Thursday, June 09, 2005

Friedman on Bangalore

Thomas Friedman had another column yesterday in the NY Times dedicated to Bangalore, titled Bangalore: Hot and Hotter. Salient points Friedman makes include a comparison between India and China, where he describes China as a smooth 6 line highway witha major speed breaker representing the communist leadership. On the other hand, India is a rickety bumpy pothole filled small street, but with tremendous promise to break out into the biggest and best highway of them all. Promise - thats what India certainly represents.

But he goes on to say that inspite of all the issues associated with India, Bangalore is moving on from being cyber coolies to providing a R&D hub for multinational companies. It is starting to provide complete backend support for anyone with a great idea. Ofcourse, with the talent flowing back into INdia, perhaps the day is not far when 'ideation' (as Friedman calls it) also firmly entrenches there. Also contributing is the fact that many smart folks from all over the world want to work for Bangalore giants like Infosys ...

Americans are warned - you better notice what Bangalore is becoming, and act ... China certainly is. Why else would the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao visit Bangalore first and New Delhi later? There seems to be no doubt at all that next time a US President visits India, Bangalore will be a destination. Bangalore - on the other hand, start getting your airport ready for Air Force One to land!

Friedman's liberal columns (often heavily focusing on outsourcing mecca India) are very popular with Indian readers of the NY Times. But I wonder how Americans react to them - for the liberal NY Times reader, they are well accepted as a way of life in the new world, but for those with a little stronger views against outsourcing, they might be serious eye-openers and might certainly up the ante of public opinion against India in the US ...

No comments: