Competitiveness Mindset Study


While India has made substantial strides in economic growth, how does it compare in global competitiveness with other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies? According to the International Trade Center, Geneva, Switzerland, among these comparable economies, India had the lowest per capita export - a mere $197 a year.

Research has shown that if India becomes globally more competitive, and raises its per capita export to 50% of the next lowest nation, Brazil, it could create over 30 million well-paying jobs*.

Infrastructure, capital investment, reducing bureaucratic hurdles and skills training are important for competitiveness, but our analysis showed that a competitive mindset is equally important**.

India is a nation of capable people - so why does it lag behind in global competitiveness?

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Research Study

In order to understand what makes up a competitiveness mindset and how we stack up in India, we conducted a first-ever nationwide survey in India under the aegis of IIT Gandhinagar and Bankworld Inc., a management company in the USA.

We reached out to thousands of CEOs, high-level government officers, directors and professors of higher educational institutions, media, NRIs and the civil society, who have experience working worldwide and in India. We asked them detailed questions about how, why, where, when and what is causing otherwise capable Indians to give up their advantage to other countries. No detailed and rigorous study has ever been done prior to this one to evaluate the key attributes of competitiveness mindset and where we stand in India. 


It was the first of its kind Nationwide Study in India.


The study ranked the importance of 25 behavioral and cultural attitudes/attributes for the competitiveness mindset in general and then determined a score on India’s standing for each of the issues. Given below is the ranking of the five attributes most important to the competitiveness mindset, and where India stands on them. 

These 5 attributes that were identified by the study as both critically important to the competitiveness mindset as well as in short supply in the average Indian professional- Conscientiousness, PerseveranceInnovativeness, Taking Initiative and Problem Solving - are called the 5 Pillars of the Competitiveness Mindset.

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Follow up Study 

We conducted a second nationwide study to find out how to address these issues. This study drills down to ferret out the root causes at the granular and actionable levels to determine how best to improve performance in these 5 key attributes. 


Several suggestions emerged on how to inculcate these attributes in students. Importantly, the study suggested that the most direct way to enhance these powerful pillars is to work with students at every level - students at undergraduate and graduate level, at the high school level and even at earlier stages in schools.

The CMI FLY Programs are designed specifically to address the key issues identified by this research.

*Extrapolated conservatively from Export-Import Bank of India Report 2016