Jan 31, 2005

Swaminomics - Forecasting the future



Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar who writes a column called Swaminomics in the Sunday Times of India, also has his articles at his own site called (what else?) Swaminomics.

He had a classic article yesterday on the occasion of the World Economic Forum, as he leapfrogs and future-gazes at the WEF circa 2035....here goes:


We must all celebrate the opening up of what used to be a western club.
Some regard Lakshmi Mittal as the pioneer of Asia's ascent: after all, he
created the world's largest steel empire three decades ago. However, whatever
his ethnic origin, he was a British-based businessman. The real pioneer, I
believe, was China's Lenovo, which back in 2005 took over the personal computer
business of IBM, the company that had invented the PC in the first place. Since
then, Chinese and Indian acquisitions across the globe have been swift and fast,
and capitalism has become truly global in ownership. Infosys became the world's
biggest consulting group when it took over Accenture. And Tata Motors became the
world's largest auto company when it rescued General Motors from the brink of
bankruptcy. Many of us in here flew in on United Jet Airlines, created when BBC was put up for privatisation this year, the highest
bid came from Prannoy Roy's New Delhi TV. But the deal has been held up because
the British Labour Party opposes takeover by a foreigner. Similarly, several
senators in the USA want to stall the takeover of The New York Times by The
Times of India
. The outsourcing debate refuses to die either. US Senators
complain that 20 million jobs have been outsourced to India in the last three
decades. True, but high-income jobs have replaced low-wage ones in the USA.
Besides, India is now a high income country that attracts only high-skilled
jobs. China and India have moved up the skill ladder, and the poorest countries
are now becoming the back offices of the world. Low-skilled outsourcing now
benefits mainly Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania and Nepal, spreading the benefits of
globalisation to once-neglected remote corners.