‘Access to education crucial to economic growth’

27 Sep

A key figure in US president Barack Obama’s IT think tank, Kenneth Coleman stressed on better access to education, infrastructure and legal system to fuel economic growth in a country.

Coleman was speaking during a presentation on ‘Current economic situation is the US and implications for IT industry’. He interacted with students and entrepreneurs at the event organised by city-based Saama Technologies India at the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) on September 23.

Talking about the important issues in India, Coleman said, “Access to education, infrastructure and distribution channels are very big issues in India. Another real issue is the country’s legal system, which is very slow and the government is aware of the problem.”

In search of a holy grail of success, Coleman said, “It is better to understand that today data storage is unlimited, communication is free and access to information is instantaneous. Your careers have to adapt to these changes.”

Coleman seemed comfortable in interacting with the audience.
“In computer business there will always be a struggle to overcome uncertainty, as it is an industry wherein change is the only constant. Size of the business cannot guarantee success in this field and companies must learn to adapt to the changes quickly,” he said.

When asked about India’s outsourcing companies, that many fear might weaken the American economy, he said, “The fear among Americans about outsourcing is due to the rising unemployment rate in the country. There is not enough technical talent in the US and companies have to go to other places. Our emphasis for outsourcing is now to get value and not chasing cost.”

Highlighting the fact that the downgrade of the US economy is more political than real, Coleman said, “Innovation has been and is still leading the US economy. The tendency of the US economy to recreate and adapt is difficult to duplicate.”

Right now, Coleman said, the biggest concern for the US is what impact will Europe have on the global and the US economy?

“Venture capitalists in the US are more willing to wait for companies that have potential to become the next Google or Facebook. IT companies are still leading the race and have proved to be recession-proof,” he said.

He cited the example of social networking site LinkedIn that has become a one-stop destination for networking and hiring in the US.

He said that there are many such brands in the pipeline to be launched in future.

When asked why China is the number one trading partner of the US, while India ranks 15th, Coleman said, “The US prefers trade relations with China because the Chinese market is too big to be ignored. It is like an elephant in a room. We are all going to be affected by what China does. You cannot ignore their market.”

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