India's Political History, Working With The TATAs and MAHINDRAs and What Can India Do To Be A Leader with Kiran Deshpande

Tune in to hear insights from a seasoned tech industry leader (former CEO of Tech Mahindra) and his successful entrepreneur son (Founder & CEO, Bombay Shaving Company)

India's Political History, Working With The TATAs and MAHINDRAs and What Can India Do To Be A Leader with Kiran Deshpande

TLDR: The key idea of the video is that India’s political history, economic growth, and future development are interconnected, and that political leadership and structural changes are crucial for India to reach its full potential.

00:00 📚 Kiran Deshpande, former CEO of Tech Mahindra and angel investor, reflects on his political science background, his family’s connection to , and his transition from being a technocrat to an entrepreneur and investor, emphasizing the importance of government, wealth creation, and the evolution of political ideologies in India.

1.1 Kiran Deshpande, former CEO of Tech Mahindra and angel investor, discusses his political science background, his family's connection to Indian politics, and his career in the tech industry.
1.2 The speaker discusses his father's passion for nation building, his background in politics, and his transition from being a technocrat to an entrepreneur and investor.
1.3 Growing up with parents in government service, the speaker acknowledges the role of government in society and reflects on their socialist upbringing, while also recognizing the importance of creating wealth for everyone and the evolution of political ideologies over time.
1.4 In his childhood, the speaker met Prime Minister Nehru and reflects on the leaders who shaped India's independence movement, including Bhagat Singh.
1.5 The speaker discusses his family's background, his education, and his decision not to pursue a career in the Indian Civil Service due to its colonial origins.
1.6 The speaker discusses their educational background in humanities, including courses on political science, economics, philosophy, and symbolic logic, and their understanding of political ideologies such as socialism, capitalism, and the organization of states.

15:33 🇮🇳 India’s political history highlights the importance of democracy, flexible yet solid constitution, progress in reducing poverty, and the establishment of long-lasting institutions, while contrasting the government-run research and educational institutions with the privatized system in the US.

2.1 The president and prime minister in India have different roles, with the president deciding the leader of the House in a hung Parliament, and while there may be disagreements, meaningful descent is important in a democracy.
2.2 India's Constitution is flexible yet solid, reflecting the awareness of its founding fathers that the country would evolve socially and politically, with a diverse and secular structure.
2.3 India's Constitution, written in the 1940s, established fundamental rights including the right to property, which can now be acquired by the government for public good but not without fair compensation, and the Constitution's basic structure cannot be changed.
2.4 India's universal franchise was initially based on religion but later extended to include men and women, and despite its imperfections, the country has made progress in reducing poverty regardless of the political leadership.
2.5 Opposition leaders can be forced to resign before elections, but in a democracy, political parties with different agendas will always exist, resulting in winners and losers, and while Prime Minister Modi's impact can be both positive and negative, leaders like Pandit Nehru have created long-lasting institutions in India such as the IITs and ISRO.
2.6 India has established research institutions and educational institutions that are mostly government-run, which has contributed to the country's scientific progress and contrasts with the mostly privatized education system in the US.

33:26 🇮🇳 India’s political history shows the country’s transition to independence, with leaders implementing initiatives for positive change, while the speaker discusses their personal experiences, the importance of education, and the need for structural changes to address the wealth gap and respect individuals.3.1 India's political history shows the country's transition from imperialism to independence, with leaders like Indira Gandhi and the current prime minister implementing initiatives such as satellite technology, Project Tiger, yoga, and cleanliness to bring about positive change and national movements.
3.2 After the speaker's father and grandfather passed away, their family faced poverty and the speaker's sister had to work and study, but they were able to rely on minimal school fees and a national scholarship.
3.3 India's education system has played a crucial role in the country's progress and development, leading to advancements in fields like medicine and software, although there are still challenges and exploitation, overall India has become a powerful and admired nation.
3.4 Poverty doesn't suck if you don't exploit poor people, and the speaker discusses their experience of studying on a government scholarship and the decision between taking a job and doing a Masters due to limited job opportunities at the time.
3.5 The speaker discusses the need for structural changes in India's economy to address the growing wealth gap and suggests giving individuals the option to allocate their tax money towards education and healthcare.
3.6 The speaker emphasizes the importance of respecting individuals and working towards eliminating the struggles they face in making a living.

46:40 🇮🇳 India’s political history includes significant events such as the emergency, assassinations of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, and the implementation of OBC reservation, leading to political changes and coalition politics.

4.1 During the political environment surrounding the emergency in 1971, the Prime Minister's successful handling of the Bangladesh creation led to her becoming powerful, nationalizing banks and stopping the preview process, which had a significant impact on Indian banking and the transition of princely run states.
4.2 During a difficult time in India's political history, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi faced challenges such as inflation, corruption, and a war with Pakistan, leading to her declaration of an emergency and suspension of the Constitution.
4.3 The speaker discusses the political history of India, including the curtailment of freedom during Indira Gandhi's rule, the formation and breakup of the Janata Party, and the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
4.4 India's political history has been marked by significant events such as Operation Blue Star, the assassinations of Rajiv Gandhi and Indra Gandhi, and the implementation of OBC reservation, which aimed to rectify the caste system but resulted in collateral damage.
4.5 Coalition politics emerged in India as a way to maintain a functioning government even without a majority, and the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi led to unexpected political changes.
4.6 Mrs. Soni Gandhi and other leaders were competing for the position of prime minister, but Nars ensured there was no conflict and became the turnaround prime minister with Manmohan Singh.

