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Think India: The Rise of the World's Next Great Power and What It Means for Every American [Paperback]

Vinay Rai , William Simon

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An account of India's transformation into one of the world's foremost economic powers documents such factors as the region's development by Fortune 500 companies and its partnership with the U.S. military. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Way Too Much Extrapolation! 4 Sep 2007
By Loyd E. Eskildson - Published on
Rai takes a straight line connecting the latest two economic points and extrapolates it to questionable extremes. Clearly India is on a rapid growth path to become a substantial economic power. However, prior to becoming the world's #3 economic power within 15 years and outpacing the U.S. by 2050 (Rai's predictions), it will have to deal with several key issues - none of which were addressed by the book:

1)Woefully inadequate infrastructure - electricity, roads, water, etc. Recently an American auto parts executive visited India and reportedly concluded by asking his hosts to "get back to him when they had decent roads."

2)Multiple languages - most of India speaks English; however, there are also a large number of areas that speak only one of a number of local dialects.

3)Oppressive bureaucracy and corruption - considerable progress has been made in opening India's economy to internal competition; however, it is quite difficult to start a new business and the largest companies are still hampered by restrictions meant to protect smaller firms. Another problem is the large number of political parties in India makes it difficult to obtain further progress (China's autocratic government makes decision-making much easier.)

4)Potential for religious conflict - India has a large Muslim component; much of the time relationships with other religions have been quiet, but not always, and there is always the chance that the situation will deteriorate.

Bottom Line: "Think India" offers no useful information; readers would be better served reading "The Elephant and the Dragon," and "In Spite of the Gods."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Think India 29 July 2008
By Sergejs Boginskis - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read this book just before my visit to India, book is completely different from what I saw in India.

Few interesting points are covered in the book, that are inventing us to history of the modern India. Politic history of India, stories about rich Indians, story about different regions, the fields where India is developed a lot for the recent years.
However book is far from daily Indian people life, it covers India globally, but omit information about common indian people.

I had a little experience with topics covered in the books, such as politic history of India, rich Indian men stories, but I met a lot of Indian people, which stories were far from optimistic points in the book.
They don't speak English so well, huge poverty on the streets...

Worth to read to get general imagination about India, but a bit far from usual Indian lives, who are living in shelters and earning 2$ in month.
1.0 out of 5 stars Too much suppostion! 16 Jun 2014
By BD - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The author writes about the problems India is having with out quantifying or substantiating any of his information. Give us solutions not opinions. We have had way too much suppositions! Time for action.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshing Experience 23 Sep 2007
By Sarah Bay - Published on
What a refreshing experience to discover a book about a country or region that wasn't written by some professor sitting in a campus office thousands of miles from the scene but by a successful entrepreneur and businessman who actually knows what's really going on. (And who was, he says, once the #5 richest man in India!)

This book "tells it like it is." It pulls no punches, giving a frank and candid analysis of the problems the country faces. But it also paints a remarkable picture of the economic and social gains that are making this country America's strongest ally in that part of the world.

This is a book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in new markets for his/her company, or finding ways of cutting costs by turning to India for research, design, or other highly skilled challenges. And for anyone who wants an understanding of what makes the world's largest democracy such an important partner of the U.S.

Best of all, the book is a joy to read.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating look at the history, present situation, and ambitions of India 1 Mar 2009
By Andrew Everett - Published on
The author is clearly a cheerleader for his native country, so in that sense, the book is biased, but informative and interesting nonetheless.

India has a rich history. "In the early eighteenth century... India, rich in resources and at peace with the world, accounted for an incredible twenty-five percent, more or less, of global trade; by the time the British boarded their ships in 1947, India accounted for no more than one percent of global trade."

The author puts the relationship with the U.S. in context. Since Indian independence, the U.S. had strategic interests with India's adversaries, and thus the Soviet Union ended up being India's primary trading partner. More recently, India is emerging as global player, counterbalancing the strength of China in the region.

The author is very bullish on India's future, but points out the challenges as well, including massive poverty. The book also covers the general acceptance of bribery as necessary to get things done, particularly with civil servants who don't earn enough to live on.

I've heard of the caste system, but didn't know much about it. This book gives the topic two and a half pages. It explains about the oppressed class of Dalits, and that the caste system continues even though it has been illegal since 1950. But I'm left not really understanding what the caste system is. I would have preferred more on this topic, as it seems important to understanding Indian culture.

The book is written by Vinay Rai, who mentions that in 1999 he was ranked by Forbes as one of the five richest people in India, and among 200 wealthiest people in the world. He is not listed on the current Forbes Wealthiest list (I checked). The Afterword offers some insight in this regard, and raises questions about the business environment in India.

In the Afterword the author explains how his political dissent was punished. "My actions stirred up some powerful forces within and outside the government and resulted in my being slapped with tax and revenue inquiries, and official harassment, leading to the government filing charges against me." Of course there are two sides to the story, but I think this raises questions about the political risks of doing business in India.
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