SAO TOME and PRINCIPE: Having closely observed the startup ecosystem, Nalin Singh says that having a growth mindset is the code for entrepreneurship. He says it is something universities, colleges or anybody, cannot teach. Business skills and strategies can be taught, but a growth mindset is something one can learn only from oneself.
This episode’s guest, Raghu Gururaj, has been recently posted as the first ambassador (of India) to a new embassy, in Sao Tome and Principe. He was the Council General to Sumatra (Island in Indonesia) from India.
Through the lens of a diplomat, with a growth mindset, Gururaj observes cultures and other aspects of social behaviour (particularly of Indonesia) and applies it for the benefit of showcasing India and India’s economic power.
Sao Tome is off the coast of the Gulf of Guinea on the west of Africa. Culturally, Sao Tome is much closer to Portugal being a Portuguese colony for about 400 years. For those living in Europe, Sao Tome is not an unknown quantity. However, for people in Asia, this island is remote and unheard of.
“Our embassy was established last year, and before that the affairs of Sao Tome were handled by our ambassador in Angola. So for a while now we have been keeping an eye on Sao Tome to see the potential of establishing a stand-alone embassy which happened last year. As we know India is expanding its outreach on the global stage. As part of this outreach, we have decided to open many embassies in remote areas. We have established our embassy in pretty much every corner of the world, barring a few. The initial objective of establishing any embassy would be political, and from there on we look at other factors of strategy, economy, or connectivity,” said Gururaj.
Impact of Indian entrepreneurial spirit in Indonesia
There is a growing acknowledgement of India’s progress in startup, e-governance or digital India. So there is a realization, especially among academic and corporate circles to tie up with India at any level, be it the government level or private level.
“When I was in Sumatra, I noticed that many universities were struggling to go beyond their normal conventional system of education. In Indonesia, they realized there is a huge disconnect between the degree taught and the skill set required outside, in the market. So they have found India as a model where entrepreneurship has bloomed. Indonesians have noticed the entrepreneurship spirit of Indian students, so I think Indian educational institutions have done a great job in inculcating this kind of spirit. A lot of Indonesians look at India with admiration in the way their entrepreneurial activity is taking place, their universities have found Indian products and services quite appealing. Indonesia is now looking for opportunities to get in touch with India for its startup culture,” Gururaj told Transcontinental Times.
Watch the whole interview: