Thursday, September 24, 2015

Modi Coming to Silicon Valley, Asking Entrepreneurs to Reconnect to India | Immigrant Shift: The Changing California Workforce | The California Report | KQED News

The Digital Health Space takes a tour of the Asian continent.

Take a look around at Engineering schools in the United States of America.  As  one of my sons entered the program at UC Berkeley in C.S.E.E. he noticed the prominence of many Indian engineers-to-be. It is also evident when looking at the tech staff and C-suite at prominent enterprises such as Google, Facebook, and twitter. Many of them are becoming 'start-up' entrepeneurs in the United States

There is however a conundrum for Indian entrepeneurs in their home states of India.  In India there has been a  barrier for entrepeneurs:

Prime Minister Narendra Mod has launched initiatives called “Digital India” to increase electronics manufacturing, expand Internet access and use apps to improve government services.  The Silicon Valley-India connection — and venture capital investments — are critical if Modi’s initiative is to succeed, especially since several of the CEOs of major tech companies are from India and 16 percent of Silicon Valley startups are run by Indian-Americans, said Venkatesan Ashok, consul general of India in San Francisco.

“Silicon Valley has a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship,” said  Ashok.  “And I hope it is a culture that we in India can also imbibe.” In addition to his role as Consul General as Consulate General of India, San Francisco Ashok also attended Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi where he earned a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.), in Civil Engineering  There is much to overcome, both politically and in investment in India by American and other countries.
“Successful entrepreneurs have learned from failure,” said Ashok. “In many ways that’s the opposite of what we see in India, because there we have a rather traditional mindset where we’re told, ‘Don’t think outside the box, don’t get out of the system, don’t do something disruptive.’ Here disruptive technology is the keyword.”
While startup failures  may be accepted in Silicon Valley, that’s still not an option for entrepreneurs  in India, Ashok said.
You fail in India, you’re seen as a failure and people say, ‘This guy is useless,’ ” said Ashok. Modi’s trip to Silicon Valley will not be without controversy. A variety of groups want to use the prime minister’s visit to highlight concerns about his politics.More than 100 professors signed an open letter protesting India’s recent crackdown on groups like Greenpeace. Others want Modi held accountable for his alleged complicity in anti-Muslim riots more than a decade ago. 

Protests are expected online and in person as he makes the rounds of the major tech campuses and speaks before 19,000 people at the SAP Center in San Jose on Sunday.  In reviewing the outcry, none are from anyone in the tech field. All are from ethical and humane departments at prominent American Universities. The summation is government surveillance in India and the introduction of more technology for surveyance.  While it is easy to compare this with what is happening in the U.S. Nevertheless surveyllance has certainly not stunted the growth of IT, the internet, nor Silicon Valley.  Digital Health Space posits this is a weak reason to oppose  American's interest in a two way venture.


Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Stanford Law School who has studied Indian-American entrepreneurs who have returned to their native  country, agrees. “India is a very difficult place to work because of corruption, bureaucracy, pollution, noise, you name it,” said Wadhwa. “But somehow Indian entrepreneurs have been able to rise above it.” Ashok and Modi do not fit the stereotype of conservative Indian tech and venture capital.“Successful entrepreneurs have learned from failure,” said Ashok. “In many ways that’s the opposite of what we see in India, because there we have a rather traditional mindset where we’re told, ‘Don’t think outside the box, don’t get out of the system, don’t do something disruptive.’ Here disruptive technology is the keyword.”
Indians have contributed much to the American economy. Perhaps it is time for payback from Silicon Valley.
Stay tuned




Modi Coming to Silicon Valley, Asking Entrepreneurs to Reconnect to India | Immigrant Shift: The Changing California Workforce | The California Report | KQED News

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