, Jamshedji tata named his first mill “Swadeshi mill”.
These all were the happenings before the independence. After independence, govt. has taken several important measures to promote growth of small-scale and medium-scale industries.
Some industries like Tata, Birla, Mafatlal, Dalmia, Kirloskar, and others grew beyond the normally expected size and also established new frontiers in business in this period. But majority of them lacks in entrepreneurship skills and support from the government. As a result, the transformation from small-scale to medium and medium to large couldn’t happen.
Now, let’s have a look at the modern problems…
From the very beginning, the concept of starting a company or start-ups treated as a cliché in the middle-class section of society. Since, most of the families in India are lower middle to upper middle class, these thoughts instead of becoming extinct becomes even more solidified. Coming to the village areas, they are more than happy if you confirm your seat in govt. jobs.
Moreover, your success is directly compared to the amount of money you make here. If you want to create awareness among people then the first thing, they’ll do is to judge you based on some irrelevant factors. I’ll explain this with a conversation between me and a fellow society wala
He- So, which working sector you’re looking forward to work in?
Me- My parents want a government job from me but that’s not my goal. I want to start something on my own.
He- Some business sort of thing?
Me- Yes, initially the purpose would be to generate some capital and then I would use that money to create awareness about innovations and entrepreneurship in India.
He- Where are you studying currently?
Me- It’s a private college in West Bengal.
(Then some details about ranking, placements…)
He- (In a sarcastic tone) Best of luck with your college…
Means seriously, you are judging someone based on his college which he had got from some exams. You must have encountered these situations, maybe similar to this, a lot in your life.
The above conversation is just a mere example of one of the thousand misconceptions that our society has been absurd for.
PARENTS AND STUDENT’S PERSPECTIVE
I will start off with a thought that I had recently posted on social media…
“We are dependent on our parents at least till graduation in most of the cases. That means what we have been taught by our parents will surely influence us.
From the very beginning, we have been taught to be financially stable. Don’t take risk financially. These sort of things will surely impact us if one day we want to start something.
If we had heard right from our beginning the stories and journeys of Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Dhirubhai ambani, and so many legends instead of “Sharma ji ka beta”, then we would have our own Silicon Valley…”
They are not wrong for sure. Successful entrepreneurs are not manufactured every day. It takes years, involves risk, patience and a bunch of things. Why would they want to indulge yourself in these things if the success rate is too low?
Let me tell you about my case and I know most of you can relate with that. So, I belong from a lower middle-class section and my father although a hero for me but actually works as an accountant in a private school from past 28 years. I had seen him worrying about job securities throughout his working carrier (these are private firms, you know).
Whatever be my ambitions and goals but it will never be greater than my parent stability in every aspect. How can I even think of just starting business without financial stability for my parent? There can be a whole book framed on what they had sacrificed for us.
Then, what is the solution? What I had planned is very simple. I will make enough capital first and then ponder on my ambitions. There are again challenges to it which we’ll discuss some another day.
According to world intellectual property organization (WIPO),
In 2018, 1,542,002 patents applications were filed by China and 50,055 were filed from India. But before that you should know what a patent is…
So, in easy words, if you have invented something and want to exclude others from making, selling or reproduce it, then you file a patent that gives you a property right to stop others from commercially exploiting the patented invention.
What does this patent filing data highlights?
Yeah!! We are not even close to China in terms of innovation. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t progressing. If we compare the data with our previous records then figures are impressive.
The thing is, now after advent of Jio telecom we have digitalized ourselves to a substantial level. In 2016 before arrival of Jio, we have 295.39 million internet users and its 437.4 million in 2017 after arrival of Jio. This is the most significant change in the number of users since past few decades.
I will highlight some points which our education system is lacking at present. The fallacy in the system starts right from the school days. They are following same traditional style of teaching. Everyday we are witnessing new innovations. Instead of making these kids aware of these ideas, they are just taking exams. As a result, they are more inclined towards exams and scores rather than ideas and innovations.
Let’s consider the case of IT sector. Everyday, something is updating. Most of the jobs today are in IT sector. Moreover, if we talk about Engineering domain then out of every two students, one wants to become Computer engineer. But what is the scene of computer education in schools? It’s ridiculous. Only after matriculation, students came to know about programming languages and all and only if they are continuing their school.
So basically, we are exposed with computers in the true sense only in colleges. If we talk about engineering culture, then the scene there is disastrous. I can write a whole book on what is going wrong in our engineering colleges. Let’s reserve this topic for some other day. Anyways, I had already penned down my thoughts on “why engineering is losing its charm” in another blog. Here is the link…
We need job creators. Everyone wants to work for some company but why can’t we open our own company? Here are some points which I want to mention but won’t elaborate it otherwise this blog will go on and on and….
- Bullshit system which don’t promote skills-based education.
- Kids from the very first day want to memorize things instead of actually understanding it.
- Syllabus is not updated since years.
- The importance of “wh questions” is not known. For instance, why should we study this, what is the scope in future, where is the real-life practical application?
- It’s a debatable topic but reservations are not implemented properly.
- Tons of examination of no use.
- Lack of teaching finances, economics and business in early school days. These are reserved for graduation years. Absolutely rubbish.
There are bunch of examples but as I said, a whole book can be written over that. Better to conclude this section here.
PROBLEM WITH YOUTHS
In one of my previous blogs, I had mentioned about one disguised reason of unemployment in our nation. If you recall it, then it was based on the problem with youths. Let’s understand this with an example.
Here are the Instagram accounts of some of the prides of India. Ratan Tata, Sundar Pichai, Ritesh Agarwal (founder of Oyo rooms).
Now here is another picture. Have a look
I think I have made my point clear to you. Look at the followers. Since, Instagram like things are mostly used by youths these days, the followers count reflects the mindset of the youths. No doubt why the nation lacks in Entrepreneurs.
Apart from that I will take example of two cases which I have analysed recently…
1. You-tube vs Tik-tok – What is the problem with youths here? They just started to accuse Tik-tok for its contents. I know the contents there are rubbish, irrelevant but who is the creator? People like us. That’s why there has been clashes between Carry and those people. The thing we’d done wrong here is giving poor reviews on play store just to ban this app. What is wrong with the app? Chinese app? It is but this is not the way. Instead of blaming our people for these contents, we are blaming the app. Above all, you guys forget that this the very app which has been trending since few years, and suddenly this application becomes Chinese. Why you’re spoiling your time thinking and involving in these discussions. These are not worth your time. “aaj ye hai kal phir koi dusra hoga.”
2. Remove China app– Without thinking about how trade relations work, how much we import and export to china, you just concluded to ban Chinese products. This is just insane level of maturity. You guys think that all of this can happen overnight. First go and research about the consequences and then come up with a conclusion.
There is no shortcut for success. All the successful entrepreneurs devoted their whole life to reach that level of heights and you’re sharing jokes and memes to act cool or something. Sorry if I had been harsh to anyone.
You might get bored by now. Hence, I’ll cover the further topics in the next blog. Stay tuned…
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