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KolkataMarch 11Urging Indian industry to continue to lobby for excellence, especially at a time when new industry leaders are emerging in the knowledge sector, Mr Arun Shourie, Rajya Sabha Member and former Union Minister for Disinvestment, said that continued excellence was a pre-condition for survival.

Delivering the theme address at a two-day international conference on `Strategy 2007: the way ahead,' organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Mr Shourie said that Indian industry should strive for independent innovations in areas like direct use of technology, instead of remaining event managers for the Government.

"Liberation from Government is a pre-condition for excellence."

Stating that tech manpower and skills management are the need of the hour, he said that Indian industry should get tax breaks for technology collaborations that can lead to independent innovations.

Adding that there is a need to move to higher-end IT services soon, as China is poised to catch up with India, he said that there is a need to scale up on all high-end services.

"India cannot be an economic superpower without ideas, and for this we need independent innovations through adequate science and technology backup."

Quoting from a recent OECD report and figures put out by the US National Science Board, Mr Shourie said that China currently spends ten times as much as India on R&D.

China has even surpassed Japan, especially in emerging sectors like aerospace and telecom.

He added that China provided as much as Rs 550 crore for some 10 institutions selected from a list of 30 world-class institutions.

Presenting the ad man's marketing perspective on `Creating excellence through strategy, Governance & Ethics,' Mr Pratap Bose, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising India, said: "With great power comes great responsibility."

Stressing on profits with principles, he drew a parallel between the Sarbannes-Oxley legislation in the US and the age-old concept of `Ram Rajya,' both of which revolve around values, ethics and integrity as the cornerstone of corporate governance.

Mr Bose also touched on the media perspective, raising issues like double standard censorship, casual approach and promiscuity.

Dwelling on the consumer perspective, in the wake of currently prevailing global best practices with regard to brand strategies, he said: "People are now questioning corporate greed."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 12, 2007)
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