Superpower? : The Amazing Race between China’s Hare and India’s Tortoise – a book by Raghav Bahl

Superpower? : The Amazing Race between China’s Hare and India’s Tortoise – a book by Raghav Bahl

MUMBAI: CNBC-TV18, India’s No. 1 business medium in association with CNN-IBN launched Raghav Bahl’s - ‘Superpower? : The Amazing Race between China’s Hare and India’s Tortoise’, a debut and non-fiction book which provides excellent insights into two of the most evolving global economies, India and China, undergoing a transformational shift in the race of becoming the next global superpower. This book reiterates whether India is ready for the superpower status or not and are we irretrievably behind in the game of catching-up with China. The book was launched by the hands of Union Cabinet Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shri Kamal Nath, at Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in New Delhi on August 17, 2010.

In his career as one of India’s top entrepreneurs, Raghav Bahl, Founder and Editor, Network18, has often faced a barrage of questions from visiting business people bewildered by India: Why are Indian regulations so weak and confusing? Why is your foreign investment policy so restrictive? How come your hotels are world-class, when the roads leading to them are so pot-holed? Why don’t you lower your voice when you make fun of your politicians? Why do you control the price of oil and cable TV? How is it that you speak such good English? Inevitably, the questions are followed by the observation: But, you know, that’s not the way it is in China.

Indeed, even as the dragon and elephant economies are together projected to dominate the world in a matter of decades, there is a palpable difference in the way China and India work on the ground. China is spectacularly effective in building infrastructure and is currently investing almost half it’s GDP; it is crafting a new economic idiom that has stood textbook wisdom on its head. Meanwhile, India is the classic example of a ‘promising’ economy: more than half its GDP is consumed by its billion-plus population; half its population is younger than twenty-five, giving it a unique demographic advantage; 350 million Indians understand English, making it the largest English-using country in the world; and it is, of course, the world’s largest democracy.

In the race to superpower status, who is likely to breast the tape—China’s hare or India’s tortoise? China’s awe-inspiring sweep, compared to India’s relatively mild rise, could tempt an easy answer. But Bahl argues that the winner of the race with the biggest stakes ever might not be determined by who is investing more and growing faster today, but by something slightly more intangible—who has superior innovative skills and more entrepreneurial savvy and is grappling with and expanding in the most intensely competitive conditions. In the end, it might come down to just one deciding factor: Can India fix its governance before China repairs its politics?

Providing informative insights into the two Asian powers’ histories, polities, economies and cultures- Superpower? : The Amazing Race between China’s Hare and India’s Tortoise is a brilliantly written, superbly documented, rich and comprehensive account of the race to dominance between the two neighbours. For anyone looking to understand China and India and the ways in which these two nations are about to change the history of the world, this is the book to read.

Speaking at the launch of his debut book, Mr. Raghav Bahl, Founder and Editor, Network18, said, “The moral – Slow and Steady wins the race of the famous story of the Hare and a Tortoise righteously has been interpreted in my debut book - Superpower? : The Amazing Race between China’s Hare and India’s Tortoisei. It is indeed a critical commentary on the political economy of India challenged by China to race her. I would recommend this book to all aspiring citizens of our nation to gain a new perspective of the future global power. ”

Raghav Bahl’s - Superpower? : The Amazing Race between China’s Hare and India’s Tortoise is published by Allen Lane, Pengiums Books India and is available for Rs. 699/-.

The book launch witnessed the presence of luminaries such as Mr. Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India; Mr. M Damodaran, Former Chairman, SEBI; Mr. Bimal Jalan, Former Governor, RBI and Mr. Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief, The Indian Express. These luminaries and India’s biggest Economic thought leaders explored the most crucial aspects of the socio-economic and political framework of both the nations through an interactive discussion with Mr. Bahl at the launch of his book.

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