BRICS Business Magazine English Edition No.4(15)
Sometimes, if a discussion calls for it, I’ll show my companions a short video of Bollywood star and TV presenter Amitabh Bachchan. His baritone voice is recognizable to over a billion people, and so his words are chosen meticulously. His subject is the two Indias. One India is straining at the leash. The other India is the leash. One India asks to be given a chance to prove itself. The other India says that you must prove yourself first, and then you’ll have the chance. One India lives in the optimism of our hearts, while the other lurks in the skepticism of our minds. One India leads, while the other is only capable of following.
Dramatic? Absolutely. In fact, Bachchan goes on to say that while the world isn’t looking, a new and dynamic India is being born, and more and more people are coming over to her side. The message is clear, and we should not shy away from excessive pathos. India is an astonishing country, which in just a few decades, has dragged itself out from a state of complete disarray to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world. What is required to continue this advance? Faith and optimism. Some may say this is a naive statement, but in my experience, it is your attitude and integrity that make or break complex and long-term projects.
It’s unlikely that you can set goals, make plans, and implement them, over a period of 15 to 20 years if you are full of skepticism and pessimism. I am not a theoretician or a social psychologist, but a practical person, and I am absolutely convinced of the necessity of thinking positively. Otherwise, there is no point engaging in business, government work or charity. This is equally true for the new India, as it is for Russia, Brazil, and many other countries. Whether the video inspires you or not, it explains wonderfully the problems facing all developing and some developed economies – a deficit of optimism and a surplus of grumbling and complaints. And India, in the meantime, as Amitabh Bachchan reminds us, is changing from a country that once boycotted foreign-made goods into a country that now buys the companies that make these products.
Nowadays, globalization’s opponents seem increasingly to be drowning out its defenders. If they get their way, the post-World War II international order – which aimed, often successfully, to advance peace and prosperity through exchange and connection – could well collapse. Can globalization be saved?Opinion
For the past several centuries, the world has experienced a sequence of intellectual revolutions against oppression of one sort or another. These revolutions operate in the minds of humans and are spread – eventually to most of the world – not by war (which tends to involve multiple causes), but by language and communications technology. Ultimately, the ideas they advance – unlike the causes of war – become noncontroversial.Opinion
The United Nations World Water Development Report confirms what many already know: Hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – especially in Algeria, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – have faced the worst water shortages in decades in 2016. This is the last thing the region needs, as it works toward economic growth and diversification.Opinion
Over the last decade or so, productivity growth has slowed considerably in most major developed economies, even as impressive advances have been made in areas like computing, mobile telephony, and robotics. All of these advances should ostensibly have boosted productivity; and yet, in the United States, a world leader in technological innovation, business-sector labor productivity growth in 2004–2014 averaged less than half the rate of the previous decade. What is going on?Opinion
All that is mine can become yours – this is the essence of the sharing economy, which has been gaining momentum over the last few years. PwC predicts that by 2025, its five sectors – sharing a home and transport, P2P-finance, online personnel search, audio and video downloading – will grow to $335 billion. Currently, 90% of sharing economy companies are based in North America and Europe. However, Russia and Asia have strong potential.Trends
Emerging markets are a moving target. Best-loved business destinations a decade ago have today shed shed much of their allure. The disillusionment came when the global economic downturn shook up local economies and brought to the surface their deep-rooted, but until then dormant deficiencies. Suddenly, the landscape of emerging markets became increasingly indecipherable – no more univocal decisions or clear-cut choices. The challenge, however, does not mean the absence of opportunity. It is just that the navigation maps need to be changed. With no ready-to-serve offers on the table anymore, companies need to choose markets for their long-term potential rather than immediate gains and be ready to commit before ripping benefits.India
Viktor Kladov, director for international cooperation and regional policy at Rostec, talks about why the corporation joined the Make in India program even before Prime Minister Modi announced it; why Brazil is the only third-world country that managed to produce a world class aircraft; and how Beijing’s smog helped to put China on the path of reform.India
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, set himself the difficult task of transforming India into a digital power based on a knowledge economy. The way to achieve this goal is to digitize key areas of the lives of Indians of all ages and all social groups. The scale of the Digital India initiative is comparable only to that of the problems India is still tackling: lack of basic infrastructure in its villages, low levels of broadband Internet access, and relatively low literacy levels, including computer literacy.
Since the beginning of the current decade, India’s technology startups have demonstrated impressive growth that has already brought the country to third place in the world only behind the acknowledged industry leaders: the US and Israel. This is what the latest NASSCOM-Zinnov report titled ‘Startup India – Momentous Rise of the Indian Startup Ecosystem,’ discusses. NASSCOM Head of Research Achyuta Ghosch offers his insightful look into the roaring Indian startup environment in this article written specially for BRICS Business Magazine.India
The explosive growth of India’s startups over the past five years looks like a miracle, but there are quite prosaic reasons for it. One of them is the much-discussed brain drain, which has been reversed thanks to the energetic measures taken by the Indian government and a lucky coincidence of circumstances.
