'Education and entrepreneurship ecosystem' with S. Mahalingam, Former CFO of TCS

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The bullish talk of Raghuram Rajan, the Chief Economic Advisor of the Finance Ministry, Government of India, is just over, and he is rushing to the airport leaving a whole of bunch of reporters disappointed that there is no spicy headline-able quote about the falling rupee – apart from the point Rajan mentioned in answer to an audience query, that the solution will not come overnight.

Luckily, for me, in the dispersing audience is S. Mahalingam, Former Executive Director and CFO of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, and Board Member of CMC Ltd, National Skill Development Corporation, and Tata Realty & Infrastructure Ltd, and I manage to get a sound-byte from him on the vibrancy of entrepreneurship.

We are doing well, he says. Entrepreneurship is developing, for example in IT, adds Mahalingam. “I see a phenomenal growth. The ecosystem develops not because the government does something, but because of education. That is laying the ground.”

I manage to bring up the oft-flogged ‘value chain’ debate, and he retorts. “People say that what we are doing in IT is not up the value chain. If it is not at that level, why are more people getting into this?” Margins are extremely good, and the conceptions that people have are wrong, observes Mahalingam.

On that, however, you may have a different view. Feel free to add that as your comment to this story!

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