Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Why can't the next Seth Godin be from India?

About 4 or more years back, I chanced on a TED video that talked not about something American but about something generally human - it was a talk by an author who I would later come to admire - Seth Godin and the talk was on 'The tribes that we lead'. His book Lynchpin also came across has not a western world only book but something that would make sense across the world.

An underlying trend

As I read through his works and that of others, an underlying trend started to become apparent to me - business thinkers are increasingly becoming relevant to the world instead of just an industrialized west - this might partly be due to the increasingly integrated global economy and shared culture thanks to the social web phenomenon.

This newly realized trend got me thinking - if thinkers from the west can deliver to a global context, why can't thinkers from the east do that same? Even before the social web phenomenon hit the world, thinkers like Edward Deming found recognition not first in their home countries but in countries half-way across the world. So why can't it happen now?

A supportive eco-system

To do a Deming but to the other side of the world didnt seem too far fetched. Perhaps the key is, like Deming, to explore beyond geographical barriers and not be limited by closed notions in your home country. Perhaps the next Seth Godin, if from East, would not have consulted for the Fortune 500 at the their global head quarters, as most of the MNC HQs are in the West. But, perhaps he would have solved important problems for them in emerging markets using new paradigms that they wouldn't have thought of themselves.

I think a supportive eco-system is building up, at least in India, for such thinkers with the various MNCs trying to probe the markets here, with booming business education system and the maturing skills pools that are thinking beyond a regular 9-5 job. May be these new thinkers would first be introduced to the west through their online presence and later by their paid literature (i.e. books). Time will tell.