Reimagining India Essay Project

Reimagining India essay contest


For Reimagining India, McKinsey invited leading thinkers from around the world to explore the challenges and opportunities faced by one of the most important and least understood nations on earth. We invited readers to submit an essay of up to 1,000 words in response to one of the three questions and excerpted quotes. The winning entries are below. Winners will also receive a copy of Reimagining India.

Questions and winning essays

1. What is the best metric for measuring India’s progress?

“If we continue to judge India’s progress by China’s, using metrics like FDI and GDP growth, or statistics like the kilometers of highway and millions of apartments built, we will continue to be branded a laggard. India’s messy coalition governments are not suddenly about to become as efficient and decisive as China’s technocrat-led Politburo. Nor should that be the goal.”

—Anand Mahindra, “Towards a Uniquely Indian Growth Model”

What is the best metric for measuring India’s progress?” (PDF–56.1 KB), Response by Dr Richard Oliver – Denver, USA


2. What are the biggest challenges facing Indian companies as they seek success in the global marketplace?

“To globalize for the sake of globalizing—as a matter of ego—is perilous. Expanding internationally is hard, risky work. Globalization is not just about putting up a plant. It’s not about making an acquisition. It’s much, much more.”

—Kumar Mangalam Birla, “Butter Chicken at Birla”

What are the biggest challenges facing Indian companies as they seek success in the global marketplace?” (PDF–40 KB), Response by Pritam Banerjee – Gurgaon, India


3. How can “innovation capitalism” drive India’s technological and economic development?

“If the environment is changing rapidly, then you want to bias your system toward change, flexibility, and adaptability. You want to foster what I call “innovation capitalism” versus “incumbency capitalism.” Incumbency capitalism relies on generous depreciation rules that favor big established players, those who have the most capital and can pay for $400 million plants. Innovation capitalism offers generous R&D tax credits that favor start-ups, people with ideas, who are willing to experiment and create.”

—Vinod Khosla, “How to Win at Leapfrog”

How can “innovation capitalism” drive India’s technological and economic development?” (PDF–33.6 KB), Response by Rajkamal Rao – Bangalore, India

About the book

reimagining india

An all-star cast of contributors consider Asia’s “other superpower”

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