Dr R A Mashelkar gives the example of dabbawalas of Mumbai and what the CEO of GE says and makes it clear that our nation has great potentialities. The Intellectual Capital of India is superb. Let's further it by having Self Confidence which was the discovery Swami Vivekananda had while doing Bharat Chintan Parva on mid-sea Rock off Kanyakumari. During His Parivrajaka days, He observed that we lack in nothing. The only need is to have SELF-CONFIDENCE. And to give it to us, He went all along to Chicago and the history is known to us all.
Again, those with persistent self-doubts will say that all this is a dream. It is going to take time. What do we do with the submerged part of the iceberg that is not visible today. It is amazing to discover as to how that part of the human capital that resides in this submerged part is also so resilient, so valuable and so innovative. Let me give you a startling example.
What do global giants like General Electric and Motorola have in common with a humble tiffin delivery network comprising 3500 dabbawallas, who deliver 1.5 lakh lunch boxes to the citizens in Mumbai each day? The dabbawallas have the six sigma rating or an efficiency rating of 99.999999, which means one error in one million transactions. This rating has been given to them by Forbes Global, the noted American business weekly. Now, these are largely illiterate dabbawallas. Their secret lies in a coding system devised over the years. Each dabba is marked in an indelible ink with an alphanumeric code of about 10 characters. In terms of price and the reliability of delivery, say compared to a Federal Express System, the dabbawallas remain unbeatable. Their business models have become a class room study in some management institutes.
By giving this one example, all that I am trying to convey is that the innovative potential of the people does not plummet to zero, when the people are illiterate or semi-literate. They necessarily have to innovate to survive and to succeed. There is a plenty of cheer there too. We must be prepared to discover it and salute it.
What we really require is self-confidence. It is rather ironical that when we are losing faith in ourselves, the rest of the world is looking to us for inspiration. One hundred major companies from the USA, Europe and Japan have set up their research, design and development laboratories in India in the last five years. Intel's design of super chip to GE's design of aircraft engines gets done in India today. As Jack Welch, the legendary CEO of General Electric (GE) said during the inauguration of GE's 1000 Ph.D. R&D Centre in Bangalore 'India is a developing country but it is a developed country as far as its intellectual capital is concerned. We get the best intellectual capital here - thanks to the amazing quality of Indian mind'. It is amusing, at least to me, that the confidence in the supremacy of Indian minds that the others have, we do not seem to have ourselves.