Leonid Boguslavsky, chairman of ru-Net’s Board of Directors and one of the richest businessmen in Russia, actively invests in Indian Internet companies. The global investor talks to BRICS Business Magazine about the peculiarities of the market and the difference in mentalities.India
More than 15% annually – this has been the average growth of India’s stock market since the acronym BRIC came into existence in 2001. It seems that this is only the beginning. When EY conducted a survey of last year’s Davos participants on the most promising stock market in the coming years, more than 30% of respondents placed India first, and in 60% of cases, it was placed in the top three choices. The runner-up, China, has been identified as the best option by only 16% of participants. The following article discusses how one of the largest stock markets in the world works.India
With their innate benefits, such as low cost manufacturing and availability of talent, corporate champions from emerging markets, China and India ahead of all, have begun to expand rapidly. So does BRICS, which has already gained the weight of G7 and is now promoting a mutual economic agenda, said Onkar Kanwar in an exclusive interview with BRICS Business Magazine.India
Having founded the Good Country Index on the principle that countries should compete less and collaborate more to respond to the challenges of our highly connected world, Simon Anholt launched the Global Vote this summer. For the first time in history, it empowers anybody in the world to vote in the elections of any country on earth. What is this new project trying to achieve; why do politicians now need a dual mandate; why does the culture of elections around the world need to change; and how is he going to enlist the support of at least one-tenth of humanity? Simon Anholt explains all in an exclusive interview with BRICS Business Magazine.Society
Sociologists claim that modern Russia is dominated by individualists. Collectivists are few and far between – a lot fewer than in the Netherlands or in Poland, for example. However, the group focused on the growth value so characteristic of most developed European countries is virtually absent. So, how is it that collectivism, in a country with a vast tradition of the tradition, has suddenly found itself out of fashion?
A combination of cognitive computing and the Internet of Things is changing the world for the better. The future is cognitive, believes Jonathan Batty, who shared his futuristic views at a public lecture at the CIPR technological forum in Kazan, and then adapted it especially to the BRICS Business Magazine.Technology
The contemporary vision of a smart city utilizing modernist digital technologies, in fact, suggests a safe, secure, and comfortable heaven just for a few and at the expense of everybody else. However, there is another kind of citizen-centered smart city where the same technologies can be used for real, tangible benefit to entire communities, argues Adam Greenfield who shared his futuristic views during his public lecture at the Moscow Urban Forum this June.Technology
The transition to a new technological order, including the widespread use of robots, is the harbinger of a massive upheaval in every aspect of human life in the next few decades. Russia has every opportunity to become one of the leaders in the world of ‘Industry 4.0’, if the country manages to preserve and enhance creative human capital.Technology
Recent discussions about the ‘advent of robots’ have some rather unusual features. The threat of robots replacing humans is seen as something truly novel, possibly changing our civilization and way of life. But in reality this is nothing new. The introduction of machinery to replace repetitive (or even more creative) labor has been applied on a significant scale since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Robots are not different from any other machine.Technology
In 2015, Kundapur Vaman Kamath, India’s veteran banker, was named by India the first chief of the $100 billion New Development Bank, established by five BRICS nations. Within a year of operations, the NDB shaped its operations around policies and goals, and announced the funding of five projects in the area of green energy and sustainable infrastructure. BRICS Business Magazine spoke to K. V. Kamath about its goals and achievements, short-term and long-term plans, and the role of the Bank in promoting knowledge exchange and investment flows between BRICS economies.
Who is trying to understand current issues, trends, and challenges, which to a great extent, will affect the future, and how are they trying to do so? BRICS Business Magazine speaks about this to Andrei Bystritsky, Chairman of the Development and Support Fund of Valdai International Discussion Club.Forum
On June 9, the Russian government adopted the Strategy of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Development until 2030. In the short term, the program promises maximum reduction of administrative barriers, development of new niche markets, and introduction of effective instruments of government support. The successful implementation of these plans depends on the creation of a favorable environment for business at the interregional level. The avenues of finding common ground and possible cooperation of regional companies from Russia and other countries will be discussed at the second Forum for Small Businesses from the regions of SCO and BRICS member-states, which will again take place in Ufa this year.Forum
The peace agreement between the Colombian government and the national guerrilla movement sets a rare precedent of ending a long-lasting and bloody civil war through the power of political will and a long-awaited chance at changing life for the better – even if the process will drag on for decades.