Global competitive advantage and local standards of living are a function of the value-added by local techniques and technologies. India’s market income is much less than purchasing power.
Dr. Vipin Gupta is the Professor of Management and Co-director of the Center for Global Management, at the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration, of California State University San Bernardino. He talked to Rusen Kumar, Editor, India CSR on how can India enhance the role of the international organizations in her social, human, ecological, economic, national, and psychological development? He feels that the cultures and techniques are closely connected and shape technologies and life processes. He says that educational institutions around the world are looking for project-based learning and paying substantial amounts to private vendors for sourcing such projects so that students may offer creative solutions. He suggested that India can help educational institutions and organizations around the world save all this money by transforming different grand challenges into projects that need to be solved. Excerpts:
How can India further the involvement of overseas small and medium enterprises for upgrading local techniques and technologies?
Global competitive advantage and local standards of living are a function of the value-added by local techniques and technologies. India’s market income is much less than purchasing power. Our goods and services are worth more than the value we can command for them in the global markets. India has a predominance of small and medium enterprises, who limited market positions and resources for rounding their technical capabilities.
To command full value, one needs not only technical skills for process efficiency, but also marketing skills for branding the output, purchasing skills for qualifying the inputs, and design skills for customizing the processes.
The firms that round out their skillset naturally become big and command the global market value for their services. Others remain small. We need targeted government policies and non-government programs for strategic dialogues with the small and medium enterprises around the world who have improved their gravity in the marketplace by systematically dismantling the factors that force discounting of their efforts vis-à-vis market leaders.
How can India further the connection of different local regions/ states with different regions/nations of the world, to strategically benefit from the diversity of local and global technological bases?
Despite growing international convergence in techniques and technologies, each region of the world continues to have deep-rooted cultural techniques that shape their distinctive technologies. For instance, Nordic Europe has an uncertainty avoidance culture. Naturally, it is a leader in information and communication technology, engaging 7% of the workforce – about twice the rest of Europe. It has the highest per capita mobile usage in the world. Germanic Europe has a future-oriented culture. It is a leader in automation technology.
German firms are great at identifying futuristic methods and automating them to bring efficiencies that sustain the advantage of the small-and-medium enterprises for multiple generations. For bringing greater certainty in the life and industrial fabric of Jammu and Kashmir, one needs strategic priorities on uncertainty avoidance. The best way is to let the market do the magic through strategic relationships with the organizations in Nordic Europe.
Similarly, there is a great need to foster futuristic orientation in the Northeast for sustainable harvesting of local natural resources. Automation will bring precision, reduce waste, and also ensure resource recycling and regeneration—it is not a fluke that Germanic European firms are world leaders in sustainability. Cultures and techniques are closely connected and shape technologies and life processes.
We need to understand this and identify specific local-global region pairings for targeted engagement of diverse global endowments in the development of the diversity we have as a nation. Diversity should become our strength, not a weakness that confuses us by making us believe that we can collaborate with anybody interested.
We need to manage our collaborations, rather than let the market manage us. When we give power to the market to manage us, we lose the value that we should command for our efforts. We are then stuck with the label of “emerging market” forever.
We never go beyond that.
How can India further the involvement of women from around the world to mentor women in India to advance their entrepreneurial projects?
Women around the world are making significant strides in all fields.
Women understand the challenges that women face. Further, there is a great deal of misunderstanding about the situation of women in India. The general perception is that women in India live in an unsafe environment, where they are subject to secondary treatment even before birth and have no voice and rights. To the extent there is truth in this perception, it becomes critical to connect them with the global women mentors who can offer them a different perspective of life.
When Indian women hear the stories of women around the world, they will become aware of the rights, power, and voice they have and they should exercise to ensure they are not victimized in any way. Additionally, Indian women deserve to hear the stories from women from all walks of life internationally, so that they may confidently pursue the diverse paths for developing themselves and making meaningful contributions that are visible to everyone.
How can India further the involvement of retirees from around the world to mentor youth in India to advance their entrepreneurial projects?
Many nations have engaged retirees from other parts of the world to help mentor the youth and their entrepreneurial projects. Oftentimes, retirees are interested in remaining meaningful in society and enjoy engagement in new initiatives.
We need to create spaces for such engagement and for matching volunteers with diverse micro-entrepreneurial entities. The USA has systematic volunteer organizations that engage diverse volunteers in community development initiatives. India has no such national or state-level network.
How can India further the involvement of overseas entrepreneurs to promote products, services, and technologies of innovative Indian businesses in their nations?
In the new age, entrepreneurs around the world are seeking innovative products, services, and technologies for niche marketing and broadening what they are presently offering. Adding specially curated solutions to existing digital platforms has become very cost-effective. The challenge is on managing the logistics of their distribution.
By developing micro-level partnerships among the national logistics trade-facilitators, local innovator producers, and global entrepreneurial marketers, India can multiply its exports significantly. I am the co-director for the Center for Global Management at California State University San Bernardino. We are constantly approached by the firms who wish help in closing this cycle through appropriate global partnership facilitation.
How can India further the involvement of the overseas educational institutions in certifying the value of home-grown skill-building and training programs by diverse entities, for their mass-scaling through diverse models?
Southern Asia has a highly diverse culture that celebrates individual creativity and uniqueness. Due to the multitude of solutions, people naturally look for international endorsements and recognitions as a way to reduce their screening and search costs.
