For India to leap-frog, it is better to under what kind of development model suits a country like ours the best. Also advances in ICT have made it is easier to arrive at a development architecture, which was probably not possible earlier.
4 D’s of Development proposed here are:
Distribution: In addition to conventional centralized and localized solution, we should think of distributed solutions everywhere, Distributed architecture can provide greater scale and flexibility. Technologies like 3D printing can be located anywhere, without consuming natural resources like land in one place. Again using an E-commerce solution vis-a-vis large retail stores, facilitate distribution and ability to involve small retail shops as delivery points. Instead of having one large entity like Food Corporation of India, Coal India and so on, distributing them and driving accountability is preferably. Yet all these entities can be managed from single place using IT solution. States should be encouraged to buy food grains from one another than from center. This will encourage incentive to be competitive as well as self-sufficient. They can also form clusters in collaborative and competitive mode.
Differentiation: Differentiation is another way to develop markets and optimally satisfy diverse sections of populace. If all sections chase (purchase) same goods, demand will outstrip supply and will result in inflation. We need to develop organic foods to compete with foods grown using fertilizers. Encourage traditional food grains popular in only certain localities, thus providing variety. Even institutions should be encourage to differentiate among themselves in terms of value proposition they deliver. Today even education institutions increase only in number, but do not differentiate themselves. Whether it is business, political parties, education institute, industry or banks should be encouraged to differentiate. Those who are differentiating should be supported. Every organization strive to create unique value.
Depth : Even though India has institutions of every hue and in every sphere, very few of them are world-class. This has resulted in them not being able to extract premium. While generic and broad-based institutions are important to handle volumes and scale, this should be matched by institutions that are world-class in what they do. It is probably better to have a Materials Research Institute, Defense Research Institute, Infrastructure Research Institute, Transportation Research Institute and Energy Research Institute than four broad-based IIT’s. Just narrowing the scope, in itself may not generate excellence. However being deliberate, conscious and persistent in achieving the goals would definitely take the journey forward. Similarly in every sphere of industry, depth should be pursued. Right now say banks, all of them trying to do everything without doing anything exceptionally well. Maybe some should focus on high risk financing, some on social sector, some on middle classes and some on Government sector, by drawing boundaries among themselves. Every organization should strive to be world-class in what it has chosen as the scope.
Disinter-mediation: Technology should be used to disinter-mediate as much as possible. Peer-to-peer lending, ability to buy directly from farmers, ability for states to transact with each other or even with a foreign country under a policy framework, should be encouraged. Internet is a great tool for disinter-mediation. Disinter-mediation expands and enriches networks. Networks generate opportunities.