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Porter offers tips to create jobs in India

Enabling grassroot entrepreneurship could be the answer to India's efforts in creating more jobs

Sudipto Dey 

Michael Porter
Michael Porter

Enabling grassroot could be the answer to India’s efforts in creating more and improve competitiveness, says eminent management thinker and Harvard University professor Michael E Porter. 

Porter said technology and easy internet access was leading to democratisation of starting new businesses and creation of many bottoms-up activities. India should focus on creating at the grass-root level, he added.

On measures to create new jobs, his mantra was: “Make people believe that the best job is to work for your self — be self-employed.” He was addressing a group of business leaders and policymakers at National Competitiveness Forum here.  

Porter, who is visiting the country after 14 years, said as India becomes digitally connected, the idea of grassroot and job creation were game changers. “This also gives a sense to people that they can participate in the economy,” he added.

Porter, an authority on the principles of sustainable competitive advantage, stressed that the country, despite significant economic progress in the recent years, has an issue related to workforce participation.  “If people can’t participate in workforce, then system is not working for them.” The economist noted the journey to build a prosperous country is like a marathon. “It takes decades.”

Referring to his 30 years of research in this subject, the professor said in this journey to be a prosperous country on a sustainable basis, both business and society had to win. 

Porter said the only institution in a society that could create wealth is business. “Businesses can create wealth. Government can’t create wealth… We can’t antagonise business and create prosperity,” he said. Earlier in the day Porter had a one-hour meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Earlier in the day Porter had a one-hour meeting with the Prime Minister. In the evening, delivering Niti Aayog’s Transforming India lecture series, the eminent economist noted that initiatives like JAM (Jhandhan Aadhaar Mobile) in India are breaking new ground in economic policy and the process of development. 

Inputs from Sanjeeb Mukherjee