Feb 28, 2007

On Asian geniuses

Michael and DD have been blogging a bit about the numbers of geniuses from India and China :-)

DD has some questions (and has hinted he thinks I might know the answer :-). So well, I'm trying.

I fully believe that the educational infrastructure in India is quickly catching up to the U.S. However, India still sends students to places like the U.S. and the U.K. Is this due to quality, diversity, or capacity?

Well Dubs, educational infrastructure is not yet as great as we want it to be. However, the fact that many students go to the US and UK to study is due to a variety of factors. At the undergrad level, it is not so prevalent, and the few who do go there want to experience the liberal arts educational system. Most Indian students who go to the US go for Masters and Doctoral programs. The focus apart from the education there, is also to work in the US after that and earn some dollars. Let's face it. If you are in technology, then nothing helps as working in Silicon Valley. If you are an MBA in finances from Harvard, Stanford then you only want to work in Wall Street. Some choose to settle in the US and UK permanently. Others choose to return.

At the same time, I’ve heard anecdotal evidence that China is nowhere in sight of creating the educational capacity needed to support the type of talent growth it is destined for. How many years it will take is an unknown. People say that China is the next frontier. I still believe that India is so far ahead of China that it will be 2 decades or more before China begins to realize its total potential. There’s the talent problem and the infrastructure to support it, but there’s also the issue with language. The language of business is not currently Mandarin.

Well, I don't know. The buzz going around in India is "Don't be complacent with the Chinese.." A lot of Indian IT firms are actually setting up shop in China to use Chinese IT talent to service the Asian region. Indian IT training firms like NIIT and Aptech are doing roaring business to satisfy the Chinese training need for IT. Anyone with some knowledge about the Chinese market can choose to add or disagree with me :-)