Tuesday, June 8, 2010

India....a lesson in efficiency part one

My recent four-month trip throughout India was a lesson in out-of-the-box thinking if not flat out inefficiency. In the states you see work being done on the highway by a handful of people accompanied by caterpillars and trucks. Work in India is done mainly by hand. The machines are replaced by a man laying down a fresh layer of tar from a bucket and several men following with brooms smoothing it down. Why use ten people to do a job when you only need one and a machine? But n a country with a lot of people and not a lot of people this makes sense that human capital would be the cheapest option. Creativity or (for a westerner) out-of-the-box thinking is necessary to adapt. Through my foreign eyes it appeared largely inefficient. But then I thought, perhaps we have gotten far too used to our comfortable lives with our technology and machinery. These things that were once the product of creativity are now inhibiting it. India taught me that there is more than one way to get a job done and you don't need always need fancy machinery to do it.

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