USA always has been the land of dreams because of its unique Constitution and the Bill of Rights. First President of America, George Washington was a visionary, who founded a land where everybody was welcome and everybody was given freedom guaranteed by American Constitution to realize their dreams. USA was the land of dreams which accepted you, the way you were and gave you environment to court your dreams if you were willing to do the hard work. It was a place where individuality was respected. The history of is the history of strong minded individuals who dared to do things their way without giving a damn about anything else. Wyatt Earp, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Mark Twain, Muhammad Ali, Henry Ford, Alfred P Sloan, Bill Gates, Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs and so on.
United States of America has been founded by people who believed in Individualism greatly inspired by Social Contract theory of Voltaire and John Locke. George Mason’s Virginia “Declaration of Rights” demanded Individualism in his “Virginia Declaration of Rights”, which was later adopted by Thomas Jefferson in the “Declaration of Independence”.
“All men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”
This strong individualism guaranteed by the freedoms given by the Bill of Rights made it possible for the people to come to USA and gain positions of trust within government or private sector without any question about past history, religion, caste or creed. This is what made America great. Best brains from the around the world flew to pursue American dream. Places like Silicon Valley boasts of a cosmopolitan community despite being a part of USA. Silicon Valley if full people from every nation. All one needs to become a part of the world most cherished startup community is to have a dream and the guts to follow it. Remember Startups have always been about freedom to do what you want to do and not about raising funds (most Indian Entrepreneurs think otherwise and that is why funded startups fail). It is the passion combined with hostel like working culture, which makes startups tick. Startups are for those who want to fall in love with their work. Those who want to make money should opt for Trading or Employment. Some startups make money, but it is incidental.
Most Important, Startups have always about “Survival of the fittest” as opposed to protectionist culture, where incompetents demand protection to compete with the best. President Trump brought protectionism to the USA and spoiled the Shan-grila. If his decisions during initial days are any hint, land of dreams is heading towards destruction. Protectionism sounds good to the racist imbeciles, but it will end up destroying the great startup culture, which thrived on competence.
Still, hope floats. Silicon Valley inspired the revolution along Han River in South Korea. President Tradeau of Canada has invited everybody with open arms. Canada is one of best places to live. Similarly, Germany is a beacon of hope in floundering European Market. Britain is also showing signs of growth after Brexit, contrary to all predictions. I feel that best brains of the world will search and find a new destination. It will be good for the world.
India also has good potential because of its people and culture, which assimilates anybody and everybody. Prima Facie, it looks impossible because of poor infrastructure, diversity, religious discord. But, look beyond the surface, you see a different country. Mohammed Zahiriddin Babur came from Uzbekistan to India but stayed here, such is beauty of India. From outside, it does not look like the best of places but it grows on you with time. It is sort of an acquired taste. Ask any of the expats living here. It inspired creation of startup hubs in a land betrayed by its own bureaucrats. Despite, its red tape, Indian Entrepreneurs have fought and survived. Cities like Gurgaon, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad are shining beacons of hope in a country famous of red tape and treacherous bureaucracy. President Trump and his protectionist policies may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the country. President Trump entry ban and extreme vetting practices are expected to stem the brain drain problem of India and may cause some high end jobs being outsourced to India. Indian IT Companies may find enough motivation to turn the tide and start hiring expats instead to make India the next destination for global startup community.
I sincerely hope, Team Modi will recognize the opportunity here and make the the most of this opportunity by creating an environment amenable to offer cosmopolitan environment to Startup Founders.
Photo Credit: Frank Winkler of pixabay.com
*Sr Company Secretary & Corporate Lawyer. Expert of International Trade, cross border merger, acquisition & Taxation.