A Junto Strategy Project
Well, I am coming down the homestretch on these posts from my Pepperdine trip to India. After this one, I believe I have one remaining post that I am working on. For today’s post, I wanted to share a few reflections from our couple of days in Dehli.
An Electricians Nightmare or Golden Opportunity.
Take a close look at this photo. Amazing right! I still can’t believe they are getting power through all of that line. Odds are they aren’t all the time. This picture to me represents another one of those themes of the India trip: nightmare or opportunity. My first look at this was through the eyes of my work one summer as an electrician. This is a disaster waiting to happen. But from another point of view this “mess” represents not only an opportunity, but shows a level of creativity as well. The opportunity lies in the future development of power infrastructure and what could be saved, what consistency could be reached and how lives could be positively impacted when India begins to fully catch up with things like it’s power grid. If we think they are an economic contender now, just wait. In the meantime, we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed that places like Dehli, Mumbai, et al don’t experience a major natural disaster, because far more will die than would be necessary if the infrastructure things like power lines were where they should be.
Organized Chaos & Government Control
Watching the India open markets was just a powerful reminder of how ineffective large government really is. You cannot “manage” the economy of billions of people. You can provide frameworks, but the ingenuity of individuals to create beneficial trade relationships will always find a way around unnecessary and overburdensome regulations. The sad unintended consequence of that getting around the heavy hand of government usually means that things like the environment and human life become secondary. One of the best visuals in my mind about the balance of appropriate government regulation and power is like trying to hold water in your hand. If your fingers are to open, you can’t hold much water. By the same token, if you hold a clenched fist you are unable to hold water. The trick is to find that middle ground where the hand is in the perfect cup shape (some government, but not too much) so that we can finding that optimal balance to hold the most we can.
When Life is Cheap
During our visit to Dehli, we had a meeting with some HP employees and leaders. I won’t share all that they presented to us. But during the Q&A session, we asked them about what they thought were some of the biggest challenges to progress in India. One of those responses hit a nerve with me. One executive candidly resounded that with a large population, sometimes life becomes cheap. This shows up in a few different ways. For example, the traffic situation where you cut in front of someone else to get there 10 seconds faster (and that’s actually debatable). Another one is that quality can be compromised, which might endanger someone. But if someone goes down, there are so many to fill in that spot it can be easy to make life cheap.