Today’s crop of Indian business students will be entering a very different corporate environment upon graduation than those who finished just a decade ago. Back then, the talk was still about globalisation galloping ahead, and Indian firms were racing to outdo each other with bigger and bolder international acquisitions. Now, the mood around globalisation is much more subdued—and anxious. In 2016, negative news stories were double the positive ones in major Indian newspapers. Even the country’s globalisation champions—its large IT Services firms—are facing uncertainties associated with protectionism as well as cloud computing and automation.
Nobody gets to decide when to come of age. We all must make the best of available opportunities. Making the right choices requires the ability to separate reality from hype—a skill which one ought to learn in studying business—and there are few areas where hype so often and so wildly eclipses the facts than in the understanding of globalisation and what to do about it.