Fostering Innovation in India

Even after all these years of the so-called IT revolution, India is still struggling for a business/company that has created intellectual capital and has thus created a true enterprise with roots in research and development. I think its about time to take stock and figure out why.

No one would dispute that India has all it takes to create sustainable, world-class IP businesses. We have the requisite manpower. We have the intellectual prowess. We have the infrastructure (at least at few places). And we have people who can be effective leaders and mentors. All the pieces of jigsaw puzzles are there. Someone just needs to put all of them at one place at the same time.

This is where the story becomes interesting. People are scattered across geography and time. And these pieces don’t know that they are parts of something bigger and they all can play a role. Even if they realize that they can take their ideas to fruition, they don’t know where and how to find complementary skill-sets. We need something, a system probably to help these people come together.

Reminds me of classical markets. Every buyer knows that they will find the best sellers at the market place and every seller knows that they will find the most generous and knowledgeable buyers at the market. Everyone converges to the market and everyone goes back happy.

A look at all great places to work would reveal that people thrive in presence of great minds around them. Everyone learns off each other and collectively the tribe becomes stronger. Starting with Microsoft, moving on to Google and now Facebook, most technology people want to be at a place where they can be pushed and challenged by their peers and they can enrich their experiences. Microsoft, Google and Facebook are like above-mentioned markets. Programmers, Coders, Managers and even Chefs are jumping the gun and looking for better place. A place where all great minds converge and learn off each other and grow individually (and obviously to a place that gives them stock options).

India today needs someone to create such markets that enables people with complementary skills to come together and get them start talking to each other. Events like barCamps, OCC, MOMO and websites like VentureWoods, pluggd.In are doing it to some extent.

And now the questions. Are they really sufficient? Are they enabling people spread across geographies to come together? More importantly so these people have complementary skill sets? Any critics? Thoughts? Opinions?

P.S.: The title might be an misnomer … Originally posted here.

11 Responses to “Fostering Innovation in India”

  1. Vijay Anand says:


    An entire country is a humoungous task to take on, and if i tell you the tales of all the woes we face when trying to do an event in a different city, you will not believe some of the silly issues we come up with.

    Start with influencing the space around you. Take your own city. Mumbai needs a strong team to drive some of the initiatives there with clarity of vision.

    Why dont you start there? There is nothing wrong with even driving the vision of OCC further. Everything new doesnt have to be from scratch. It could even be a deeper thrust into what is already being done.

    Always believed that its essential to figure out who all are in the arena, what each one is good at, and play along with them. I know TiE Mumbai has a mandate wanting to get involved in the grass roots level. Arpit and Aditya Mishra of the Barcamp team would be more than willing to pitch in. Bring in the MoMo delhi, and OCC crowd and see what else is lacking. The problem is much more well-defined by then. Easier to come up with workable solutions.

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