Indian Entrepreneurship

In two days I’ll be going to India, my last trip there was 6 years ago, and from what I hear, things have already dramatically changed since then.

What I’m mainly interested to see is how the rising middle class is affecting the country. Is it like the rise of the massive middle class in the U.S. in the 1950’s, or is it different?

While I’m there I’ll try to visit some of the massive call centers I hear so much about, perhaps make a few contacts. Some of the best engineering talent in the world is in India, so some interesting things must be happening there regarding entrepreneurship. This is a democratic country with tons of talent being used to develop tons of large scale projects, so it’s inevitable that Indian entrepreneurs will spring up all over the place. I’d like to meet some of these people.

Some questions I’ll ask myself while there:

-What brand of cars are becoming prevalent? Fiats dominated the road last time I visited.

-Last time I went, disposal waste per household was extremely low. I remember one guy with a small basket picking up the garbage for every household in an entire colony (equivalent to an apartment complex). Hardly anything was wasted. How has that changed with modern packaging techniques, fast food etc?

-How easy/hard is it to get an internet connection and power outlet for my laptop over there? Is it expensive?

-Cell phone usage?

-Adjusted price comparison of a Big Mac in the United States and India. Over there It’s actually called a Maharaja Mac and is made with lamb or chicken instead of Beef. McDonald’s got in some trouble for serving beef.

-Attitudes towards the United States?


I’m also highly interested to see if the level of corruption has gone down, as this is one of the more powerful issues I see holding India back.

The way of doing business there is entrenched in bribes and “Bonuses”, many which are now considered a normal part of doing business. The sad thing is the people who enforce the law are involved too, so people are forced to continue the system of bribes in order to get anything done.
For example: If you open a restaurant and need a liquor license, let’s just say unless you pay someone a very large “gratuity” for their work, your license won’t show up for the next 10 years.

This also happens on a smaller scale. For example: If you want to park your car in a no parking zone, an officer will ticket or tow your car unless you “encourage” the officer not to with a monetary incentive.

I also want to try some sort of money experiment while in India. With the sheer amount of poor people already trying to sell stuff, I don’t know if my bottled water experiment would fly over there, so I’ll have to look for something else!

Blog posted on: December 16, 2006

39 comments on “Indian Entrepreneurship

  1. Web Enterpriser

    I’ve personally never been to India but I have hired an Indian web development firm. It was an awful experience because the team didn’t understand what I wanted and they just used pre-made templates. Needless to say, I will never outsource web development to India again. I’ve turned my attention to China. Nev, I’d suggest learning Mandarin. That’s what I am doing!

    Close to 1,000 Free WordPress Templates, Themes, Styles

  2. Anonymous

    Mumbai and the employment where he works has a high turnover. They cannot keep people because there are alot of job opportunities they pay more money.

    American Express, Delta, and Bellsouth are some companies that are there.

    India is on the rise.

  3. Anonymous

    India has changed massively from 6yrs ago. The middle class is expanding! One of my friends works at a call center in Mumbai and the employment where he works has a high turnover. They cannot keep people because there are alot of job opportunities/call centers that pay much more money than others.

    American Express, Delta, and Bellsouth are some companies that are there.

    India is on the rise.

  4. Anonymous

    hi nev, i was wondering what you do about your web businesses when you travel. do you have to log on everyday wherever you are to process the daily orders?

  5. me2press

    Nev, I would like to see a water bottle type venture from you in India. I was in Portugal this summer and I was almost tempted to try something like this. I watched a Gypsy selling chairs at a parade for 1 euro and he and his family managed to to about 200 euros worth of business in about 30 minutes not bad. I think you can do great with your skills there. Try to update as much as you can while you are there. India is a great place to learn about business done on a more pure hustlenomics kind of way.

  6. Pam Heath

    I’m curiuos about how the “call centre” participants view their relationships with the U.S. firms who employ them. It seems that we in the U.S. view out Indian neigbors as 2nd class electronic citizens (from my views of the the way we in the U.S. interact with them). I would like to find out if the folks in India see it from the same perspective.

    In other words, are the Indians (Bangalulures) offended by the way we treat them?

  7. Danny

    “Corruption charges! Corruption? Corruption is government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulations. That’s Milton Friedman. He got a goddamn Nobel Prize. We have laws against it precisely so we can get away with it. Corruption is our protection. Corruption keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why you and I are prancing around in here instead of fighting over scraps of meat out in the streets. Corruption is why we win.”

