good bad and ugly about mncs?

Are multinational companies helping or harming India’s development?

I don’t know the answer and haven’t come to any conclusion of my own, I’m just putting some pieces here, any more are welcome… 🙂 … or even any differences in opinion!

[Some names here refer to people who have commented in the Muktha thread…]

In the first place, I think its important to note that in the general the term MNC could refer to a wide variety of industries – it could refer to software companies or departmental mega-stores or restaurant chains and different things apply to each situation/industry. What applies to one may not apply to another so one must be aware that we’re only generalising.

Chaitanya, globalisation may be the trend everywhere, but then we also lose out on self-sustainability. We may end up becoming over-dependent on the demand by other economies.

Some notes on self-reliance at this post… and note the comments there as well…

Technoloy, innovation, efficiency is not to be discarded. But if these advances are created in profit-making silos, it anhilates the cultural fabric of an ecosystem and eventually, runs the risk of destroying the entire ecosystem itself.

Diya, not only by MNCs, any kind of employment can always be viewed as an exploitation, people are always going to pay a person much lesser than what he earns for him and thats how business works. But I agree that the benefits for the economy have to trickle down to the masses… this is a pretty slow process… Its started in cities, for example due to MNCs all related industries like catering, transport, hotels, clothing etc industries have a lot more customers.

But I’d say the government could take measures to act as a catalyst. Currently people see the investment of money in buying land, gold etc. Though people are earning a lot, they’re still not really circulating it. Maybe the government could market more creative ‘business opportunities’ by advertising projects in rural areas to the general public in cities. [just an abstract idea – or maybe they’ve done it already 🙂 ]

Surely MNCs have certain advantages in terms of improving a place and so on but when the only motive is money, then I’m not very sure I trust that it will really be a win-win situation. Sometimes it can threaten to wipe out small stores.

About MNC’s harming our culture – well its hard to differentiate the hype from the truth, but I see two adverse effects:

One is the promotion of a more complex life in the name of making it easier. We’re emulating the west for example in buying machines to automate everything but forget that the west can sustain it (temporarily) because they have more natural resources, more effective utilisation of these resources, and far lesser population. In India these factors are the opposite. But still we emulate because it looks much better, though we don’t know – for example – where to dispose off all the massive amount of non-biodegradable waste thats an outcome of all this, or the massive amount of deforrestation – one can say that forests are almost getting vacuumed by a gigantic vacuum cleaner – for wood, granite, etc thats required for it.

Secondly, some of them like in BPO specifically encourage their employees to emulate Western culture by encouraging events where people are paired up for dancing, dating, etc. I’m generally a sceptic of rumours and exaggeration, and found this hard to believe until I heard it from employees themselves. Not that I consider dating a bad thing, it encourages openness and dropping of inhibhitions. But it requires atleast a minimal amount of maturity, and people to be true to themselves – else its easy to talk about openness and modernisation – except for a person who’s life was hep romantic glamorous partying – abrubtly and most unexpectedly ending up in a disaster – at the snap of a finger. But when the company itself is (indirectly) promoting it [perhaps the idea behing they can relate to their international clients better], then it ends up in a lot of people feeling ‘left out’ and getting into it just for the heck of it – in a very unnnatural way.

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Some companies provide opportunities, while others are destructive – eg some which are very resource intensive and produce a lot of pollution as well, totally destroying a place’s ecosystem.

Another factor is sometimes what seems to be good or bad in the short term proves to be the opposite for the long term.

Murthy wrt “people and some govt are speaking against MNC’s and we have a feeling that they are taking it seriously” I feel they wouldnt really care that much but simply see where they can make more money! 😀 Tomorrow when China, Vietnam, Latin America, etc catch up and offer lower prices, good quality, etc I doubt if they’ll hesitate much to go there.

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