Let’s Displace America

The last couple of days I have been watching the promotion efforts of the start-up housing.com and watching this video today got me thinking about my time in America.

What’s the connection you ask? The words ‘Out Think’ , ‘Out See’ and ‘Out Do’.

All regular readers of wealthymatters.com know that creating wealth is my passion and even 8 years ago, I was determined to get to know as much as I could get to know of the subject as soon as possible. And there is perhaps no other country that is more money-obsessed than the US. Moneyed men are welcome everywhere, but nowhere else in the world would a billionaire such as Warren Buffett enjoy such as rave following and have clubs dedicated to worshipping him and his methods. The closest parallels we could find in India are probably the fan clubs of cine-stars such as Amitabh Bachan or Rajnikanth.

I chose to study entrepreneurship in a class exclusively taught by multi-millionaire entrepreneurs, meant to create the next generation of multi-millionaire entrepreneurs and the course work was an eye-opener. Americans have ways of thinking on finance, debt, building businesses to sell, making it rich etc. that are truly a revelation to Indians. I believe, this grounding in the ways of VCs, hedge funds and American businesses has developed my BS-meter and kept me from falling for many rosy tales as they are told in India today. I understand how a few will make some money off such a deal for some time and most of the people with stars in their eyes will be bilked of their money.

America is also the world capital of consumerism. As the markets are so saturated, their marketers have to be next to none to successfully launch new products and keep old ones relevant. Certainly, we Indians can learn much from them,especially how they apply the insights from psychology to selling. However, its my observation that American consumers are a lot  less critical and sceptical than Indian consumers. So, selling in America is a lot easier and incidentally much more lucrative. So, exports anybody?

My time in America changed me forever. Observing Americans first hand and living amongst, I began to see that overtaking them is not impossible. If fact, doable, in 2 decades, i.e. in the course of my productive years.  My experience is that the current generation of Americans is not far sighted. Nor are they focused on long term financial well-being. They lack financial wisdom. Also, much of their infrastructure is aging. And they have not the means to replace them any time soon. Then too, Americans are hard-working, in that they will start early every day and do the regulation number of hours. In that sense, they are not “undisciplined” as Indians. However, we Indians can leap frog them infrastructure wise. We have not totally forgotten the frugal and long term focus of our previous generations. All the teachers in my entrepreneurship class would unanimously state that “Doing “is the most important part of entrepreneurship. And doing is important, for how else are businesses to be anything more than pipe dreams? But in our highly unsymmetrical 80/20 world, “Out See”and “Out Think” will get us further ahead than merely “Out Doing”. So by all means, lets learn all that we can learn from the Americans and weld it with our own financial wisdom and work in our own laid-back way to displace the Americans as the World’s Foremost Economic Power House. Onward India!



About Keerthika Singaravel

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