There is a palpable sense of excitement in the Indian bazaar. From Pathankot to Burdwan and Bikaner to Tellicherry young people everywhere are galvanized and are flocking into the new computer schools of NIIT, Aptech and others. These are the hip places to hang around these days.
It is even more thrilling than the last time around, almost ten years ago, when the STD/PCO both first arrived in the towns and village across India. And now, if this government has its way, the bazaar will soon experience a third information revolution when internet kiosks begin to offer the World Wide Web at local call rates. All of us remember the wonderful things that happened when STD first arrived in our bazaar. Mothers could suddenly speak to their sons working across India and the world. Apple farmers in Himachal began to make harvesting decisions based on a quick call to the wholesale markets in Delhi and Bombay. One could consult a doctor in America form a village in Punjab. We suddenly experienced the empowering nature of communication. We could make things happen on our own, without depending on the government.
The second revolution was even more significant. In the mid-eighties a few entrepreneurs saw what the government did not: that the world was changing and no one would be employable without computer skills; that the market has a huge and growing appetite for IT professionals; that our schools and colleges were still creating an army of unemployable. NIIT and Aptech stepped into this vacuum, and began to offer computer lesions in a few cities. They were immediately successful, but they could not cope with the demand. Smaller companies entered the market, but they could not deliver the quality. Since NIIT and Aptech did not have the capital or the human resources to expand across the country, they hit upon eh idea of franchising their schools (like McDonalds and Titan watches.) They looked for and products. So their only choice is to offer superior service. Every Indian company with global ambitious should learn from our bazaar and adopt a superior service strategy. The beauty is that it is practically free compared to the other two strategies. But it needs every employee to acquire the mindset of the Indian bazaar.