Mr. Alan Rosling
Executive Director, Tata Sons Limited

Because I am purely a representative of the post colonial mind set anything I say, you are going to disagree with, and think that I am going to recreate the British Empire of which I am an Officer.

I find great convergence between what I wanted to say and what is already been said, but also frankly some divergence about how and why. So if I can turn first to the convergence.
I think both Dr.Mashalkar and Ajay have articulated a vision of India, which is about ideas, it is about knowledge, it is about excellence, it is about inclusivity, it is about success and self confidence. It is about wealth, becoming a successful major market based economy. It is about distribution of wealth and access to wealth, opportunity for all. There is a debate going in this country about how to secure access to every single Indian in the country to opportunity. It is about access to health, education, housing, so that when we go home in the evening we don’t have to drive past our fellow citizens who don’t have those things. It is about positioning India, if you imagine a 2x2 matrix of cost and quality where India maxes on both. The reason for IT success TCS is that Infosys and Wipro and the great bulk of other IT companies can offer competitive products to IBM and Accenture at a lower cost, delivered assuredly to citizens and corporations around the world, and the same is true for pharmaceuticals, and the same is true of movies for Hollywood, same is true for motor cars, design and engineering, and professional services. It is this maxing on both dimensions of a 2x2 cost and quality. If I can just say what we need to do to build further, those dimensions further; Cost-as Srikanth said a little earlier, we have a cost advantage. We have a cost advantage in labor, we have a cost advantage in people, we have a cost advantage in people and ideas, cost advantage of realizing ideas, but cost advantages do not last, and that is the great history of economics. Things change and costs rise, new competitors arise, and we have the cost advantage despite the infrastructure that you will see when you leave here tonight, despite the labor laws that mean that it is expensive and risky to hire labor in this country in a way which is not the case (in U.K.). Srikanth is able to restructure the labor in my country, and a foreign company finds it difficult, an Indian company finds it difficult to restructure the labor in this country.

Policy, tax. Compounding input costs. You have all seen the research that suggests that in many products from automotives to consumer products, India versus China, Chinese have a significant cost advantage over us. Particularly in the long run of the standard products because the input costs are lower, their logistics are better, their taxes do not compound the way which ours do. So all of these things need to be tackled to realize the vision of continuing to be successful in terms of costs.
Second quality. At the moment, of course, as we heard form Dr.Mashalkar and Ajay, we have a massive advantage in quality at any given price. People. It is all about people. We have superb educational facilities turning out management graduates, science graduates, IT graduates, design, writers, film makers, and these people are bending the rules and innovating. They are being employed by Indian and foreign companies for R&D. In Tatas we are trying to hire to develop particular needs at some price points and we will carry on doing that. Indian industry needs to come with us on that very exciting journey. But, quality in this country still is too little; segment of economy is about quality and segment of economy is too complacent.

I had invited to Mumbai this week, Mark Tully. I may be an Officer of British Empire but he is a Knight of British Empire, but a friend of India, and is somebody who has lived here for 40 years. He told a story which for him sums up a lot about India, but troubled me greatly. I think he repeats it in his most recent book. He said he bought a ticket on the Kalka express to go to Shimla. It was a super fast train so there was a surcharge, and he paid for it very happily so that the train could move fast, and he would arrive in Kalka to go to Shimla fast. The train dawdled along, kept stopping, and was going at a ridiculously slow speed. So when the ticket inspector came, Tully said “Excuse me, or you sure this is a fast train?”, and the ticket inspector said “Of course, it is a fast train, Sir”. Tully said “But the train is not moving fast”, and the ticket inspector said “It is a fast train sir, it is just moving slowly”. So, this is not acceptable. In the world of today the culture that we need of innovation and quality needs to move fast. We need, in Srikanth’s view, to be the volatile, high velocity country as well as the low cost country. We need in our management culture to be fast, to be decisive, and to be precise; all of those things which in the world of ambiguous India we find it difficult to do. We need to take the responsibility for decisions fast. The cost and quality, and then we max out to achieve the vision of India which is a successful and inclusive country in my life time.

To turn now to the second half of what I was triggered to say by some of the things that have already been said already. I have written on the top of my highly sophisticated AV device here. My vision for India in 2025: I think India, can, should be, and must be the biggest beneficiary of globalization. You have, and we have, it is all going for us, the cost and quality, people and ideas. The world is integrating, we can go out there and we can win, but to become the biggest beneficiary of globalization, we need to let go, to pick up Srikanth’s expression, of all of the baggage of post-colonialisation. There is an awful lot of tricolor waiving frankly in the last hour. I am not an Indian, so maybe it does not touch my heart in the way it touches your heart, but my vision of India is one where these things don’t matter.

Think of India, India has been the most absorbent country in the world. Think of your food, when you go home tonight, chances are that there is some chili in it. The most of Indian of all spices, where did it come from? Latin America. You will finish your meal with tea. Where did it come from? China. You speak a language whose base is outside India, it is not a Dravidian language and most of the languages of north India at least, these are sanskritised languages, and these are all India’s historic and fantastic engagement with the rest of the world. Whether it is religion, ideas, linguistics, culture, or food, India is a country which has absorbed and given more than any other country that I am aware, and that is why as a foreigner, despite the irritations, despite the fact that the police here in Mumbai insist that once a year I go along to the police station like a criminal and register. I take my 6 year old son to register with the police; I have to take him out of school to go to register with the police. These things are the irritants which come out of the mind set which says we don’t want foreigners here. We don’t want people from outside to come. We are suspicious of you; you are obviously here to do something East India Company like to us. We don’t want you in our retailing. We don’t want you in our real estate; we don’t want you in our nuclear power or telecom. India to me is a country which can forego all this. When Indians go overseas think of the success they make. Indian managers to me in India are like athletes training in Mexico City with a backpack. Soon as they get out of India they sprint. If Indians can go to my country, America, or Australia, every other country in the world, South Africa, and succeed, what fear could you possibly have of foreign capital coming in to India? Of foreign ideas coming in to India? Why does it matter R&D patents filed in Bangalore owned by GE or Tatas? Piramal or Glaxo? You are still employing Indians; you are still generating wealth, whether it is Glaxo or whether it is GE or whether it is Piramal or whether it is Tatas?

There was a recent BCG-CII study, the last time Ajay and I saw each other, it was on a platform similar to this when this study was launched. A 100 attacker companies were identified by BCG and CII. Of these 41 came from China, and 21 from India, so from 100 attacker emerging companies which could be Fortune 500 companies, 21 were from India and 41 from China. Of the 41 from China, 40 were state sector companies and 1 was private sector. Of the 21 from India, 1 was public sector, ONGC, and 20 were private sector. So Indian companies, I believe, without much support from the government, are going to go overseas in the next 5-10-20-30-100 years and become massively successful sector leaders, create wealth and jobs, for Indians and foreigners. Create wealth for Indians or foreigners, and create in India which rejoins with the rest of the world and gets over the Muslim invasions, the British Empire, decolonization processes, socialism, and nation building, because you don’t need those things any more. You need to be at ease with yourself and have the self confidence to pick up a theme that was mentioned several times. To know that we will win from India. We have all the advantages. Why is that the companies in Detroit fear Indian automotive companies that are tiny at this stage? Because, we can produce a 1 lakh car, which they cannot. Because we are the future, and it is the future they have to come to terms with us on our terms.

So, great convergence, with what the last 3 speakers have said but also a plea, be self confident, go overseas and win. You do not need to have a sense of discomfort with globalization because India is going to be the biggest beneficiary of globalization. Thank you.