India’s trajectory: An innovation powerhouse

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July 24, 2019 1:12 AM

If the IMF has to achieve its mission of ensuring international financial stability, global leaders should end this stitch-up and choose the best person for the job. They must also do more to depoliticise the fund.

In fact, GII has been instrumental for many countries to reshape their policies and design an actionable agenda for innovation excellence.

Innovation is the key driver for sustenance and prosperity of start-ups or conglomerates or governments trying to maximise their service delivery, or institutions excelling in research and academics. Innovation is the process for measurable value-enhancement in any activity. The process can be a breakthrough or disruptive one, ushering in game changing business practices. It could also be incremental or iterative one, resulting from continuous improvements for better customer satisfaction and market share. Disruptive innovation brings something ‘new to the world’ and hence it is associated with higher business risk. On the other hand, incremental innovation introduces something ‘new to the market’ and thus it is fraught with less risk.

Innovation has been defined as commercially successful exploitation of new technologies, ideas or methods by introduction of new products or processes or by improvement of the existing ones. As it is important for companies to understand business and societal challenges to sustain in the long run, they need to keep abreast with game changing scenarios and embrace them with innovative solutions. The need for creating a well-structured innovation ecosystem has been appreciated by many countries to establish competitive edge and to improve the quality of life of their citizens. Governments in developed countries have a range of instruments to stimulate innovation by individuals and firms, and reduce their risk perception.

Realising the importance of innovation and its economic implications in terms of wealth creation and employment generation, the Indian government has taken steps for creating a favourable ecosystem for innovation. A conducive ecosystem paves way for entrepreneurial minds to unlock their potential and start new ventures, thus creating a competitive environment. India needs to boost its innovation ecosystem by intertwining among various stakeholders like the government, industry, academia and society to transform India as an attractive innovation destination.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has been orchestrating initiatives towards creating and fostering innovation among the Indian industry and encouraging entrepreneurial ventures. As per the Global Innovation Index (GII), of which CII is the founding knowledge partner, India has moved up to 57th rank (the country was ranked 81 in 2014). And it is natural for India to aspire for reaching the club of top-25 most-innovation-driven economies in the world very soon.

In fact, GII has been instrumental for many countries to reshape their policies and design an actionable agenda for innovation excellence. This year’s annual GII report and ranking of their innovation performances are awaited by all the participating countries—India’s position on this index is also being watched carefully by the stakeholders, including the government and industry.

This year’s GII theme “Creating Healthy Lives: The Future of Medical Innovation” is important and relevant for India because we would need a strong focus on medical innovation towards the goal of bringing healthcare and its delivery to all Indians. Over the years, the GII report has been launched from various cities across the world, but this year, for the first time, the report would be launched from India—on July 24, 2019—in New Delhi. This is a proud moment for the country and the countrymen.

India is well-known for its tryst with innovation, especially in developing low-cost vaccines and their widespread application, to a frugal space programme indirectly touching millions of lives by providing effective advance data on cyclones, etc. In addition, India’s global leadership in information technology has positioned the country as a software superpower. I am hopeful that this year’s GII report will positively influence India to embrace innovation in all spheres, ranging from governance to business excellence to various facets of technology.

The author is director general, CII

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