Symptomatic – India


India is looking to foreign companies, non resident Indians and other nations to invest in the opportunity India represents, to transfer technology and know-how. 
The coin has two sides. There are reasons why many international large corporates hesitate to invest and enter into JV’s with Indian companies – who in general have very little to offer (If you look behind the marketing hype). There are reasons for why control of technology is restrictive and IP is protected and why there is a price associated with it. There is a two way street but traffic is asked to flow in one direction only.
There is also a reason why Indiatn companies hesitate to invest themselves, and if they do it is when orders are secured and the arbitrage and profit is basically in their hands. There is, to a high degree, the same reasons why international companies are asked to take the risk and invest up front while there are still many unknowns regarding a ventures outcome. Add to that the money eating – I am not talking about corruption since that is an other and very real issue at all levels – I am talking about the skill developed in India over decades that is to take money, deliver as little as possible, ask for more, and more till all money is consumed – the foreign partners money. When the money flow is the opposite – deliver first or no money, services, know-how, technology and the like has no value – it is the product only that has a value. In India you never know what the reality is the next day – so earn your rupee now.

What investors and corporate’s see and have experienced is significant risks – from a business, IP protection, and even basic security of expat families in India. If, which is common even in Delhi, the police team up with criminals to extort money from foreigners through different schemes of framing how can there be any guarantees. Risk has to be balanced with REAL opportunity. If the families can not be safe or get basic needs protected what incentives any competent and intelligent person to transfer his/her knowhow and assets into such an environment. If a realistic risk assessment is not done and a contingency plan is not in place – and the risks and costs are not built into the business case for the opportunity, well then it all look very good.

I am living this. For us who have sincere interests and something to offer, the establishment and investment process it is very though. So, if that sincere quantifiable opportunity is not there – only un-quantifiable non-committal promises – what is the inducement? Foreign company executives has boards and shareholder and even governments to answer to.

The sought control of something you have and are providing to someone who has nothing to offer but “sweet-talk” = no firm commitments or loyalty as a partner – is quite natural…till something reasonable is given in return. What real do India and India corporates have to offer? What commitments can be backed by real money in the bank – your account?
India is trying to change its reputation – on the ground nothing is changing. Come here and get looted is the message ringing from most foreigners experience. And that is the reality still. That mentality remains from the very top through out the society.
India want – what does India offer in return?

Good business need – as a good life – balance. To achieve that a mutual understanding needs to be between all stakeholders. And, its not there today.

We ferengis (foreigners in hindi) are not fools, especially if been in India for some time, and corporate memory from past experiences are there. Ferengi business people are looking for real things, real change. And as long as more money is possible to be made with lesser effort, lesser risk and at better terms else-were any sensible business person will go with that flow.
Any strong relationship is built on trust, reliability, support and stability, and mutual contributions and benefits. Realities. In a culture where cause, effect/reaction, result and responsibility is dwarfed there is a long way to walk. 

It is good to have a vision and ambitions – in business reality rule.

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