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Knowledge-based Economy and My India Experience September 23, 2009

Posted by Ornwassa Siamseranee in As The Future Catches You.
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I should have read “As the Future Catches You” by Juan Enriquez before summer of 2009.

Back in March, I received an offer to join Infosys Technologies Limited for my summer internship. Infosys is a great company – it is one of the biggest companies in India with over 100,000 employees, the first Indian company to be listed on NASDAQ, and the most admired Indian company for 10 consecutive years. With all these credentials, I should be all excited and happy, right? Well, not exactly.

I came to do my MBA in the US with an initial hope to get a job here, with better compensation and better reputation. For me, the US is really the center of the economy and full of opportunity. India is never on my radar. This made me hesitate and contemplate whether I should take the offer, and wonder what I would get out of this internship.

My India experience changed my perception, and this book confirmed it.

One of the central themes in this book is that we are now in the age where service becomes the dominant source of economic wealth and that most value created within the service economy is knowledge-based. This makes “Knowledge” the most valuable resource, especially knowledge in science and technology. India and Infosys exemplifies this notion. India is the hub of IT talent – each year over 400,000 Indian IT graduates enter the job market. IT accounts for over 40% of the country’s GDP and Indian government heavily promotes IT education. Infosys also recognizes the importance of IT and knowledge creation and retention. It has the largest education center producing engineering graduates with the equivalent of a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from an American university. It has a dedicated department called Education & Research focusing solely on generating new knowledge and practicing and promoting Knowledge Management within the company.

With the right focus on knowledge in IT, India and Infosys have been growing tremendously over the last 10 years. It is forecasted that from 2007 to 2020, India’s GDP per capita will quadruple, and that the Indian GDP will surpass that of the US before 2050. India and China are becoming the new center of the world economy.

Understanding this concept and experiencing India widen my education and career focus. I now choose to take courses that help build soft skills and allow me to learn more about service industries, and also expand my career focus accordingly.

I’m glad I decided to go to India.

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