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India & “Digital Strike”: the Underlying Mechanics

India & “Digital Strike”: the Underlying Mechanics

Financial Times had a piece about how India has decided that they will no longer allow several Chinese apps to operate within the borders of India.

I want to talk about the underlying mechanics of what’s happening here. India is doing this because it wants to achieve something, which they think can be accomplished by creating an environment that is not conducive for apps from certain countries. So the question is: What does India need, and who is getting punished for this action? Someone is always getting punished when you take legislative action. That’s the nature of economics; there’s not enough to go around, so any decision you make is about deciding who will benefit and who won’t.

India, like any other nation, needs capital, expertise and creativity. India has banned those apps from the market because they believe that they can get funding, expertise and creativity from other countries and within their own borders—homegrown competitors. Because certain nations are close competitors, India doesn’t want them to benefit from their large consumer market.

Here’s the question: Should you be turning away any capital, any expertise or any creativity? That’s what government of India needs to think about. In a world that is fighting for capital, fighting for expertise and fighting for creativity, how do you determine whose capital you turn away and how much? Building a vibrant ecosystem is very difficult. If India does this with Chinese apps, will they do it with another nation? On the flip side, India is the last major market with a billion people that’s relatively underdeveloped—so they know most people were willing to take a chance. Someone in India needs to be thinking about the precedent being set, how do they raise capital, are they World Trade Organization compliant.

If you look at the corporate strategy and transformation program we have on strategytraining.com, which is available to all Insiders, one of the deep insights in that program is that developing a strategy—whether it’s a strategy for a country or for a company—is not difficult in the sense of collecting the input and doing the analysis and case studies. The big question you should be asking is: “What happens if I’m wrong?”

Good strategists take ownership. As advisors, it’s very easy to do something, get paid and leave without a worry. You must have a sense of ownership, and ask yourself, “If I put together this plan and it fails, will I be so quick to recommend this plan in the first place? And how do I develop a mindset of ownership instead of detachment?”

The worst strategy consultants are those who hop around from client to client, and they aren’t there for 5, 10, 15, 20 years to see the offshoots of their advice. Or they just keep blaming the client. The client did not do this. If you’ve worked with a client for 5-10 years, you know what the client can and cannot do. You know how to word the strategy to pinpoint their actual problems. Every client doesn’t have the same Achilles heel and doesn’t have the same implementation problems. These things are unique to each client.

This is an excerpt from Monday Morning 8 a.m. newsletter, issue #7.

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