Increasingly, afterschool and vocational training and institutions in India are paying substantial license fees and royalties to international brands. Besides, there is a great need to recognize the diverse creative efforts for bringing excellence to the masses. The goal should not be to create standards that everybody should meet.
Rather, to give credentials for the uniqueness that everyone brings, as long as it is supported with successful outcomes and has established processes that can be scaled up through train the trainers, franchising, licensing, and other ways of mass extension of the efforts that are already working.
How can India further the involvement of entrepreneurial distributors around the world in including India’s innovative and boutique handicraft products in their digital stores?
Internationally, handicraft products command several times the value of machine-made products. For Indian cooperatives and home-based work units to command similar values, they need to understand global demand and certification needs. Global customers demand that the products be certified for social values (knowing the customer and integration of customer-oriented designs), human values (labor empowerment), and ecological values (environment factor).
Further, to avoid knowledge misappropriation, the products must be certified for economic values (making the economic aspect transparent by specifically considering the role of community knowledge and committing to direct a proportion of incomes to the community sustainability), national values (country of origin), and psychological values (how support for the products helps prevent loss of skills and children’s falling into the migration and unskilled labor trap). The international entrepreneurial distributors can help mentor and guide our local innovative and boutique handicraft firms if we have specific systems to organize such mentorship groups.
How can India work with international industry associations to creatively adapt and globalize its various ethnic treasures, such as food, clothing, home décor, and dance so that Indian entrepreneurs can enjoy the benefit of global demand?
Industry associations around the world are in unique positions to connect Indian entrepreneurs with their members. There is a need to organize targeted innovation and treasure showcases and secure inputs on how to adapt our idlis, chapatis, kurtis, nrityas, etc. to the rhythm of life in specifically targeted nations. If the Japanese like fish to be part of every meal, they need to develop fish idlis, fish chapatis, and fish-themed kurtis and nrityas for our package food industry to succeed in Japan.
Similarly, we need to adapt kurtis to Japanese kimonos and other dresses to make them fashionable in Japan. Such micro-level innovations are feasible only through targeted entrepreneur-entrepreneur matching events organized regularly in different states with different nations, coordinated by the states that are championing linkages with those nations.
How can India work with international nonprofit organizations to help solve the international grand challenges by offering project-based learning to the students and project-based volunteering opportunities to the adults?
There is a great need to expose students and adults in India to the global grand challenges. When we are conscious of only local challenges, we naturally go into depression and our mental health suffers. When we are empowered to help with the challenges different societies are facing, we learn new skills for defining and addressing issues in our backyard.
How can India involve students and adults from around the world in helping solve local, regional, and national grand challenges?
Educational institutions around the world are looking for project-based learning and paying substantial amounts to private vendors for sourcing such projects so that students may offer creative solutions. Similarly, corporations around the world are investing significant amounts for their employees to be connected with the communities around the world through diverse projects.
India can help educational institutions and organizations around the world save all this money by transforming different grand challenges into projects that need to be solved. The solutions should then be evaluated by student groups and adult volunteers.
After the solutions go through community inputs, they should then be presented to the different government agencies, non-government organizations, and entrepreneurial investors for implementation. In many cases, the solutions could become entrepreneurial opportunities for the students and employees to implement after they graduate or leave the organization.
About Dr. Vipin Gupta
Dr. Vipin Gupta is Professor of Management, and Co-director of the Center for Global Management, at the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration, of California State University San Bernardino since 2010. Professor Vipin Gupta served as the Director of the MBA Program (2013-15) and Associate Dean (2013-17). He has been Roslyn Solomon Jaffe Chaired Professor of Strategy at Simmons College – Boston, USA (2005-10), and tenure-track faculty at Grand Valley State University (2003-2005) and Fordham University (1997-2003). While at Fordham, he founded Globe India Development Center: a virtual network of business schools all over India who are studying values, effectiveness, and change management styles of the CEOs in different states of India.
A gold medalist for outstanding scholastic performance in the Post Graduate Program of the Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad (1990) and an all-India prized rank holder at the graduate program of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (1988) , Professor Gupta, a Ph.D. (1998) from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania , Professor Vipin Gupta was appointed a Post-Doctorate Research Associate (1999-2003). He is an Indo American author based in the United States.
Professor Gupta has offered several training programs and workshops on strategic planning and cross-cultural management to senior executives, administrators, and defence personnel, and on research methods to the doctoral students and faculty in India and the US. He has been a visiting and guest faculty at more than thirty business schools in India, and served on the board of governors of many. His workshops and lectures have been covered by the several leading national and regional newspapers and television channels of India. He was the founding editor of IBAT Journal of Management in India, and a reviewer for many international journals and international conferences. He has also worked with the Michigan Small Business Technology Development Center (SBTDC) in outreach activities involving student team-led consulting to numerous small business clients. He has been a global academic advisor for Amity University, India.
As a 2015-16 American Council of Education Fellow, he worked with President Michael Crow and his leadership team at Arizona State University, Secretary-General Lesley Wilson and her team at European University Association, Brussels, Belgium, and President Tomas Morales and his leadership team at California State University San Bernardino. During that year, he also visited 62 universities, colleges and higher education institutions in nine European nations, USA and India, and interviewed and observed the leadership of the Presidents, Rectors and Vice Chancellors, and their senior team members.
Rusen Kumar is the founder of India CSR.