7 Days In India

I write these words from the Indian sub-continent in a business visit with a group of Saudi business men in an official delegation by the chamber of commerce and industry in Jeddah to attend the first conference for small enterprise ministries which was held in New Delhi and opened by the Indian Prime Minister.


And this is the first time I visit India, and of course – like most readers – we went to India and negative images accompanied our minds, but after visiting many of their institutes in health, trading and industrial sectors as well as information technology, we came out with new and different impressions that what we have expected, thus I loved to share it with our readers.


One of the most important impressions we came out with is that India has a clear and united vision towards advancement as an global economical power within the next 20 years, and this is confirmed by many economical study centers and a detailed report showed on CNN, and this vision has shifted from theoretical phase to implementation and progress phase and put the required mechanics to accomplish it, one of the first concepts that those mechanics to accomplish this vision is the complete conviction in the ultimate importance in activating, supporting, encouraging and accomplishing success for small and medium size enterprises in all sectors of country level, due to the vital part those small enterprises play in generating and finding new jobs and absorbing the wide segments of the community in many different fields while reducing unemployment rates and increasing the speed of economical growth and minimizing the dangers of relying on one commodity or one source of economy.


It is good to mention that India did not put these goals and mechanics to achieve them on paper only, but actually have started practical application and building ministries specified for that purpose, and where it even chose a very active female minister that enjoys a wide range of authority, we also witnessed with our own eyes the indication of success in applying these goals, embodied in the many small enterprises that were really created and supported and now doing its part and vital roll, for each year there is a 130 thousand individual and new small enterprises that creates more than 660 thousand new Jobs, and this sector is growing by 9% each year and increasing employment by almost 4% every year as well.


The Indian Government was able to succeed in creating many mechanics that help to achieve those goals, one of those mechanics is called (Clusters) and another called (Incubator), the mechanism of the Incubator is meant to embrace and take care of small enterprises until they become stronger and is able to do its part in providing jobs and support economical growth, one of the images of such embracement is forcing governmental sectors to buy an identified percentage of its consumption from those small enterprises, another image is by helping small enterprises to access loans and in many cases the government helps in providing guarantees for those loans.


As for the Clusters mechanism is providing specialized centers that serve different enterprises, such as centers that serve the health enterprises sector and hospital building and another to manufacture medicine as well as another to manufacture medical equipments, the same goes for many industrial and economical sectors.


The purpose from those centers is to provide all what is needed and required by a certain sectors to succeed and grow while supporting it with experience, and providing references as well as research and activating the roll of information and experience exchange between enterprises, we also have visited some of those centers, and although our day of visit was a weekend holiday, those centers were filled with young people busy at work like bees in a hive.


As for the second notice that was agreed amongst all businessmen in the visit, is that of the level of cleanness in ‘Hyderabad city’ where it is even cleaner and better than Jeddah streets itself, what we admired as well is the success of the city officials in changing the behavioral acts of the local society, razing up the level of awareness regardless of the economical status of the community and where this city won the prize of “Cleanest City in India” 3 times in a row, and what made us even more amazed is that nearly 45% of the city people are Muslims, and where we spoke to many successful Muslim businessmen.


This city is known for its technological advancement, and was the target of many global information technologies corporate to build research and study centers as well as production and manufacturing, and although population exceeds 6 million in this city, its exports in information technology exceeds 1 Billion dollars, bearing in mind that the size of exports of technology in all of India is over 8 Billion dollars a year, and India aims to make that number reach to 60 billion a year during the next 10 years (which resembles twice the income of Oil for Saudi Arabia annually) and where India’s income from exporting technology will be double the annual income of Saudi Arabia from Petrol.


As for the 3rd observation was the infrastructure of India and the self sufficiency in many sectors, an example of that is the ability for India to manufacture medicine where the number of registered manufacturers of medicine is 22 thousand factories.


On the 4th observation, comes the multiple variety and beauty of the Islamic civilization in different Indian cities, and the hardship toward work and perseverance of Muslim Indians there, where they exceed 120 million Muslims, to prove their existence under the shades of dialog and self proving with work and knowledge.


This was a quick look on some of the impressions agreed upon all businessmen from the chamber of commerce and industry in Jeddah as they visited India.


We are in the age of alliances, speed and competition between China, Japan, America, Europe, Malaysia and India, and the gap is increasing day by day between those powers and the other countries of the world scattered here and there, and those who we didn’t give any value or attention yesterday where we thought we’re better than them, are now ahead of us by 10’s of years, and every day the gap is increasing between us and them… When we will wake up from our lose of sight??