Jay Anand, William H. Davis Chair and Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Strategy at the Fisher College of Business, is the academic director for the India Gateway. Anand reflected on his trip to India to meet with a wide range of new and existing stakeholders spanning public, private and quasi-private stakeholders. Discussions spanned a wide spectrum of research and innovation areas, from leveraging health research to exploring partnerships in semiconductor technology.
The Global Gateways at The Ohio State University are a critical component of the university’s vision to make a global impact in the 21st century. Traditionally the exchanges among universities and other organizations were rarely international in scope. When some international interactions did take place in the 20th century, they were limited to North America, Western Europe and to some extent, Japan. This approach is understandable since these are the “developed countries” with high per capita incomes and higher expenses on education. The top universities (or for that matter business companies in any industry) have traditionally been domiciled in these locations. But this is beginning to change in the 21st century as knowledge and wealth are spreading across the globe. Further, the population of these countries is less than 1 billion of a global total of more than 7 billion. In other words, more than 6/7 of the world population was almost untouched by traditional interactions and outreach.
The Global Gateways address this challenge. And it is very appropriate because it makes an impact in three major emerging economies. My understanding of the emerging economies is that while their existing incomes and impact may be lower than the developed countries, their slope of growth has been quite steep. And multiplying this slope of growth rate of their progress with their size (e.g., the sum of populations of Brazil, China and India is approximately 10 times that of the United States), is indicative of the immense potential impact on humanity. If the various Ohio State colleges and schools can deploy their existing knowledge and/or develop new knowledge in these contexts, more lives can be touched than ever before. Rarely in history have we had such an opportunity on such a grand scale!
India, in particular, is a uniquely suitable and stimulating context for such potential impact. India is the world’s largest democracy by far, and also a noisy and colorful one. In its 75 years of independence, the country has held regular elections with new governments being formed periodically, while also simultaneously being home to lively protests. The value systems in India share much with those of western democracies, and English is a commonly used language. For most Indian families, the education of the next generation is the most important investment, the evidence we have already seen in the burgeoning numbers of Indian students on our campus. Many of the Indian alumni have achieved much in life and made their alma mater proud.
My recent visit to India helped me understand how the exchanges between Ohio State and India may be strengthened further and that new win-win avenues are sought. Opportunities exist for every college and intellectual domain, and particularly in the areas addressing climate change and the natural environment, agriculture and food processing, healthcare and medicine, technology, engineering and data analytics, as well as business opportunities for value creation. We had many interesting visits to Indian universities, government offices and businesses, as well as meeting with representatives of U.S. agencies.
The richness of the opportunities in India for developing and deploying knowledge are great indeed, and we will continue to nurture these further via the India Gateway.