Growing up in Delhi, the only big number I was accustomed to was “lakh.” The newspaper headlines talked about revenues in lakhs, and houses were prices in lakhs and net worth were calculated in lakhs. One lakh is hundred thousand. Back in 1980s, couple of hundred thousand rupees were seen as a lot of money. Sometime while I was away, Lakhs were replaced by crores. One crore is about 10 million. Now, billion has entered the popular lexicon, especially in the financial press. Billion dollars that is.
I have come at a time when Infosys has crossed the $1 billion in revenues mark. This has been a major reason to celebrate in the country. Couple of other companies such as Wipro have also nudged past the billion dollar mark. It has been major news in the country and has hogged the headlines. More and more companies are looking at the billion-dollar mark as a yard stick of success. I think it is reflective of the growing confidence of India (and rightfully so) that folks are beginning to use billion as a yard stick. It is nice to know where you go, its all about the Benjamins.