by April 15, 1998 0 comments

The Gartner Group says that this year the total volume of
business transacted over the Net will be more than 77 billion. One is not even quite sure
about the methodology that they have used to arrive at that figure. One probably does not
need to know, as that may cause a variation of about 10 percent. By any standards, the
volume of business is huge, so huge that a whole new segment will spring up to service
this need. New Microsofts will arise (however, not if this Microsoft can help it!), new
power equations will be struck, and the world will get a spanking new mall.

The world, except India of course. For, we are still trying
to figure out whose writ will run over the Internet, whose say will be final, and of
course, creative minds will be working overtime to encode new laws which will be designed
to create more obstructions in the way of the entrepreneur. Meanwhile, a saffron tinged
government will be debating the extent of loss of sovereignty that the email will cause
and saber rattle about its intentions, real or not. Indian entrepreneur will be trying to
figure out how to beat his biggest competition, the Indian System and Politics.

The world will be chugging along, mind you, for, there are
few who will stop and wait for what is grandiosely referred to as ”the world”s largest
market”. So they will tap the world”s second largest market, or the third or the
fourth….The Bright Indian Mind will again get frustrated and once again the Brain Drain
will start.

Of course, all this may not happen. Perhaps, we are just
Cassandras out to spoil a really good party. Possibly, great revolutions are going to take
place in the near future, and which may foist India into the center-stage of global
realpolitik. May be, they are just keeping all this a secret from you and me.

Call me an incurable romantic, I, somehow, am not able to
see the tunnel between the light and me.

L Subramanyan

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