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India needs to re-ignite innovation to scale new heights in manufacturing

While govt accounts for about 75% of total R&D investment, contribution of private firms is very low

Vikram Bhaduria 

India, with its distinctive demographic dividend, enormous market potential and rising disposable income, is on its way to becoming a major economic force in the world. However, this would definitely be a formidable task and would call for proactive actions as the competition from its regional counterparts, especially countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, is ever increasing. Over the past three-four decades, India has fared reasonably well in areas like information and technology, power, urbanisation, education, agriculture and defence. Yet, one element that is conspicuous by its absence in these domains is

According to the latest Global Index 2016, India ranks 66th among a total number of 140 countries. Further, India’s R&D spending of $ 66 billion in 2015 (0.9 percent of its GDP) is woefully infinitesimal, both by absolute norms and when compared to China’s $ 409 billion in the same year. The more worrying fact for India is that three-fourth of its total R&D investment is made by the government and the contribution of the private sector companies is abysmally low as seen in the past few years. 

One of the primary reasons for lack of is that most of the Indian companies are risk-averse and are threatened by a feeling of insecurity when it comes to and R&D. As a result, in the last 60 years or more, India has failed to produce a single ground breaking innovative idea that made a notable economic impact. On the other hand, smaller countries like Switzerland and Finland have consistently topped the Global charts with relatively limited resources and market potential. Therefore, it is unfortunate to see that at all levels of the Indian industry pyramid – from the unorganised enterprises to listed companies – has become almost extinct.

However, a recent UN report on Most Innovative Countries in the World stated that India has all the ingredients needed to become a global driver of Therefore, what we need is to collaborate and explore this hidden opportunity to strive for ‘manufacturing excellence’.

Vast talent pool: India has always been proud of its capacity to produce gifted manpower. Nearly, 1.5 million new engineers step out into the market each year, fuelled with the desire to create their unique success story. Unfortunately, this desire fizzles out as a majority of them settle into predictable and conventional roles. There is very little opportunity for innovative and creative talent to flourish. They need access to R&D and flexibility from the industry to innovate and create new products with advanced technologies. If we create avenues that foster innovation, India would significantly leverage this talent pool for propelling manufacturing to exponential levels.

Immense market potential: Indian consumers would readily lap up products that are new, durable and easy on the pocket. At present, consumers are caught between expensive foreign technologies and unreliable domestic products. With a purchasing power parity or PPP of Rs 10,000 a month, a vast majority would be eager to get their hands on affordable and sustainable home-grown technology.

Intrinsic entrepreneurial spirit: The largest upcoming stars of tomorrow are the SMEs. India has seen a surge in that space in recent years. Why? Because we are entrepreneurial in nature and have always excelled at it. As a result, the government has taken specific actions to ramp up its R&D investment from the current 0.9 percent to over 2 percent in the next few years.

Vikram Bhadauria, director, Alok Masterbatches
Vikram Bhadauria, director, Alok Masterbatches
However, government should not restrict itself to just providing subsidies and incentives. Although these initiatives do play an important role, it is imperative for the government to focus on mobilising India’s talent pool. For this to happen, the industry has to join hands with the government and work collaboratively, thereby creating ample opportunities for innovation, by investing in research and technology and encouraging high-quality product development. This will undoubtedly increase the quality and efficiency of manufacturing sector in India. 

Besides, the fresh engineers who step out into the market will be motivated to utilise their skills and build innovative products that address the pressing needs of our industry. A success rate of even 20 percent in tying India’s talent to government initiatives like would bring substantial gains to a country of such magnitude.

