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Friday, January 4

The Young in India : 18 to 80:-)

Nice article by Vir Sanghvi in HT Mint where he questions why India doesn't want to give power to it's young in various walks of life. You can read the entire article here.


Big chunks from the article...
1. A couple of weeks ago, The Observer(London) bragged about a generational change in the UK. Prime Minister Gordon Brown(age 56) is increasingly being seen as too old and too tired to inspire the country.

In the same week, the BJP named L.K. Advani its prime ministerial candidate. If Advani ever gets to be prime minister, he will be more than 80 by the time he moves into Race Course Road.

The present incumbent, Manmohan Singh, is in his 70s. His rivals for the job within the Congress (Arjun Singh, Pranab Mukherjee, etc.) are the same vintage.


2. David Cameron(the Conservative leader) who may well defeat Brown at the next election, is 41. Which is almost the same age as Rahul Gandhi. And we regard Rahul Gandhi as too young to become a cabinet minister.

3. On media. Rajdeep Sardesai and Barkha Dutt are young editors of TV channels. But most of their counterparts in the TV and magazine world are over 50. Both Prannoy Roy and Raghav Bahl are far older than Sardesai.

On the entertainment side, Kunal Dasgupta (Sony) and Pradeep Guha (Zee) are in their 50s. The vast majority of print editors are 50 or older.

Shekhar Gupta, at 50, is probably the most youthful, but N. Ram, Aveek Sarkar, Vinod Mehta, Aroon Purie, Prabhu Chawla, M.J. Akbar, Chandan Mitra and Mrinal Pande are all 50-plus. So are both of India’s most powerful press barons. Shobhana Bhartia, vice-chairperson of HT Media Ltd is 50 and Samir Jain is probably three or four years older.


4. It is the same with business. Even if you take Ratan Tata (70) out of the mix, just look at the ages of the high-profile industrialists who have come to symbolize the new India: Nandan Nilekani, Mukesh Ambani, Anand Mahindra, Sunil Mittal, etc.

They are all around 50 or more (the exception is probably Kumar Mangalam Birla, who is much younger, but he took over the family empire in unusual circumstances).


5. Sanghvi claims he doesn't have answers to India's obsession with the old young! His guess is that India defines youth differently from the rest of the world.

In the West you are ready for a second career when you reach 50. In India, that’s usually the age when you’ve only just reached near the top in your first career.

Isn’t it time we took demographics into account and recognized that an “emerging superpower” cannot be run by emerging pensioners?

4 comments:

pooR_Planner said...

Ouch. You've hit it at the center point.

Manish said...

Mr. Sanghvi's observation really!!

what wud be the mean age of the Indian ad CEOs??

(We have young CEOs. Mash is 35. Subhash is 42. Joshi is young and a poet!)

soumya mukerji said...

Yeah... high time this realization dawned! Great post!

pooR_Planner said...

I think any age between 35 - 45 will make for a good CEO. Rooted to ground reality. Willing to experiment. Have a hunter's mindset and most important knows how to engage resources to get the desired outcome. With the changes happening (blink of an eye n you've something new and different) around us, our industry is in need of leaders who can show people, the result of newer experiments. Subhash once told me to look for the 'Ideal' not the 'ídea.' I think these should be the defining moment to save our industry from the downfall.

Cheers.