Mom! I’m calling from Mt.Everest OR Is the India hype, underhyped?

Now things are getting really interesting in India. We are not talking global majors notching up handsome growths in sales, coming in from their India expansion. That may soon be par for the course. What’s even more telling of the kind of promise that India holds for business to thrive are the new, unconventional stories of growth, stories born out of innovative entrepreneurship.

Check out two such stories in an article titled Friedman: Do Believe the Hype in India, in the Economic Times. The first one talks about the the mobile phone revolution in India, but from a different and innovative perspective- connectivity from Mt.Everest. Imagine you are on the trek of your lifetime- up the Everest and you have this uncontrollable urge to find out “how many have actually scaled the Everest? Am I the 9000th guy?” Hey, not to worry- whip out your cellphone and surf the net. Your curiosity needs to be answered, instantly. Entrepreneurship recognizes that need and has conveniently provided mobile phone connectivity now on the Everest. And hey, if you did want to indulge in your vanity and tell the world, where you are at just that moment, you may as well … indulge and make that call.

Friedman talks of another innovation- coming out of a garage in New Delhi. A mobile phone led virtual bank for migrant workers [from another Indian state called Bihar] run out of  ‘mom-and-pop’ kiosks which sell candy and cigarettes- the local ‘cornerstore’. Migrant workers use their mobile phone and the kiosk-bank-branch to open an account in a mother bank and save their daily wages or transfer money to their home and family in distant Bihar. The worker’s wife goes to another local cigarette shop and ‘withdraws’ her money, using her cell phone. Now get this… the financial services company that was born in that garage has a customer base of 180,000 and does 7000 transactions every day.

Now for the cherry-on-top, for this story of innovation: the company which runs this mobile-virtual-bank  includes graduates from India’s most prestigious institutes of technology who were working in the US but decided to come home for the action, while the chief operating officer – Matteo Chiampo – is an Italian technologist who left a good job in Boston to work here “where the excitement is”.
More businesses from Canada and the US need to be inspired to do the same.

If you’d like to read the full article:

Published by Alex Alagappan

Brand Builder. Ally. Strategist. Ideas Champ. Founder Partner. Chief Big Rain.

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