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Editor's Note: Bringing India Into The Global Mainstream

Everyone I know who visits India comes back with the same impression. The amazing growth in technology-oriented businesses against a landscape of rural lifestyles, shacks that many call home, and the faces of those who are severely less fortunate is overwhelming.
Everyone I know who visits India comes back with the same impression. The amazing growth in technology-oriented businesses against a landscape of rural lifestyles, shacks that many call home, and the faces of those who are severely less fortunate is overwhelming. Even well-traveled executives are surprised. InformationWeek editor-at-large Aaron Ricadela and Network Computing lab director Ron Anderson spent last week in India to give us a firsthand account of the growing business-technology innovation, the need for a more modern infrastructure, and the impact on the current and future workforce.

While businesses here in the United States and elsewhere have been feeling the impact for many years through growing outsourcing services, new technologies, and impressive performance metrics, what I find most remarkable is the desire and the need for Indians to help their own people. It's a daunting task. India is "an IT superpower that has 300 million illiterate people," says Ravi Venkatesan, chairman of Microsoft India. "It's high time we started innovating in India and for India."

India's growth doesn't always sit well with those who have felt the sting of outsourcing. "Hard to understand why InfoWeek would waste the E-mail/blog space on a travelogue about India ... I, along with all of those now unemployed (because of outsourcing to India) IT people, have absolutely no interest whatsoever in reading about all those folks that are enjoying the jobs that we all once held," wrote one reader last week in response to Aaron's blog ("In India, For India," Jan. 12, 2006).

But for those who view India's growth as an important part of a global business landscape, it's easy to cheer it on, to want poverty-stricken, illiterate people to experience a better way of life, and for the economy to strengthen in all areas--medicine, infrastructure, education, and so much more.

Stephanie Stahl, Editor-in-chief
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