The Silk Road Rediscovered: How Indian and Chinese Companies are Becoming Globally Stronger by Winning in Each Other’s Markets
by Anil Kumar Gupta, Girja Pande, and Haiyang Wang
Published in April 2014
Thibault’s Score: 3/5
This book isn’t about One Belt One Road directly, its about China and Indian’s geo-economic relations with each other. The central thesis of the book is that, despite what appears to be tension on the surface, China and India have great relations, and the two countries are becoming ever more inter-twined with each other.
The authors begin with an analysis of China and India’s shared history. They conclude that, despite recent border conflicts and a war fought during the 1960s, the people of the two countries do not harbor any long lasting animosity towards each other. For example, China’s film industry opened up to Bollywood before it opened up to Hollywood. Despite this, trust since 2006 has declined significantly between the two countries.
The authors then compare the cultural differences and similarities between the two cultures. The author observes that the Chinese are hardworking but sometimes lack the temerity to criticize their superiors, while Indians are argumentative. They also point out differences in the culinary traditions of the two nations. Ultimately, the authors conclude that a mixture of Indian creativity and Chinese discipline likely will produce great teams.
I also learned a great deal about the business climate in China and India. For example, I didn’t realize that Chinese businesses had a very high turnover rate, especially for executive positions. The authors give numerous examples of Chinese and Indian businesses operating internationally such as Ta-Ta Motors or Mahindra Tractors. An interesting side-note mentioned in the book is that “ta” sounds like the Chinese word for pagoda, so the name Ta-Ta motors sounded pretentious, and the company had to rebrand for Chinese markets. They also mention NIIT, a management coaching firm located in China.
While I found the book to be very informative, I also found it to be a bit boring and dull at times. If I was more involved in to Sino-Indian space, I might not have found it boring.
I liked that the fact that the book was written for businessmen in China and India, and intended for educational purposes before doing business in the other country. The unique audience this book targets has given me many insights about both countries. I recommend this book to researchers who are interested in learning more about China and India.
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