New Delhi. If you’re thinking about growing a startup, does that mean it doesn’t have any flaws? Are you going to use it for everything right away? No, not at all. But maybe you’ll start using it, and invest money in it, and talk about it to your friends. You can think about this in the graph below.
1) Civilizational rebirth
First of all, notice that I used the phrase “ancient civilization” above. Of course I know very well that the Indus Valley Civilization is one of the oldest civilizations in human history. But India is still in line with a tech startup, as the country experienced a rebirth of civilization in 1991 after liberalization, as happened in China in 1978. We admit it whenever we use the word “leapfrogging.” Why can India go from landline to mobile, or from cash to UPI? Because it was recently reborn after centuries of colonialism and occupation. And reincarnation is something we are familiar with.
2) Dalit millionaire
Seeing that something is improving doesn’t mean it’s already number one. In fact, one of the most important things about India is that Indians consider themselves Dalits. Not the starving “slumdogs” as in the regrettable adjective, nor the overconfident overachievers, but the underdogs – the ones who have a chance to win but certainly no guarantees. This is the message of films like Super 30, which couldn’t be more different from Black Mirror. Indians know they are not #1 or even #2, because they are not. But the diaspora helps show that Indians can be world-class and India itself can become world-class, which is why India is now rising to the occasion.
INVESTING IN INDIA IS IMPROVING INDIA
If you see a startup growing, does that mean it doesn’t have any flaws? That it’s the best in the world? That you’re going to use it for everything right away?
— Balaji (@balajis) November 26, 2023
3) Decentralized Diaspora
This introduces us to one of India’s greatest strengths: its diaspora. China may be playing the world’s best domestic game this century, but India is on its way to playing the world’s best domestic game. Therefore, India’s development will look different from China’s. For one thing, Indians are willing and able to go anywhere. Westerners are mostly reluctant to relocate, because they still think that their society is the only place that is “First World.” And the Chinese have not been able to advance rapidly because they are restricted from countries where the Chinese state lacks coercive power.