For a man who helped young Indian engineers launch hundreds of IT start-ups at Silicon Valley in the US, kanwal Rekhi comes across as a surprisingly simple person, the successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist, who has lived in the US for 40 years, does not act important. He neither wears a tie nor has a hard to understand American accent, importantly, he has unbelievably high optimism and enthusiasm for a 65-year-old we will beat china. And that won’t take long, he said in an interview to The times of India. China lacks the fundamental belief in entrepreneurship Indian, with all its political uncertainties and bureaucratic hurdles, does believe in her entrepreneurs and supports them. In china the government decides everything. It is all top to bottom. It looks fine now, but such a model of growth will not be sustainable in the long run. However the most interesting thing about India is its people. Young and energetic people with firm in their belly will lead the way here. It is bottoms-up.
He said he rubbishes fears that US president Barak Obama’s anti-outsourcing stand will hurt the Indian economy. If US companies were to stop outsourcing then Americans will be very poor. They will not be able to afford anything cars, electronic gadgets or TVs. All these things are cheap in the US now as they are made in low-wage countries like India and china, he said.
Indian Economy Shines
According to Rekhi, India has enormous talent and entrepreneurship. We need more systematic business opportunities, venture capital funding and innovative revenue models. By this we will surely reach the top he said.
How can the government help the growth of entrepreneurship? He asked and suggested an answer too. By staying away, he chuckles. According to him the fastest growth will be in IT and related sectors through all other sectors will keep growing. The automobile, mining and infrastructure are catching up he said.
The technology economy grown 500 times from 1991. It can’t get faster in future. But it can evolve and mature, he said.
Tier-2 Cities Have Potential
Rekhi is focusing on tier-2. I go around inspiring people. I have visited Hubli, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kanpur and other tier-2 cities. They have a lot of potential to grow, he said. Rekhi is surprised by the amount of entrepreneurs coming in from such cities. I feel happy and proud, says the IIT alumni who left for the US in 1970.
In Hubli, he spoke to young entrepreneurs and business school faculty at the Deshpande Foundation. The interaction was organized by the IndUS Entrepreneurs a network of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, that Rekhi helped found.