To foster Innovation in India, we need to:
Incubate/Fund Startups: the focus should be on technology products/platforms, with a mix of services. What services does is to give an insight into what customer wants, and what the state-of-the-art in that industry is. Most Indian companies tend to stop at services. This is what needs to change. We should work with international funds to create startups in specific verticals.
Build Marketing Bases Globally: India is a great engineering base, but not really a large market for many of the technologies. We need to set up marketing arms internationally – US, Europe and Asia. Companies – and senior management – needs to be close to where the customers are.
Initiate Research at Educational Institutions: There is little leading edge research going on at India’s educational institutions. This needs to change. We need to have faculty-led research spanning not just months, but years. We need to create centres of excellence at our universities. This is where the alumni can play a role, especially those outside India. We also need to have students work at companies outside India in their practical training to get a sense of what is happening at the cutting edge.
Partner with Complementary Companies in Asia: Imagine being able to combine Taiwan’s hardware skills, Japan’s design excellence and India’s software skills. Can we partner with companies in Asia to create end-to-end solutions? For example, Korea and Japan are leaders in wireless technologies, with Korea also having excellent broadband infrastructure. Indian companies must look at leveraging skillsets to create technology platforms for these emerging areas of wireless and broadband.
The challenge ahead of us is to create 2-3 success stories in the next 12-18 months in India – the equivalent of an ICQ or a Chromatis in Israel. India Inc’s mission should be to help Indian entrepreneurs transform their technical expertise and ideas into successful global enterprises that build cutting – edge products and services, companies that are leading the revolution.
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