ourselves to blame. China is studying India massively. In the last ten years, they have developed huge departments full of India experts. After the financial recession of 2009-10, maybe they thought that the economic dominance of the West is going to wane, and India is the future. Our lack of preparation to deal with China is reflecting very badly on us. We have a far larger English speaking population than China. We are more integrated internationally. We now need to build our China skills in our own interest.
Management skills There are about a hundred Indian companies operating in China. These are in the pharmaceutical sector, IT, manufacturing and other areas. The Chinese business and work environment is entirely different, and staff management is a key differentiating factor for these companies. Indian companies complain of entry barriers if they want to do business with China. The problem is that not just these individual companies, but even at the industry level we are unprepared. In proportion to the financial stakes involved, we haven’t learnt the skills to deal with the Chinese. Capacity building is the need of the hour. Look at our interaction with the Chinese in the economic space. The real bottleneck is lack of relevant skills. Communication skills, management skills, negotiation skills, language skills. Earlier, a vision for the future or understanding of new technology was the differentiator for top managers. Now, the individual with the maximum crosscultural ability emerges as the winner. Globally, all major economies have dealt with China and are involved with them in robust and wide-ranging economic engagement. If India has not been able to engage with the Chinese across diverse sectors as much as other nations, it is because we haven’t acquired the learning required to deal meaningfully and fruitfully with the Chinese.
July-Aug 2018 ▪
India China Chronicle July-August 2018