Monday, December 10, 2007

Suhas Gopinath and the Missing Indian Entrepreneur

Suhas Gopinath from India earned fame as a young entrepreneur founding Globals Inc. in California in 2000 at the age of 14. Today, at 21, he continues to lead the forward growth of his company. Suhas is celebrated by the media as the youngest entrepreneur and for success of Globals. He deserves his laurels.

But to me Suhas represents something more and something different. Suhas was born in a middle-class or upper middle-class family that accorded pride of place to formal academic attainments. Son of a defense scientist, Suhas got the education and training considered appropriate to the social environment of his family and the times. What signifies this environment is the high-value accorded to university degrees and employment in government or corporate. Entrepreneurship is treated with ridicule as reserved for those who either fail to make the grades or find a plush corporate job.

To become an entrepreneur in a culture that is markedly anti-entrepreneurial demands defiance, drive and daring. Suhas Gopinath has them and .his ideas on entrepreneurship are revealed in a recent interview. He admits that even today our youth have little freedom in career decision making which is heavily influenced by parents and social trends. Our youth, he laments, turn in to job seekers and never job creators. The stigma of financial gambling attached to entrepreneurship by an older generation still prevails and what is more surprising, Indian youth, otherwise proud to flaunt western influence in their music or dress or food shy away when it comes to inculcating an entrepreneurial attitude. They are happy to remain job seekers and never job creators.

India, a country of a billion people, needs many more entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are the risk-takers, who innovate, who experiment with new processes, new products and new methods and make them work. In the modern capitalist world to which we belong, it is the entrepreneur who is the harbinger of change, much more than the wage-earner, the financier or the bureaucrat.

Suhas Gopinath – May his tribe incease!

2 comments:

Anrosh said...

Well said. Only in my latter years did this wisdom kick in..

Kristin said...

You write very well.