I was without a vehicle for almost two years after joining my first job! I had never driven a car and learnt to drive the scooter which belonged to my father! I booked a Bajaj Chetak scooter in Foreign exchange by depositing USD 500 (graciously loaned by a NRI relative of mine) -a princely sum. After about a year, I was a proud owner of the vehicle. Bajaj Chetak was the in thing those days and there used to be a waiting time of 4-7 years for the delivery of the vehicle if booked under the general scheme.
The time went by and
moved into the era of building new ‘small segment’ cars. The Maruti 800 cc car in collaboration with Suzuki of Japan hit the road and immediately, there was a scramble to acquire one, among masses. A car costing just about Rs 50000/- (in today’s terms approx USD 1000!) was an instant hit and there were serpentine queues to book the vehicle. The demand far outstripped the supply, entailing very long waiting period of delivery. You would be wondering why I am narrating some of these historical facts, as if I am here to narrate a story of metamorphosis of vehicle industry in India ! India
On the contrary, it is all about the game changers! A country which was starved of basic need to drive was suddenly given a choice to find something within the easy reach of masses. The phenomena was oft repeated in our life time as the first color TV was introduced in 1982 during the Asian Games in Delhi, heralding an era of color TVs . The Gulf War in 1991 brought the air waves from satellite in our bedroom where we could see the movies being telecast on Star TV satellite network. It was a paradigm shift, to be spoilt for choices.
We are not alone to have seen these phenomena in our own country. In USA, during early 1980’s the local car industry was severely threatened by the onslaught of small , fuel efficient cars from Japan, making an entry in US, and challenging the ‘lion in its own den’. At one point of time, Anti Dumping Laws were invoked to ensure protection to the local car industry in
USA to obviate flooding of market by the Japanese car manufacturers. US
The entry of mobile phones, laptops and computers has broken the myth that these are luxury items! A college student especially pursuing a professional course needs them more than ever before like any other professional in any industry!
I am astounded to see that in a place like
Hong Kong an Apple I phone 4S has disappeared from the market, much the same way as Bajaj scooter had from the Indian market way back in early 1980’s. A product of great ingenuity and a potential threat to the entire mobile manufacturers the world over. It is a game changer! The survival of other mobile phones will depend on how they can counter the threat of an Apple I phone which is currently priced at USD 1000 plus depending on the features. It is a mobile phone, a HD video camera, a device for video calls and unique applications of Facetime (Face to Face calls over internet), Airplay( moving from small screen of mobile phone to big screen of TV), Air print( printing documents over the air) and numerous other applications which are unmatched.
We are now living in a ‘brave new world’ where the geographical and political boundaries have shrunk with the technology leap and these new innovations. Google has made encyclopedia irrelevant and ‘online spell check ‘and thesaurus has likewise made the dictionary redundant. Skype, Facebook and Twitter have made the world a one big cohesive social network of diverse heterogeneous entities. Never in the history of the human evolution so many changes have taken place in a span of six decades post second World War, which has made the life more enjoyable, added more comforts besides conquering a number of disease. The race of changing the game is on. Let us enjoy this rollercoaster ride!
PS Image kind courtesy Google