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Brain drain- Satya Nadella & Sundar Pichai

Recently, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadela and Google chief Sundar Pichai were awarded Padma Bhushan, which is India’s third highest civilian award. While I can’t stop complementing what they have achieved in their professional lives, I wonder if they really need the award.

Both these bright minds achieved everything that they achieved in US. US gave them the opportunity that they deserved and an environment where they could showcase their talent and rise up the ranks. What India did was to give them birth and education. Giving award to them seems akin to the situation when your relatives suddenly become your best buddies and act unimaginably good to you once you become successful. It’s like clinging on to a success that was never yours and claiming to be a part or driver of it. India doesn’t own them by giving them an award.

Of course, I am talking about the loss that we have incurred by not having these two individuals in India, working for Indian companies headquarterd in India. And I know that India is not America. India didn’t have the environment when these two went off to US, and it still doesn’t have that. So, it is understandable that we not only make peace with the fact that an Indian origin individual succeeds outside, we also celebrate it.

What troubles me?

What troubles me is not the problem of brain drain. It is too big a problem for us to solve and I know we have been making some gradual progress. I don’t want to lament about whether the progress has been up to the mark. What troubles me is the lack of understanding of few basic principles. In my conversation with my colleagues, I often hear that America is full of dumb people and that it needs Indians to work on technical skills, which is what explains the elevation of Indians to top posts in global IT companies. According to them, just being born in a country gives you some magic trait that sets you apart from others, and that every country which recognizes the talent and creates a platform where that talent can flourish is simply taking advantage of that talent. Have you ever heard a more chauvinistic and outrageous comment than that?

They fail to understand that providing a platform and opportunity to everyone without any bias is something that we can learn from US and its companies. Indians have benefitted from this culture of global acceptance. I wonder if a foreign individual could ever become a CEO of a multinational Indian company, without Indians being up in arms about it. Yes, face it. It takes courage to give equal opportunity to everyone without preference.

For those, who can’t stop harping about how Indians have contributed to global IT success, let me tell you bluntly that what we at best do is provide ancillary services. Every major innovation is driven from outside India. Google, Facebook, or any other global conglomerate that you can think of is not Indian. In a nutshell, we are consumers and not creators. So, what we should ideally do is thank a global work culture that provides opportunity to every individual to work with transparency and hope that he/she can achieve success.

Role of India

India with its huge workforce can contribute significantly to IT industry. We can also be one of the key drivers of technological innovation because of our immense consumer base. It is fair to say that technological innovations would revolve around solving our problems. India can take a big share of the pie and for that to happen, we need product development firms in India and not just the service driven models that we currently provide. We need to learn from the innovations happening across the globe and try to build similar innovations within our country for local purposes. And most importantly, we must respect a global work culture and embrace it, as we have all benefited from it.

Virat Kohli and Ganguly Saga

Indian cricket seems to have got some issues. The latest episode between Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly has unnerved not only the team but has also sent chills to the cricket fans in India. In a rather surprising call, BCCI decided to sack Virat Kohli from the ODI captaincy. It was evident that Kohli wanted to continue as the ODI skipper but was not considered a right fit any longer by the BCCI. Later, Ganguly clarified that the decision to remove Kohli was to minimize the excessive leadership in white ball game. According to him, India would do good with one white ball and one red ball skipper. Some people did buy this reasoning; however, the reality is that the most successful white ball captain in Indian cricket has been removed because he hasn’t been able to win an ICC trophy.

Is Kohli sacking justified?

Kohli’s batting credentials are beyond question. However, there were murmurs that his leadership skills were not really appreciated by the group. Kohli is not a people man, and has never been a people man. He has been a warrior right from the day he made his debut. He wore his aggression on his sleeve and didn’t mind expressing himself on the field. He was and still is the angry young man of Indian cricket. A man who doesn’t know anything but perfection and chases it unabashedly. Behavioral correctness is something that didn’t feature in his manuscript of cricket or even life. He chased success like a true maverick at the cost of becoming the most disliked cricketer; and went beyond success. The world embodied this fierce attitude and celebrated it.

What is the problem now?

Is it the lack of ICC trophy or the increasing unacceptance of the erstwhile cherished attitude? The records suggest that Kohli is still the most successful ODI captain when you look at the numbers. And with the upcoming world cup to be scheduled in India, there is every chance that India would win it regardless of the leader. There were also few cricketers who were unhappy with the way they were treated or removed from the team. Kohli’s leadership credentials were questioned.

Is Rohit Sharma a good replacement?

Rohit, as a person is opposite of Kohli. Everything that Kohli embodies, Rohit disembodies. These two cricketers have polarized the Indian fraternity, from fans to BCCI. Kohli’s aggression versus Rohit’s calmness. Kohli’s belligerence versus Rohit’s friendliness. There had always been two choices with Indian cricket fans. Initially, BCCI and everyone in Indian cricket very rightly felt that Kohli would be a great leader. Kohli’s aggression and success fueled him to the post of captaincy. In a parallel one-day universe, Rohit became a great ODI batsman and a successful vice-captain. These two figures who were poles-apart worked sturdily to take Indian cricket to greater heights.

Why change in leadership?

As happens with everything, people tend to change sides, and switch beliefs and preferences. And when the other option looks equally good, they can go with it. Rohit’s anointment as ODI skipper is nothing more than a change in BCCI’s attitude and thinking as to what is right for the Indian Cricket. The reason for this change in attitude is however unknown. More than saying anything about Kohil’s leadership, which had always been a particular type (and successful), the decision to make Rohit Sharma skipper says more about the template of the Indian captain. BCCI has redefined how Indian captain should be like, and in that template Kohli probably doesn’t fit.

What Kohli should do?

Kohli is someone who has always stood out fearlessly. As a leader or not, he embodies an attitude that is responsible for making him who he is. He should continue to do what he does best. Play cricket in a manner that nobody has ever played. And am sure, he would do just that.

Also, see https://writesblog.in/2022/01/11/why-loners-are-the-best-people/

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About Myself

A writer who is interested in the magic of good conversations. I know the power of good conversations and the change that they can affect. I intend to talk about things that concern us, make us happy, make us think, make us want to connect, make us want to disconnect, and many more. Lets explore the concept of good and truthful conversations once again. Lets at least try.