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Manufacturing key to India's development: Indian-American

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Asserting that Indian capitalism is unique, an Indian-American entrepreneur has argued in his new book that needs to focus on manufacturing to bring in prosperity for its people.

"Manufacturing is an absolute must. Manufacturing at a very high level at very high quality is a total must. To really drive forward, you need very easy ways of having export oriented manufacturing industries," author Bhu Srinivasan, told PTI in an interview.

As moves ahead on its accelerated path of development, Srinivasan argues that the country needs to "leap frog" some of the conceived western lifestyles like automobile-centric society.

Srinivasan's book "Americana: A 400 Year History of American Capitalism" boldly takes on four centuries of American enterprise, revealing the unexpected connections that link them.

Asked to draw a parallel, the Jamshedpur-born Indian American author said, "Indian capitalism is unique".

Unlike the United States, not only because of the diversity it has but also entrepreneurs are there in every village in India.

In his book, that hit the stores on September 26, Srinivasan looks at the drivers of economic development throughout American history tobacco, cotton, steamboats, railroads, the telegraph, automobiles and computing and how they shaped and reshaped life in the home, in the factory, in stores, in the office. For India to move fast and forward, Srinivasan argues that focus has to be on manufacturing.

"It has to do what China did 20 years ago, 25-years ago. And if it did that it would have both the IT sector and the manufacturing base similar to China.

And I think that would be very significant," he said.

This would be very significant for another reason as Indians speak English, he said giving India an advantage over countries like China.

"So, in many ways India can be far more a global country. It is democratic. It should be the ideal standard for many of the developing countries.

Stating that capitalism and democracy are the two unique features of the United States, Srinivasan argued that it is capitalism which attracts people across the globe to the US.

"Obviously, somebody coming from India to America is not coming here for liberty and freedom. We're coming here for prosperity. When you come here, that prosperity doesn't come from democracy. That prosperity comes from capitalism," he said.

However, he noted that America should not be looked purely from the free market point of view because there are so many institutions that are not free market at all.

"And that's what I really want to explore that what are the institutions that shaped American capitalism and how did democracy and capitalism combine for what America is today," he said.

With China headed to be the world's largest economy in the world in 5-10 years from now, Srinivasan said the direction of American capitalism on "how free it is, is very much in question" given that Trump's core constituency are pushing for protectionist measures and tariff on imported goods from countries like China.

Capitalism, he argues is "certainly" going to grow. "It would be the central driver in India. It would be the central driver in China," he added.

"Even more so than America, India is going to embrace (capitalism). It is going to have even more market oriented reforms so that the standard of living continues to rise so dramatically," Srinivasan said.

India, he said, is going to keep looking at China what it is doing in terms of being able to have very strong central government and still have free market at the same time. Having communism and billionaires at the same time, he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, October 08 2017. 08:28 IST