September 2010
News    |   New Media   |   Advertising   |   Communications   |   Films   |  Events

Superpower : The amazing Race between China's Hare and India's Tortoise

Is India ready for superpower status? Or are we irretrievably behind in the game of catch-up with China?

In his career as a journalist and one of India’s top entrepreneurs, Raghav Bahl has often faced a barrage of questions from visiting businesspeople bewildered by India: Why are Indian regulations so weak and confusing? Why is your foreign investment policy so restrictive? How come your hotels are world-class, when the roads leading to them are so pot-holed? How is it that you speak such good English?

Inevitably, the questions are followed by the observation: But, you know, that’s not the way it is in China.

Indeed, even as the dragon and elephant economies are together projected to dominate the world in a matter of decades, there is a palpable difference in the way China and India work on the ground. China is spectacularly effective in building infrastructure and is currently investing almost half its GDP; it is crafting a new economic idiom that has stood textbook wisdom on its head. Meanwhile, India is the classic example of a ‘promising’ economy: more than half its GDP is consumed by its billion-plus population; half its population is younger than twenty-five, giving it a unique demographic advantage; 350 million Indians understand English, making it the largest English-using country in the world; and it is, of course, the world’s largest democracy.

In the race to superpower status, who is likely to breast the tape—China’s hare or India’s tortoise? China’s awe-inspiring sweep, compared to India’s relatively mild rise, could tempt an easy answer. But Bahl argues that the winner of the race with the biggest stakes ever might not be determined by who is investing more and growing faster today, but by something slightly more intangible—who has superior innovative skills and more entrepreneurial savvy and is grappling with and expanding in the most intensely competitive conditions.

At the end, it might come down to just one deciding factor: Can India fix its governance before China repairs its politics?

With telling insights into the two Asian powers’ histories, polities, economies and cultures, Superpower. The Amazing Race Between China’s Hare and India’s Tortoise is a brilliantly written, superbly documented, rich and comprehensive account of the race to dominance between the two neighbours. For anyone looking to understand China and India and the ways in which these two nations are about to change the history of the world, this is the book to read.

  Online edition
  News analysis
  Opinion – All Opinion
  • Letters to the editor
  • Corresspondents Diary
  • Debates
  World Politics - World   This Week
  Special Report
  Business- This Week
  • Leadership and Change
  • Executive Education
  • Marketing & Innovation
  • Strategic Management
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Human Resources
  • Business Ethics
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  Special Sections
  Books & Art
  City Briefings
Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Subscribe
Copyright © Conversations Online 2010. All rights reserved.
About Sponsorship :
Selected sponsors provide financial support for parts of in return for the display of their name, logo and links to their site(s) on those sections. Conversationsonline retains full editorial control, giving no sponsor any influence whatsoever over any content, including choice of topics, the views expressed, or the style of presentation of any content.