India is growing at 8% a year, rivalling China's rate, and it is beginning to attract a huge amount of high tech investment. With great schools graduating first rate engineers, an increasing amount of innovation is being generated in India and US, British, Continental, Japanese and Korean companies are pouring in to tap it. Global auto companies are piling in to do innovative engineering. Design in India is beginning to take off as well, as American companies discover the inexpensive but high-grade work consultancies such as Elephant Design and others.
The government is bolstering the National Institute of Design and is investing in making India a global design center. Niti Bhan is my guide to design in India. Her analysis, China is to India, as Wal-Mart is to Target, is brilliant. Here is a bit of her thoughtfulness on the subject: "In the international economy, China is a commodity player. India's promise lies in its control of cultural particulars. And by this I mean, India understands and participates in the culture of the First World West in ways China does not.
As long as the world wants its merchants to "pile ’em high and sell ’em cheap,” China will flourish as Wal-Mart does. But as Virginia Postrel’s vision of the marketplace comes to pass, and all consumer goods begin to add value and win share by embracing design intelligence, India will flourish as Target has."
I can't wait to see how this plays out.