Account for 42% of the world’s population
Contribute one-third of the world’s growth since 2000
Account for 22% of the world’s economy in 2008
Emerging as key players in driving global economic decision making
Relied on by the so-called great economies to rescue the world from the financial meltdown
Leading growth, brick by BRIC – Brazil, Russia, India and China
A few years ago if you had asked me about BRIC, it would have meant nothing more than a normal red brick! And even if you had explained it as Brazil, Russia, India and China, I would have found it hard to draw a connection. Brazil, a splash of color, beach and carnivals; Russia meant freezing cold and vodka; Chop sticks, Kim-chi and lonely one child families was my idea of China.
In 2005 this changed – One of my subjects at university was Psychology. As part of my final year project I did a cross cultural leadership study with subjects from more than 20 countries including BRIC. The study was based on the hypothesis that AIESECers across cultures have improved leadership abilities than young people who have not been through the AIESEC experience. Unknowingly this project became my first step into the fast growing and dynamic world of BRIC talent! I discovered interesting trends between the leadership characteristics of people from emerging economies compared to those of the better developed markets. I didn’t know then that in a couple of years I would get first-hand experience of working with young leaders across BRIC.
Through interactions and observations, there seem to be 3 characteristics that differentiate young people from the BRIC countries (especially Brazil, India & China):
Everything is possible, the sky is the limit! (The number of times I have heard “It is not possible” in the Netherlands in the last one year is more than what I heard my entire life in India!) It’s an attitude – young people from vibrant fast growing environments are born to aspire. The problems and issues surrounding these young people in daily life give them an even stronger sense of practical ambition.
Take anything in these countries like demography, geography, politics and the scale is massive! BRIC doesn’t deal in small numbers. It all comes down to the survival of the fittest – when you’re competing with millions for one job or one position in a university, it pushes you to the limit. Competition to be the best, to constantly improve and grow is a driving factor amongst these young people.
When there is a starting point and a goal, you aim at achieving the goal. Young people from BRIC allow their intuition to guide them towards success. Process, structure, plan are secondary, the one thing they will focus on is efficiency – How can I reach my goal with minimum investment and maximum output? Being intuitive allows for flexibility, innovation and focus on implementation, making these young people extremely competitive in today’s market.
…To be continued.