Young middle-class Indians are the happiest people of all and much more satisfied with all aspects of their lives compared to other nationalities, according to a new global survey by Swedish research and consulting firm Kairos Future. The priorities of Indian youth — work, good career and a position with high status, are reflected in their values such as endurance and entrepreneurship.
“Indian youth are also strikingly more optimistic about its future and also about the future of society. The general picture in other countries is that young people tend to be personal optimists but societal pessimists,” according to Kairos Future Group CEO and founder Mats Lindgren. “Indians are focused on their careers and are much more status-oriented than youth in Europe,” he adds.
While I say cheers to that, it got me a bit worried too. If that happiness signals contention, I’d rather they be unhappy. We are nowhere near the level of self development that we are capable of achieving with our potential. Still if young India is content and happy, then I think it is not quite awake to its opportunities and true potential. We could be ignorant, but we can’t afford to be naïve. My exposure to the developed world and its youth tells me that young India has miles to go. Be it in its outlook towards life, politics, sense of achievement and creative disruption, we have a lot to learn from others. Young India will have to push (and pull) itself harder and stretch its aspiration levels. There’s no reason to feel comfortable and lax. We’ve got to clean up a lot of mess and in that we’ve an uphill task. We’ve to educate ourselves about a lot other things than just academics and uplift our poor masses into the mainstream. The hardest task is in presenting the yoke of our population as our strength, a potent, rich market that doesn’t under-consume. If we could achieve that, it will attract large global enterprise to our hinterlands and will create jobs by thousands. Remember, best way to get rich is by helping others get richer.
We should learn systems approach and intense work culture from Japanese, execution skills from Chinese, attention to detail from Germans, Entrepreneurship and innovation culture from Americans. These are but a few that I’ve had the first hand feel of, but I’m sure there could be other virtues from elsewhere that I may not be exposed. But please don’t get tempted to absorb the decadent culture of teenage binge drinking, drugs and other bad habits that destroy the health and character of many a youngster in places like England and Italy. That also explains diminishing presence of these once great nations in the rank list of global achievers. While I think of Lenovo, Google, VMware, SAP and closer home Educomp, Financial Technologies and Suzlon, I can’t think of a single billion $ company that sprouted in the last decade from the UK and Italy.
So be smart and pick your cherries. Avoid the rot. Never rest easy, not for a second. All the very best.