In conclusion, India houses the trinity of business - massive technical manpower, a large market potential and inherent entrepreneurial skill. And now, with all the necessary resources available within our reach, India must stop ‘Looking West’ for inspiration, instead it should start ‘Looking Within’ and break the jinx of mediocrity to become a globally recognised hub. 
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
is the director at Alok Masterbatches

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India needs to re-ignite innovation to scale new heights in manufacturing

While govt accounts for about 75% of total R&D investment, contribution of private firms is very low

While govt accounts for about 75% of total R&D investment, contribution of private firms is very low
India, with its distinctive demographic dividend, enormous market potential and rising disposable income, is on its way to becoming a major economic force in the world. However, this would definitely be a formidable task and would call for proactive actions as the competition from its regional counterparts, especially countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, is ever increasing. Over the past three-four decades, India has fared reasonably well in areas like information and technology, power, urbanisation, education, agriculture and defence. Yet, one element that is conspicuous by its absence in these domains is

According to the latest Global Index 2016, India ranks 66th among a total number of 140 countries. Further, India’s R&D spending of $ 66 billion in 2015 (0.9 percent of its GDP) is woefully infinitesimal, both by absolute norms and when compared to China’s $ 409 billion in the same year. The more worrying fact for India is that three-fourth of its total R&D investment is made by the government and the contribution of the private sector companies is abysmally low as seen in the past few years. 

One of the primary reasons for lack of is that most of the Indian companies are risk-averse and are threatened by a feeling of insecurity when it comes to and R&D. As a result, in the last 60 years or more, India has failed to produce a single ground breaking innovative idea that made a notable economic impact. On the other hand, smaller countries like Switzerland and Finland have consistently topped the Global charts with relatively limited resources and market potential. Therefore, it is unfortunate to see that at all levels of the Indian industry pyramid – from the unorganised enterprises to listed companies – has become almost extinct.

However, a recent UN report on Most Innovative Countries in the World stated that India has all the ingredients needed to become a global driver of Therefore, what we need is to collaborate and explore this hidden opportunity to strive for ‘manufacturing excellence’.

Vast talent pool: India has always been proud of its capacity to produce gifted manpower. Nearly, 1.5 million new engineers step out into the market each year, fuelled with the desire to create their unique success story. Unfortunately, this desire fizzles out as a majority of them settle into predictable and conventional roles. There is very little opportunity for innovative and creative talent to flourish. They need access to R&D and flexibility from the industry to innovate and create new products with advanced technologies. If we create avenues that foster innovation, India would significantly leverage this talent pool for propelling manufacturing to exponential levels.

Immense market potential: Indian consumers would readily lap up products that are new, durable and easy on the pocket. At present, consumers are caught between expensive foreign technologies and unreliable domestic products. With a purchasing power parity or PPP of Rs 10,000 a month, a vast majority would be eager to get their hands on affordable and sustainable home-grown technology.

Intrinsic entrepreneurial spirit: The largest upcoming stars of tomorrow are the SMEs. India has seen a surge in that space in recent years. Why? Because we are entrepreneurial in nature and have always excelled at it. As a result, the government has taken specific actions to ramp up its R&D investment from the current 0.9 percent to over 2 percent in the next few years.

Vikram Bhadauria, director, Alok Masterbatches
Vikram Bhadauria, director, Alok Masterbatches
However, government should not restrict itself to just providing subsidies and incentives. Although these initiatives do play an important role, it is imperative for the government to focus on mobilising India’s talent pool. For this to happen, the industry has to join hands with the government and work collaboratively, thereby creating ample opportunities for innovation, by investing in research and technology and encouraging high-quality product development. This will undoubtedly increase the quality and efficiency of manufacturing sector in India. 

Besides, the fresh engineers who step out into the market will be motivated to utilise their skills and build innovative products that address the pressing needs of our industry. A success rate of even 20 percent in tying India’s talent to government initiatives like would bring substantial gains to a country of such magnitude.

