Indifference just wont cut it

Big dreams and starting a business can easily take over your life. Personal time, extra cash, a social life, relationships often fall by the wayside because there just isn’t enough time or money. Luxuries or dinners out at the newest restaurant will probably go by the wayside. You may not remember the last time you just sat down and read a book for fun or went to a movie. You are looked as turned into something weird by your own spouse. Entrepreneurs trade in many things other people take for granted to live their dreams and make them come true. If those choices arent for you, then you may want to head in another direction. Thats exactly the reason why Indians cannot be great entrepreneurs, at least majority of them. Most of us are a ego centric lot with affection only for ourselves.

Have u seen the cars on the road in Delhi or any metro. Your side one will always try to corner you. Then honk and then turn left without signalling, causing you to stand on your brakes. A family of four with bags et al, stopping in the middle of an airport preventing people from passing just because they are thinking. Yes thinking. Of absolutely nothing. Imagine you are taking a brisk walk down Bandra Bandstand and suddenly you encounter a human wall. Of men holding hands and chatting without caring for the fact that they are coming in the way of other walkers. The same happens on our sidewalks and on our roads. Don’t be surprised if two cabbies stop smack in the middle of a busy street exchanging notes; or when a Channel woman just decides to get out of her car not worried in the least about oncoming traffic. It’s almost as if there is no one else and they are the sole inhabitants of this planet. You will see this when you enter an aircraft. Meet someone in the aisle and start chatting without bothering about the army of people who are also trying to get onto the plane. It is another matter that when we are seated in the aircraft, we behave like we own the damn plane. We won’t care two hoots about reaching out over someone’s nose to get a glass of water that would have in any case found its way to us in a much more refined manner. Last week I was flying from Bangalore to Delhi and there were these two IT professionals who spoke so loudly that they shared their entire business plan with whoever would have cared to listen.

This brings me to the conclusion that most Indians are not process oriented. They feel that the only reason for getting into business is to earn a lot of money. All businessmen are rich is the common belief. And business women – well, they haven’t thought enough of that. Use the toilet, soil it, spread water and let the next person slip. Take our behaviour when we leave the shores of our land. We carry so much of this with us. We will always be the first to break immigration protocol; we will be the first to bargain in a fixed price store; the first to stay in expensive hotels and dry our undergarments on leather sofas in the room. How the hell does it matter, you have relieved yourself. I remember a placard over a toilet in Thailand in Hindi requesting the patrons to keep the toilet clean.

There is obviously a pernicious overhang of the word jugaad in our lives. Innovative jugaad also needs a process. What is more abysmal is that the apology has been forgotten. I guess we just need to spend some more time with the values of the past that we have so conveniently forgotten and from that past, excavate the goodness that we were so renowned for. Civility, is after all, timeless. Civility is in having a process and determination to follow it. Make enough sacrifices. Understand the process of entrepreneurship , fall in love with it to get the results. Indifference just wont cut it, be it Skill India, Digital India or Make in India.

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