Monday, June 28, 2010

The Dark Continent is Shining Brightly

I have not followed much of the FIFA World Cup, but for me, it was heartening to read about the team from Ghana booting out the United States.


That was quite an emotional high for Africa and all Africa-born non-residents, like me.

Certainly, 20 years back, no one would have even dreamt of seeing a World Cup happen on a grand scale like this, that too in Africa!!!

Just 10 years back, Africa was nowhere on the economic radar.

But in the last 2-3 years we saw Sunil Mittal actively courting African telecommunication giants, which finally culminated with Bharti-Airtel's acquisition of Zain.

That Tatas have been in Africa for ages and the papers say they are pumping on the gas.

Why this love for Africa?

That's the next frontier. It's exactly where India was, say, 30 years back.

Indian corporates have identified this great opportunity to get into the African market when it is still at the bottom of the pyramid, as C.K. Prahlad would put it.

People say China will be big competitor in Africa. But the Chinese are there for resources, and the locals feel they are being plundered. Where is the investment from the Chinese, where it matters to the continent?

That is the USP that Indian corporates would bring in, and would create a large market for themselves in the long run.

For India Inc., the Dark Continent is shining brightly.

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