One (of the many) thing(s) I can lay claim to is that a liberalized India and I were born within a year of each other. So, I have seen, since I can remember, the true growth of the private sector and the IT revolution in India.
I have also seen a remarkable change in the public sector.
When I was a child, I remember about the various public sector enterprises and how hopelessly inefficient they were. I remember of the times when trains used to be late by 6-12 hours, I remember the times when you could not get a telephone line without greasing someone's palm. I remember the times when a private enterprise was considered very efficient.
Not any more. The public sector has become extremely efficient. People may disagree and point out many flaws with the public sector, but I sure can find an equivalent number of faults with the private sector. At the same time, the private sector, through complacency or the sheer lack of motivation steadily declined.
There were some interactions that I have had with different government offices in the past few years. I had to get my driver's license made. The driving test went off smoothly without any delays. I was told that my license would be ready in 3 days, and three days it was.
I use MTNL broadband, as do many in Mumbai. I believe that they have the cheapest broadband rates and the best quality in the city. Similarly, I use MTNL 3G on my mobile. During the course of my interactions with the people working in MTNL, I have noticed a remarkable change from what I had observed in my early childhood. Gone is the earlier attitude of the employees. They have embraced the
consumer is king motto absolutely. A call to customer care never goes with the long hold times characteristic of the other service providers. Any complaint is promptly dealt with. The rates for various services are the lowest.
Contrast this with AirTel, which I possessed previously. A simple call to customer care to complain about their lousy network coverage would result in me being charged. That sure is no way to show that you have the lowest complaints amongst competitors!
With mobile number portability coming up, private players are spending large amounts of money on advertising. However, I see that MTNL has decided to remain silent. As they say
Good wine needs no bush.
Invisible Hand sure seems to work well.