Super power, as the name unleashes, is defined as a country that has the capacity to project dominating power and influence anywhere in the world, sometimes, in more than one region of the globe at a time and so may plausibly attain the status of global hegemony. India is innovating, but are we progressing with our full potential? Having read many articles over this topic I met some Chinese students and working professionals and tried to compare India with China in certain aspects of development. Mr. Aurora Yan, manager at a Chinese automation company, visits India regularly and has been to almost all metropolitan cities of India for business purposes. Once I asked him “IS CHINA THE NEXT SUPER POWER? WHERE DOES INDIA STAND?” He compared India and China, stating that India lags behind in many aspects like Infrastructure, Technical Research, Employment etc.
According to a US analyst “China is a closed society with an open mind, India is an open society with a closed mind”. Though this is a controversial statement but it is a fairly accurate distinction. Indians are introvert in terms of family systems, caste, lifestyle, ethics and principles, but the Chinese seem to be fairly liberal in these social concepts. Both are antediluvian countries, but isn’t India more anachronistically flippant than China? Statistics indicate that China is way ahead of India and has potential to be the next super power. Let us analyze with a few facts.
- Literacy rate of China is 95.1% whereas India has a literacy rate of 74%
Chinese government has invested a lot in the field of education and technical research. India in general is quite at the bottom when it comes to R&D (Research and Development) in any field. This is the reason why many Indians are migrating to the west. The reason for Brain Drain is clear, till this date we could not meet the technical needs and infrastructure required for advancement in the research area except at some institutes and industries which are meager in numbers. This is the key factor for slow development in the research area of electronics in India. As per Lecturer Zhou Hong Yu of VIT University, Vellore, India, Chinese government has taken measures to stop the Brain Drains and offering best facilities for R&D to bring back the scholars from the west. Less than 39% students come back to India, while as per a report in China Daily Mail, 70% of the Chinese students returned to their homeland in the year 2012.
- As per Forbes list of World’s Largest Companies 2015 for the first time China’s four biggest banks own the top four spots.
China is a hub for electronics hardware and banking. Here is a glimpse of the list: [#1. Industrial and commercial bank of China], [#2. China Construction Bank], [#3. Agricultural bank of China], [#4. Bank of China]. These companies grab the top 4 positions followed by [#8.Petro China] and [ #20.China Mobile] Whereas, the Indian companies on the list are [#119. Indian Oil], [#158. Reliance industries], [#254. TATA Motors], [#260. State Bank of India] followed by [#280.Bharat Petroleum], [#449.Hindustan Petroleum and ONGC]
Shifting our focus on the field of electronics manufacturing in China, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd, trading as Foxconn Technology Group, is a Taiwanese (Republic of China) multinational electronics contract manufacturing company. It is the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer and the third largest information technology company by revenue. Its notable clients include Blackberry, iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Playstation4, Xbox One and Wii U. So it is clear that China has a big influence all over world in the Electronic Hardware and Semiconductor market. Zhongguancun is very well known in China and is often referred to as “China’s Silicon Valley”
Bangalore is India’s Silicon Valley and is a breeding ground for budding startups in India. In spite of the fact that India is leading in the field of IT, the reality is that we are being outsourced with either service to a software product or its maintenance. In either case the core of the innovation remains with the foreign companies. The amount of workforce required for software is higher in orders of magnitude in comparison with hardware which requires a higher quality workforce. Moreover, there are no semiconductor fabrication units of our own. We could have started with this, much earlier. India did not have smooth systems for startups and the atmosphere to grow! Today India ranks 3rd in the number of startups after US and UK. But do we have a right atmosphere for the startups to grow and sustain for long, or do we need to get better to improve quality rather than focusing on quantity?
- In the year 1985 China and India had the equal GDP and GDP (purchasing power parity) per capita.
That year onwards China invested a lot of capital and attention in boosting their GDP and they grew exponentially and are still growing belligerently. India, on the other hand, could not do well in smart investment of capital for proper growth of GDP.
- The cost of building a new semiconductor fabrication unit is over three Billion US Dollars.
Also the cost required to maintain the Fab is too high. We did not invest in field of semiconductor manufacturing which could have paced up GDP of India. Today we don’t have any foundries and 65% of the current demand for electronic products is met by imports. The good news is Government of India has taken up many policies under which Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication manufacturing facilities are being set up in India in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat with a total investment of USD 10.5 Billion. It is expected that consumer electronics market will grow to USD 29 Billion by 2020.
Therefore, in a nutshell, even though China and India are equally rich in heritage and culture China has made substantial progress to be the next Super Power than India. India has been insouciant over the issues of research, brain-drain, literacy and innovation. Now, India has just entered the initial phase of revolution in electronics industry which is going to play a major role in the development of India. Expectations are not only from the Government of India but also from each citizen of India to take “Developing India” towards “Developed India”.