By Pritesh Bagwe
India enjoys a much elevated position at the global stage today, vis-à-vis the India of the early nineties. Indian cities today are not very different on the surface from many global cities. However, whilst many of us live in times ruled by smartphones and the internet, millions in India go without easy access to basics like water and electricity. The chasm between the haves and the have-nots have widened.
Writer and entrepreneur Parthajeet Sarma says that there is a silver lining. “We live in an opportune moment today. We have, available to us, the technological tools of the 21st century to address 19th century issues”. Says Parthajeet, while referring to the critical needs of society as 19th century issues. In a fast changing world, will mankind be ruled by smartphones soon or will mankind use technology to make life changing innovations to make our societies far more equitable? Can technology be used to address the most crying needs in our societies? Read about this and much more in Parthajeet’s book “Smart Phones, Dumb People?”
The demonstrations across the country following a rape on a public bus in Delhi, were less about rape, but more about the system’s failure. Political volatility seems to be the order of the day. The lure of big money seems to have encouraged an unhealthy mix of politics and policy. Faster policy changes are required across many sectors to enable level playing fields for businessmen and investors. Policy changes and subsequent implementation are required to make people feel safe in their neighbourhoods.
Business houses have learnt from their and others’ mistakes based around assumptions about the India we know now. There is a growing realization that the ‘Wallstreet’ approach of investing, based on fancy spreadsheets, may not work well in India. “Going forward, we will have to look deeper into the interiors of India, and rejuvenate the economy there from the grassroots, in order to have a sustainable economy”. Adds Parthajeet.
Written in a breezy style, Parthajeet builds the big picture by narrating stories about the modern fruits of technology and how these are being used by leadership groups to combine business with social causes. Despite the underlying gravitas, this is an easy read for anyone interested in innovation, entrepreneurship, social issues and the current challenges like excessive corruption that face us today.
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