There will be a lot more local companies like Patanjali who will know the sensibilities of Indian people and will start doing really well.

Why bridging the trust deficit between India and China is important for economic growth
news Interview Friday, September 02, 2016 - 13:49

China is one of the most powerful economies on earth, and the Indian economy cannot be ignored in the global arena, so then what stops the two countries from working together? The lack of trust.

Entrepreneurship between India and China is being held back by the trust factor, and this trust deficit is what the Hurun Report Inc. aims to bridge by providing a common platform for businessmen of both countries to interact with each other.

The Hurun Report was established in 1999 as a research unit and has now become one of the leading publishing groups based in Shanghai, China. Founded by Rupert Hoogewerf, it has been bringing out the China-rich list ever since and started its India operations in 2012. Anas Rahman Junaid heads the India research.

In a candid interview, Rupert and Anas spoke about their plans for India and the road ahead. Excerpts.

How do you intend to remove the lack of trust?

Our vision is really grand scale. What can we do to create that trust factor? So we are doing an event on September 24 where we are getting the Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, CM Devendra Fadnavis of Maharashtra, the Chief Secretary of Karnataka, a whole bunch of government officials and some top entrepreneurs like Cyrus Mistry. We are making them go to Shanghai, Beijing for three days and we are getting 40 people from the China-rich list so that all of them can have an interaction. So, there will be discussions on possibility of trade, cross-border investments. So we become a nucleus for creating that trust and that is the bigger thing we are trying to do. We do believe that this is the next big opportunity, i.e. connecting these two markets. And this will radically shift the power balance to this part of the world.

What are you trying to achieve in India?

The stories of entrepreneurs in China is all about first-generation and the stories of these people tell the story of modern China. So the idea was to try and tell the story of modern China through the eyes of these entrepreneurs. And I think that’s what we are trying to do now in India as well.

Back in 1999, these entrepreneurs were just beginning. We managed to find 50 people with a cut-off of USD 6 million and now in 2016, we got 2000 people with a cut-off of about USD 300 million and that’s just the ones that we found. 

So we caught the wave and we were able to explain what’s going on in China through the stories of these people. We don’t really care about who is number 1, number 2 or 3. What we care about is why did the person who is number 1, get to be number 1. That’s the most interesting thing and that’s what we are trying to do in India.

We have noticed there is a lot of focus on entrepreneurship with Startup India – a big campaign. We have noticed over the last five years that the Indian entrepreneurs are also just beginning to come up with a whole lot of new businesses and growing very similar to China’s but it’s happening 10-12 years later.

What was the objective of starting the India rich list?

We started in India with a very similar objective of philanthropy and wealth disclosure as in China. What we are about is promoting entrepreneurship, whether it be in China or in India. First, by telling the world about these brilliant Indian and Chinese entrepreneurs and then telling local Indians or local Chinese who want to develop start-ups about these great success stories, which are truly inspirational.  Biocon MD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is a fine example, and she is incidentally the only self-made woman on the India rich-list.

We have a super advantage of Hurun Report being so established in China, being number 1 in China and if we can try and use that tool to connect the Indian and Chinese market – connecting resources, connecting intellect, connecting processes – if we do all this, it will be fantastic.

What are the trends in Indian entrepreneurship and what can we expect?

Probably as part of the whole company creation process, employment process and the wealth creation process, you would see a lot of upliftment in the standard of living and a lot of people from rural areas moving to urban areas. We will become catchment customers for a lot of brands that have strong interest in India.

Patanjali is a good example because they are a new entrant in the field. They are actually entering every area and trying to give good competition to the established brands like Unilever, P&G (Proctor & Gamble). So, there will be a lot more local companies like that who will know the sensibilities of Indian people and will start doing really well.

Besides, initiatives like corporate social responsibility and philanthropy will result in overall development. The most favoured cause of philanthropy is education, so there will be an overall improvement in status quo. The government is also getting involved with banking schemes, digital India and plans for electrification of villages. So we expect all these ecosystems to fall in place within about 8 to 10 years.

Some highlights of the Hurun India Rich List 2016

·         339 individuals with Rs 1600 crore, up from 43 last year and 250 per cent

          from five years ago.

·         With Rs. 1,63,400 crore, Mukesh Ambani is the richest man in India for

          the fifth year running.

·         Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru constitute 60 per cent of the super wealth


·         There are 126 billionaires in the list, which is a new record.

·         Pallonji Mistry of Tata enters top three for the first time.

·         55 per cent of the super-rich are first generation entrepreneurs.

·         10 per cent have migrated from India.

·         Largest privatization in Indian corporate history achieved with delisting of

          Essar Oil Limited at a market valuation of Rs. 38,000 crore.

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