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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Go West ? - Go East Man

I met Rajesh while he was in Singapore to attend the Communic Asia 2005 event. Rajesh writes that he preferred travelling to Singapore over travelling to the US and explains the rationale behind the decision:
The very thought of going through all the security checks and opening bags at every airport is a dampener to visit the US Other factors include :
- Blogs providing the intellectual connect about happenings in the US.

- During receent visits to the US - there seems to be a "holding pattern" - waiting and watching
. Each week seemed to be a "cut-and-paste" of the previous week. The zeal for entrepreneurship, for taking risks seemed to have diminished with a lingering uncertainty of the future.
- Third, and perhaps most important, the last couple of years have seen rapid growth in India. 2004 saw India at the centre of attention due to the outsourcing phenomenon catching the eye of the US politicians. Malls are sprouting all over. New residential and office construction of ever improving quality abounds. There are signs of improvements - albeit small ones - everywhere. Be it the airports where we admittedly started off from a very low level or the roads in Mumbai being widened or the connectivity options available or the exploding TV channels - it almost feels that if you blink you will lose out on something new that just happened.
- Finally, in the areas of my interests - broadband, mobility, tomorrow's world - I found that the real action was happening not in the US, but in Asia. Japan, South Korea, China were the models to reflect on and emulate. Especially in mobility, the new innovations were coming from the East, rather than the West. The Control was Shifting. So it was that when I wanted to understand the state-of-the-art in communications, I chose CommunicAsia in Singapore rather than SuperComm in Chicago.
My Take: Rajesh is very perceptive and mostly right - no doubt that Asia is changing quite substantially - from airports to medical technology to digital advancements - but to me Asia still lacks the depth, stability and associated maturity in market advancements.I had been in both the west and the east for a long time and have an initimate understanding & a certain feel of the market, doing what I am - Asia is attractive for the insiders - it conveys a sense of humongous growth - somebody told me on a recent visit to Dallas suburbs - he found it identical to what it looked like two decades back - while Asia is seeing tremendous appetite for growth and the upside is very high. But are there comparable opportunities for outsiders in the enterprise/IT/Communication space - I do not see it. Fragmentation, Slow decision making, lack of long term vision, lack of an edge in global mindset etc.. come in the way. Pl. see my related post Where's The Asian Equivalent Of Vonage?. I shall share my thoughts over the weekend - am travelling a lot this week - tommorrow am in Seoul - one of the most happening cities in Asia.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"