A reporter once asked Angela Merkel what makes her proud to be German.
Her answer : ‘Our well-sealed windows.’
No. That’s not cryptic.
It sums up the approach these sauerkraut and bratwurst eating people have towards life; a damn healthy obsession for perfection.
While they may look unappealing in their lederhosens, these Teutonic descendants are the bosses when it comes to making stuff no matter how small. From ubiquitous kidney grills and tri-stars that crowd south Delhi roads to the word schadenfreude (pleasure from another person’s misfortune), we owe quite a lot to the Germans. But most of us only know one percent of it. Literally. The likes of Volkswagen, Siemens and your Jagermeister shot pale in comparison to the combined strength of the Deutsche mittelstand; small and medium sized enterprises that account for 99.3 percent of all companies in Germany.
The mittelstand create and export things that fit into other things. Yes. Some of it may be in your mouth as we speak. They conjure up tooth fillings, components for light bulbs and other complicated shit that goes into cars and even your daddy’s’ garment’ factory machines. They also happen to employ millions of people and were the reason for Germany’s smooth sailing through the recession.
It’s time India learned from this example. We should encourage highly specialised businesses, say bye-bye to Tata and other bigwig dependence and take immense pride in making something even as tiny as a screw.
Perhaps then we won’t get as much dust through our own windows.