  8. Free debt help

    If you are looking for engineers in India, I advise you to “really” check their “real” expertise! I have worked with some indian engineers before, and their favourite answer when asked if you can do it is ,”no problem sir. But the results are always different from what is promised. So I have to ask them to make major changes to it thus it’s a waste of time. After a few jobs with them, I decided not to continue working with them anymore even though their labour is cheap. Now I work with english-speaking chinese in China, which is far more promising then Indians. So beware.

  9. Jamcracker

    India or China the problem remains. Corporations are trying to delay the issue! of profitability by pulling a viel on yr eyes.. They call you developed you stop producing children! reduce consumption and at the end they outsource! to reduce their pressures for growth! guys if the world goes on like this there will be an extinction of certain species/races! and we will count them like tigers less than 5k :(

  10. work from home on line

    Corruption sadly is still alive all around the world and like you said, in India as well.

    But India has really developed in the past 5-6 years so you can really be proud of that.

  11. Mike

    I’m puzzled why you didn’t choose to major in business, but in gov’t, especially since you’re so much into the former.

  12. Anonymous

    Companies in India aren’t alone in their corruption. China is just as bad (worse depending on who you talk to). For those who are dealing with Chinese companies just because an Indian firm or two burned you, you may want to rethink you’re “grass is greener” mentality before blindly signing on.

  13. Steve

    I must say I have had much the same experience. I wanted a mailinglist made and paid my money and expected something customised. All i got was a ready made template which I could have downlaoded from Hotscripts

  14. Meinhaj Hussain

    Well, to get anything done in India you have to know it first. For those looking for engineers (as in manufacturing not IT) then India is not the place to look first in. What you can get best in India are IT workers.

    web enterpriser: you should know better than to pay first and deal with somebody you haven’t discussed things out with first.

    Nev, you’d be surprised at the amount of development that has taken place. However, at the same time, somethings are just the same.

  15. Anonymous

    Nev, what happen to your blog posts. Your original goal was to post something every other day. It’s almost been a month since the last post. What’s the deal?

  16. Vinaya HS

    Great to know that you are coming to India. Would you be visiting Mumbai? If so, we could plan and meet. You would also get first-hand inputs from a middle-class Indian.

  17. Jason

    Everyone asking if he is coming back…Look at what he said.
    He said he is going away for a month.
    So shut up and read morons.

  18. Anonymous

    I will not be posting anymore on blogger. My new posts will be on a subdomain of

    My domain, will redirect to the new site.

    You should expect a new post to appear within the next two days.


  19. Neville

    This is the REAL Nev, contrary to the previous comment. I just got into Germany today from India, so I”m busy driving a Mercedes on the Autobahn and having fun (almost every car here is a Mercedes)…While on vaction, there are MUCH better things to do than blog!

    I’ll do a post at some point about India when I get back from Germany (using this German keyboard is very annoying).


  20. The Duke

    I’ve read in a number of different places that Tada Motors is the dominant auto manufacturer in India right now. They are part of a much larger conglomerate.

  21. Anonymous

    Hi Nev,

    Glad to read your site.

    I am an Indian technical writer writing from Pune, India.

    On your trip to India, you may want to check out Hyderabad. This is a place where there is a tremendous political “push” to develop Hyd as “the” destination for software and other technology areas. I lived in Hyderabad for more than 10 years and the recent developments in infrastructure and govt policies, and its responsiveness are exhilerating, to say the least.

    Something about corruption: I would like to recount an incident. I work in Pune, 500+ KM from Hyderabad. A ticket booking agent was playing pranks to let me book tickets for the govt-owned bus service between pune and hyderabad. I looked up the Andhra Pradesh govt’s website and called up the appropriate person after a couple of phone calls. This effort put me in touch with the secretary of the officer who oversees the Pune-Hyd buses. When I expressed my troubles in booking the tickets, he not only explained me the rules that govern the ticket booking but volunteered the fax number that I can send a complaint to!..
    There are any number of incidents in my personal life. People are the real beneficiaries of web. And the attitudinal change in the govt offices in AP is really amazing.

    The web has certainely helped India and AP a lot.


  22. the money paradise

    Every developing when starts witnessing huge entrepreneurship activities that shows the real strength of the economy than the GDP only. This make inclusive economy and India on its path but long journey is waiting.


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