Of Democracies and Kings

I was just wondering what if I was born in the era of the great kings. May be I’d have made a history of some sorts. I could have been a great warrior who single handedly won many battles. Or I could have been a great scholar and might have written the greatest of all literatures. Or I could have been one of the greatest painters. Or… well the list is endless. I could have been any one par any one’s imagination. May be a King myself? Who knows?

Frankly speaking I’m a person too unimportant to imagine myself as anyone. Let us imagine some one like Dhirubhai Ambani or Bill Gates. What if either Dhiru Bhai or Bill Bhai were born in, let us say, Maurya dynasty? They were both visionaries and innovators. They earned their wealth by making good products and doing exceptional marketing. It wouldn’t stupid to believe that Dhiru Bhai or Bill Bhai earned more wealth than the GDPs of many countries. But traditionally, in the eras of the great Kings, it was the royal families who owned all the wealth. They had all the access to the best of luxuries in their kingdom and had the right to declare wars on the neighbouring or far off kingdoms. They were the ultimate power.

Now consider a hypothetical situation that they both (Dhiru and Bill) were born during the Maurya Dynasty and earned wealth of similar nature. Doesn’t it make them able enough to own and enjoy the luxuries presently available only to the kingdoms? And what about giving them the ability to rule the kingdoms? Practically it should have happened that way. But I always thought it did not happen that way until I gave a closer look to the democracy today. Who’s the most powerful nation today? Arguably United States. Some might say UK or Japan or whatever. Had it not been the burgeoning industrial and commercial growth in these countries, they wouldn’t have reached the paramount of economic and military power. No wonder why an entire nation of China gets threatened by one man’s search engine, his company. No wonder why the governments of countries such as Saudi Arabia, India and few others are fighting it out with just one research in motion.

I get my answer why there were no Dhiru Bhais or Bill Bhais in the age of great dynasties. Because there was no democracy. There was just one man who ruled them all, just one man who decided the fate of many. And there was only one man who decide who grew and who did not. One man was the King… sigh! I wish I was a King!

Am I a small fish in the big murky pond?

My thoughts regarding the outsourcing industry have created lot of furore wherever I discussed. While there are many who believe India can be a super power, they have no idea how. Then there are some, like my friend Big K who think we are donkeys. But some believe that the donkey can become a horse. As he says, it will need a change of attitude. Well, both are right. But both views don’t necessarily tell us how are we going to climb up the ladder. I at least suggested a way. Right or wrong is now all of us to decide.

In last many months, I have spoken to number of organizations, small or big and urged them to use our strength and cost effectiveness for getting things done. As a sales guy, I have pitched many a times why are we so good at support, bug fixing or simply supplying manpower (what my friends call donkey work). Never did I think if I’m losing any self respect as an Indian in doing so. In the recent past, I have consulted some companies and helped one or two of them to establish a team to outsource their sales process to India. So in an extremist view I have made my brothers and sisters work on some thing the whites look down upon. In optimistic view, I have earned money for myself and my country men. I have established a practice and a dependency of the west on the east. Have I done anything different? Or probably I’m one of the small fishes in the murky pond of international business. I know no one will be convinced by my answer. I have just one question…

“How do you classify work as worth doing or not worth my penny?

No work is better or worse. Even a donkey adds value to a work. If there were no donkeys, you and me would have been the ones doing that on behalf of them. Its not like that because the roles are defined. An architect designs a house, the builder builds it. But it is the worker who lays the foundation. Without them, there would be no houses. We dont value them because we are attracted to more fancy jobs than being a worker. Bill Gates built Microsoft because he had an idea, a dream and a courage to follow it. He got support from all around, an obvious advantage of being in US. There are many Bill Gates in India too. They need support, words of encouragement and opportunities to prove their potential. I’m only urging the big guys to look at them. We are right now, all but a subsided part of the global value chain. We need to stand up and get noticed.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Go and grab the opportunity. If you don’t see it, ask for it.

Mind you all, I might look like a small fish in the pond, I’m not going to be here for too long.