India is a land of extremes. It contains poverty, wealth, beauty and filth!
When it comes to education and tech skills, the differences between the haves and have-nots is just as disparate — one-third of the country's population is highly educated, and yet another third is illiterate.
The poverty on display is shocking — especially through the eyes of a pampered westerner. It doesn't matter how many times I go to India, it's impossible to not be overawed by the desperate conditions endured by so many.
This was my first visit to India on business, which meant that instead of hanging out with the tourist crowd, I had the pleasure of conversing with Indian CIOs, technology experts and business leaders.
The few days I spent in Mumbai and Delhi have taught me that, despite India's meteoric rise as a global software powerhouse, the country is still a very long way from fulfilling its full potential in this field.
One very important fact about India is the demographics of its population. Around half of the country's 1.2 billion citizens are below 25 years old while two thirds are below 35. In 2020, it's estimated the population will hit 1.6 billion, but with an average age of just 29.
Even though only a small fraction will be fortunate enough to gain a quality education, the sheer volume of home-grown talent will ensure that over the next decade, when it comes to software engineers, India will have an embarrassment of riches.