Friday, August 12, 2005

The Chinese Administrative Dragon


I just got back from a trip to Shanghai - China's business hub. My first impression - shock. The next one - awe.

Many persons have cited that the scale of development that has happened in China is unbelievable - it can only be seen. And thats absolutely true.

There are skyscrapers everywhere - 6 tier flyovers - efficient city administration etc. For example: the ride from the airport to the city took us around 1.5 hours and its around 60 KM - there were literally no red lights - the drive was absolutely smooth - and it was an 8 lane superhighway.

A typhoon hit Shanghai while I was there - the met department issued a warning 2 days in advance that this is going to hit and geared up the city administration. Literally the system works like a well oiled machine - even though there were torrential rains and high speed winds - everything was normal. Even though streets were flooded during the rains - by the morning it was completely clear - and without any resultant potholes. Although trees were uprooted, they were cleared within hours.

Now compare this to the Indian reality - torrential rains in Mumbai - resultant flood. No city administration to speak of - dead carcuses lying around - shit all over the place. Delhi is worse - one rain (not even heavy) puts the entire system into a mess - not to mention potholes and endless traffic jams.

If it weren't for the dominance of English as a business language, this era would be termed as of the Chinese!!! We have a huge amount to learn from them.

I think we need to send loads of our IAS officers to the country for training - both military and administrative - to set things right!!!!

The Chinese also excel in their business - especially manufacturing - to give you an example - an extremely good replica of a Mont Blanc is sold at Rs. 40. I can't imagine what would be the manufacturing price of this and top up all the margins etc. This is an entire different story and an entire different article

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