In conclusion, India houses the trinity of business - massive technical manpower, a large market potential and inherent entrepreneurial skill. And now, with all the necessary resources available within our reach, India must stop ‘Looking West’ for inspiration, instead it should start ‘Looking Within’ and break the jinx of mediocrity to become a globally recognised hub. 
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
is the director at Alok Masterbatches

image
Business Standard
177 22

India needs to re-ignite innovation to scale new heights in manufacturing

While govt accounts for about 75% of total R&D investment, contribution of private firms is very low

India, with its distinctive demographic dividend, enormous market potential and rising disposable income, is on its way to becoming a major economic force in the world. However, this would definitely be a formidable task and would call for proactive actions as the competition from its regional counterparts, especially countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, is ever increasing. Over the past three-four decades, India has fared reasonably well in areas like information and technology, power, urbanisation, education, agriculture and defence. Yet, one element that is conspicuous by its absence in these domains is

According to the latest Global Index 2016, India ranks 66th among a total number of 140 countries. Further, India’s R&D spending of $ 66 billion in 2015 (0.9 percent of its GDP) is woefully infinitesimal, both by absolute norms and when compared to China’s $ 409 billion in the same year. The more worrying fact for India is that three-fourth of its total R&D investment is made by the government and the contribution of the private sector companies is abysmally low as seen in the past few years. 

One of the primary reasons for lack of is that most of the Indian companies are risk-averse and are threatened by a feeling of insecurity when it comes to and R&D. As a result, in the last 60 years or more, India has failed to produce a single ground breaking innovative idea that made a notable economic impact. On the other hand, smaller countries like Switzerland and Finland have consistently topped the Global charts with relatively limited resources and market potential. Therefore, it is unfortunate to see that at all levels of the Indian industry pyramid – from the unorganised enterprises to listed companies – has become almost extinct.

However, a recent UN report on Most Innovative Countries in the World stated that India has all the ingredients needed to become a global driver of Therefore, what we need is to collaborate and explore this hidden opportunity to strive for ‘manufacturing excellence’.

Vast talent pool: India has always been proud of its capacity to produce gifted manpower. Nearly, 1.5 million new engineers step out into the market each year, fuelled with the desire to create their unique success story. Unfortunately, this desire fizzles out as a majority of them settle into predictable and conventional roles. There is very little opportunity for innovative and creative talent to flourish. They need access to R&D and flexibility from the industry to innovate and create new products with advanced technologies. If we create avenues that foster innovation, India would significantly leverage this talent pool for propelling manufacturing to exponential levels.

Immense market potential: Indian consumers would readily lap up products that are new, durable and easy on the pocket. At present, consumers are caught between expensive foreign technologies and unreliable domestic products. With a purchasing power parity or PPP of Rs 10,000 a month, a vast majority would be eager to get their hands on affordable and sustainable home-grown technology.

Intrinsic entrepreneurial spirit: The largest upcoming stars of tomorrow are the SMEs. India has seen a surge in that space in recent years. Why? Because we are entrepreneurial in nature and have always excelled at it. As a result, the government has taken specific actions to ramp up its R&D investment from the current 0.9 percent to over 2 percent in the next few years.

Vikram Bhadauria, director, Alok Masterbatches
Vikram Bhadauria, director, Alok Masterbatches
However, government should not restrict itself to just providing subsidies and incentives. Although these initiatives do play an important role, it is imperative for the government to focus on mobilising India’s talent pool. For this to happen, the industry has to join hands with the government and work collaboratively, thereby creating ample opportunities for innovation, by investing in research and technology and encouraging high-quality product development. This will undoubtedly increase the quality and efficiency of manufacturing sector in India. 

Besides, the fresh engineers who step out into the market will be motivated to utilise their skills and build innovative products that address the pressing needs of our industry. A success rate of even 20 percent in tying India’s talent to government initiatives like would bring substantial gains to a country of such magnitude.

In conclusion, India houses the trinity of business - massive technical manpower, a large market potential and inherent entrepreneurial skill. And now, with all the necessary resources available within our reach, India must stop ‘Looking West’ for inspiration, instead it should start ‘Looking Within’ and break the jinx of mediocrity to become a globally recognised hub. 
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
is the director at Alok Masterbatches

image
Business Standard
177 22