01:01:44 🇮🇳 India’s IT industry laid the foundations for growth, overcoming obstacles and leading to economic liberalization, while the speaker discusses their experiences working abroad, societal changes, and the decline in leadership quality, emphasizing the need for local leaders in decision-making.

5.1 In the early stages of India's IT industry in the 70s and 80s, companies like TCS, Wipro, and Infosys laid the foundations for growth, overcoming bureaucratic controls and difficulties in importing technology, leading to the liberalization of the economy in 1991 and the emergence of a thriving service industry.
5.2 Mr. Kohli, along with a diverse group of individuals from prestigious universities, worked at Air India and TCS in the late 1970s, which was a time when it was uncommon for Indians to work abroad, and they had the opportunity to gain international exposure and work with reputable companies.
5.3 The speaker discusses the societal changes in India, the confidence of the younger generation, the importance of not dragging the country behind, and the decision to come back to India despite a flourishing career in the US.
5.4 The speaker discusses their family, professional growth in India, career choices, and the leadership they experienced in TCS and IMR.
5.5 The speaker discusses the importance of surrounding oneself with smart people, working hard but not making life miserable, and the decline in the quality of leadership in today's CEOs.
5.6 India's political history has seen strong opposition leaders and expressions of displeasure with the ruling party, but the current state of politics lacks decorum and maturity, and there is a need for local leaders to have more influence in decision-making.

01:21:13 🇮🇳 India’s political history shows the importance of allowing elected leaders to govern, the significance of powerful and popular leaders, the success of linguistic-based states, and the need for politicians to focus on India’s progress without animosity, while also highlighting the thriving startup scene and the potential for India to be a global leader.

6.1 Communists running a government in a democracy was questioned, but the speaker believes that if the people elect a communist, they should be allowed to govern, and this compromise in elections started with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
6.2 India's political history shows that powerful leaders can come together and be a leader of leaders, and it is important for the current leadership to not interfere with the progress of building India, as popular leaders like Nehru and Indira Gandhi were able to lead effectively due to their personality, dedication, and appeal to the masses.
6.3 India's federal structure was difficult to assemble, but the decision to create states based on linguistic lines allowed local languages to flourish and contributed to the country's cohesion, as seen in the transformation of Madras/Chennai into a melting pot.
6.4 India's political history involved debates over different names for the country, including options like United States of India, but ultimately it was named India and has lived up to its diverse nature.
6.5 Startups in India are thriving due to the combination of local variety and good quality, but there is a need for politicians to undergo a course on the Constitutional propriety to avoid loose talk and work towards India's progress without animosity.
6.6 India's political history, working with the TATAs and MAHINDRAs, and what India can do to be a leader in the global market.

01:31:31 🇮🇳 India needs to decentralize power, give more autonomy to cities, and create a responsible and law-abiding society in order to continue its economic growth and reach the next level of development, with political leadership playing a crucial role in mobilizing the country.

7.1 Cities in India, including Pune, lack the power and autonomy granted by the Constitution, resulting in a lack of effective governance and decision-making, as exemplified by the need for permission from Delhi to add a bogey to a train traveling between Mumbai and Pune.
7.2 India needs to decentralize power and give more autonomy to cities, similar to how Singapore is run by a CEO, in order to continue its rapid economic growth and avoid potential pitfalls in nation building.
7.3 People should pay their taxes, follow the law, and take responsibility in order to make it easier for the government to lead and create jobs, ultimately lifting the country as a whole.
7.4 Pay taxes, follow the law, and change the mindset of resource scarcity in order to create a more responsible and law-abiding society in India.
7.5 India needs to do something different as a nation and society to reach the next level of growth, and political leadership plays a crucial role in mobilizing the country, but it also requires the cooperation of others, as exemplified by Mahatma Gandhi's ability to mobilize the country despite holding opposite views, and creating an environment where people feel attached to their city and country, prioritize respect, and uphold good professionalism and clean business practices.
7.6 The speaker had a problem with their electricity bill, so they communicated with their admin and eventually had their electricity cut off.

01:46:18 🇮🇳 India’s computing industry has grown significantly in the past 50 years and needs to embrace technology and infrastructure development to become a leader, while also addressing agricultural issues and consolidating land holdings, despite political challenges, the speaker remains optimistic about the future.

