Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Optimism & Jugaad

A newly released pole quantifies the optimism I mentioned in my earlier post on India. The Mint has a basic recap here. For a full copy of the survey conducted by London's Legatum Group, look here.

The Mint piece mentions jugaad, which is a Hindi word meaning basically "a quick and dirty fix." It's analogous to our "Yankee ingenuity" or the "can-do spirit" but implies a bit more in the way of obstacles.

I heard about jugaad from a number of people while I was in India. Its implication can vary widely. Some people use it positively, like Yankee Ingenuity. It can also be sardonic as hell.

Hopefully, the optimists win out. The Legatum survey suggests that entrepreneurs are nearly unanimous in wanting a more responsive and less corrupt government. As this constituency becomes more powerful, that may well come to pass.

Also, IBM is extending its start-up partnership program to India. That should give India start-ups some necessary infrastructural support and access to clients they currently lack.