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Indian, Chinese entrepreneurs eating our lunch

December 29, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s not about whose education system is better, but basically who wants it more, “it” being the desire and capacity to spur innovations in technology which in turn help our economy:

India and China now graduate three to six times more engineers than does the United States. The quality of these engineers is, however, so poor that most are not fit to join the workforce; their system of rote learning handicaps those who do get jobs, so that it takes two to three years for them to achieve the same productivity as American graduates. As a result, significant proportions of China’s engineering graduates end up working on factory floors; Indian industry has to spend large sums of money on retraining its employees[...]

Despite this, India has built a $73 billion-per-year information technology service business and has been offering IT services of steadily increasing sophistication. Its engineering R&D industry is now a $10 billion business — a three-fold increase in four years. It develops sophisticated products for Western firms in the aerospace and automotive industries, and in telecommunications, semiconductors, consumer electronics, and medical devices. And most significantly, there are thousands of new startups that are building web technologies, clean-tech products like low-power lighting, and mobile applications.

China has built world-class universities and state-of-the-art research facilities.  [...]  The big change that has occurred in China, however, is the emergence of technology startups: thousands of them, just as in India.
The first generations of Indian startups focused on selling IT services, and the Chinese developed copycat web technologies such as Baidu, China’s Google rival, and Sina, its Twitter clone. But they are going beyond that now. They are gaining the knowledge — and developing the confidence — to create innovative products, not only for domestic markets, but also for global ones.

 

This is not to say that entrepreneurship is dead in the United States, but rather falling behind economic powers like China and India, which is definitely not a good thing.

[Hat Tip: Techmeme]

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