8.1 India's computing industry has experienced significant growth in the past 50 years, with the emergence of software as a critical component, and the next 50 years are expected to bring even more advancements.
8.2 India needs to change its mindset, embrace technology and digitization, and focus on infrastructure development to become a leader, while also addressing issues in agriculture and consolidating small land holdings, and despite political challenges, the speaker remains optimistic about the future.
8.3 The Indian Constitution has incorporated and improved upon ideas from other constitutions, such as the British, American, and Irish constitutions, and emphasizes the concept of equality and fraternity, with the state ensuring that individuals are equal rather than granting them equality.
8.4 Schools should do a better job of teaching the real history and instilling ethical values in students, as demonstrated by the speaker's personal experiences and the importance of parental influence.
8.5 India's history of community well-being and encouragement still exists today, with the added prosperity that has lifted many out of poverty, and despite differences, the country should focus on moving forward together.
8.6 The speaker expresses gratitude for the viewers' support and hopes they enjoyed the content.

Key Insights

Socio-economic Issues and Progress

💡 “Our luck was that a few people had a futuristic vision that software would be the future and India would play a big role.”

💔 The pain and struggle of individuals in India who have to carry heavy loads for a living is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed.

💪 The younger generation in India is confident and unafraid of failure, which is essential for progress and growth.

💡 The convergence of government support, enterprise builders, and a thriving ecosystem has created a unique opportunity for India to excel on a national level.

💰 “The first trillion took 66 years to build, the second trillion took nine years, the third trillion has taken only five…the next trillion might take less than a year.” - The speaker highlights the rapid growth of India’s GDP and predicts that the country could achieve its next trillion-dollar milestone in a shorter time period, emphasizing the power of compounding and increasing consumption.

🌍 “Sometimes you might find a very poor, not so formally educated person very wise and you might find someone who’s educated but not so wise on these things.”

💰 India’s software industry has brought wealth and created Indians who are globally competitive, contributing to the growth of the country’s economy.

India’s Political History and Leadership

📜 The Constitution of India, despite being bulky, was a remarkable achievement by noble men and women who came together in the 1940s to create one of the most modern constitutions.

💡 India’s universal franchise was initially based on religion and later extended to include both men and women, highlighting the country’s commitment to equality and inclusivity.

💡 Pandit Nehru’s establishment of institutions like the IITs and ISRO in post-partition India showcased his visionary leadership in nation-building.

💡 India’s political history showcases the country’s ability to break free from colonialism and establish a new nation based on modern principles while preserving its old culture.

💭 “How can Communists run a government in a democracy? If people elected a communist ideology person to run the government, so be it.” - Highlighting the clash between communism and democracy in India’s political history.

🌍 The idea of a “United States of India” was considered during the framing of the Constitution, highlighting the cultural diversity and unity of the country.


Q1: What are some significant contributions made by Prime Minister Nehru to nation-building in India?

A1: Prime Minister Nehru made several significant contributions to nation-building in India. Firstly, he established institutions of excellence like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which have had a long-lasting and valuable impact on the country. These institutions have played a crucial role in promoting scientific and technological advancement in India. Additionally, Nehru focused on building the nation’s infrastructure, particularly in the areas of atomic energy and railways. His vision and leadership laid the foundation for the development of various research institutions and facilities that are essential for scientific progress in India.

Q2: How did education play a role in India’s progress in software and technology?

A2: Education played a key role in India’s progress in software and technology. The growth of the Indian software and tech industry can be attributed, in part, to the contribution of Indian medical professionals and engineers who were educated abroad. These individuals brought back their knowledge and expertise to India, which helped fuel the growth of the industry. Moreover, entrepreneurial thinking and a futuristic vision among Indian leaders and policymakers led to the recognition of software as a crucial sector for the future. This recognition contributed to the expansion of colleges and other educational institutions, providing a strong base for the development of a powerful nation. Despite facing challenges and exploitation, India has moved forward and is now globally admired for its contributions in the field of software and technology.

Q3: What are some consequences of the political changes in India during the 1990s?

A3: The political changes in India during the 1990s had several consequences. Firstly, the assassinations of key political figures resulted in changes in leadership and government dynamics. These incidents led to a shift in power and the emergence of coalition politics as a way to ensure governance and stability. Furthermore, the introduction of reservations aimed at rectifying historical social imbalances had a significant impact on the political landscape of India. This policy opened doors for previously marginalized communities and increased their representation in various spheres of society. Overall, the political changes of the 1990s reshaped the political landscape of India and had far-reaching consequences for the country.

Q4: How does the Indian Constitution embody principles of equality, justice, and fraternity?

A4: The Indian Constitution embodies the principles of equality, justice, and fraternity for all citizens. The Constitution recognizes and guarantees equal rights and opportunities to every individual, irrespective of their caste, religion, gender, or socioeconomic background. It provides for the protection of fundamental rights and ensures equal protection under the law. Additionally, the Constitution promotes social and economic justice by advocating for affirmative action through reservations in education and employment for historically disadvantaged groups. Furthermore, the idea of fraternity, or a sense of brotherhood and unity among all citizens, is deeply ingrained in the Constitution. It promotes the values of tolerance, inclusivity, and respect for diversity. The Indian Constitution is a cornerstone of the nation’s democratic and pluralistic fabric, upholding the principles of equality, justice, and fraternity.

Note - This content is generated by AI, we believe it is accurate, but we don’t claim any liability of inaccuracies in the AI generated content.

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