India vs. China


Who will be the next great economic superpower – India or China?  This is a topic of open and frequent debate in India. 

Indians summarize the major advantages that the Chinese have over them as (at least) threefold:  a controlled, orderly society; greater investments in infrastructure; and a large surplus of cash.

Indians, on the other hand, have a considerable language advantage (many more Indian people speak much better English than do Chinese people, a big advantage in a business world where English is typically the common language).  In addition, India has a much more under-employed economy, whereas labor shortages are already emerging in China

And then there is the issue of China’s much more controlled economy vs. India’s wildly chaotic economy.   (Indeed, some Indians openly yearn for a bit more Chinese-like control and planning in their economy.)

In the end, I think this last factor is the key that will determine which of the two economies will win the race to superpower status.   Will India achieve greater growth through chaos than China does through control? 

Still a lot of unknowns, but based on what I’ve experienced during my visit here, I’m placing my bet on India.

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