Tata Sons’ N Chandrasekaran And Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Uday Kotak Discuss Bridigital Nation
Two of India’s top business leaders N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons Ltd. and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. Chairman and Managing Director Uday Kotak have called for a less-hyped approach to entrepreneurial success in the country.
Building billion-dollar startups should not be the goal, according to Chandrasekaran. “We get carried away by unicorns,” he said at the launch event of his book ‘Bridgital Nation: Solving Technology’s People Problem’. “I don’t think entrepreneurship has to be about creating unicorns. Entrepreneurship has to create communities where jobs can be created and quality of life can be dramatically improved.”
India also needs to figure out a way for small-sized enterprises to access funding without facing bureaucratic hurdles, Chandrasekaran said.
To address this funding problem, India must find a way to channel a portion of savings to expand the domestic venture capital industry, according to Kotak. “What India needs to do is to build a venture capital industry,” he said. “We must, from a policy point of view, find ways of giving big incentives for domestic savings moving into venture capital.”
Governance is another area that needs more attention. Small and medium businesses also have “too much temptation” in India, Kotak said. “As they start succeeding a little they want to invest in land or a or b or c—completely out of their core business and then they get starved in core business,” he told Chandrasekaran at the event. These businesses need to ensure that they have proper governance in place, he said.
The Problem Of Talent And The Gift Of Technology
Although India has a talent pool, it is not skilled enough to deliver to its full capacity. Technology is what can turn the situation around, according to Chandrasekaran.
“India has large scale demands because we have shortage of everything. We don’t have enough doctors, we don’t have enough nurses. We don’t have enough teachers,” he said. “We have the supply. We have the talent. But we are trying to solve both problems in completely different ways. We have to figure out a way to connect it. I am firmly of the opinion that the only way to do it is by using technology.”
Technology can be used to upskill people, which then creates jobs, he said. “I feel in India it has to be how technology can be given to people who are really low skilled so their skills can be upgraded,” Chandrasekaran said.
Watch the full discussion between N Chandrasekaran and Uday Kotak here...