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.
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Not a day goes by when someone doesn’t come up with his view of what is lacking. But luckily we have some guys like Vijay who also believe in doing their bit.
I understand what TIE, proto.in, headstart etc are doing is really commendable and would try and solve this problem but the model is very rigid for almost all of these ..
I need to have a startup idea before I approach these people for mentoring or recognition.
I was talking about things at grass root level. Even before I conceptualize the idea, I need to know if there could be programmers who can complete it. If I am a programmer, I need to know if I will be able to identify “suits” to market it.
NEN and CIEE are good examples but they demand that participants leave whatever they are doing and head to a different city to know more like that.
I thought if their could be a common pool of resources like venturetalent – but obviously at a much larger scale, it could solve the issue.
This is a very interesting and right on money article. All I can think of when it comes to core Indian enterprises that are innovating/developing world class applications atleast in web area is ZOHO.
Its apparent that its not the Indian people who are not innovative or creative. You are very correct in stating that innovative minds thrive more when they feel challenged by their peers. And thats the exact root cause of the problem. To tackle this India needs to begin looking like an attractive option for masterminds abroad (Indians and non-Indians alike), and for this, Government has to come up with attractive benefits.
I wish Vijay Anand all the best and wish what he says is coming to fruition. I myself am looking forward to helping my bit in near future to achieve this goal.
TiE, Proto.in, Headstart, The Band of Angels, NEN, The Mumbai Angels – all of them are effectively working towards creating “that” innovative ambience here in India.
It’s gonna take a few years, but the pieces are definitely falling in place. Give me three more years, I can assure you that these words would feel like they were spoken in haste. Things will be different, much different. We’ll have troubles of a different sort then 🙂
I completely agree that in India we have immense talent but we lack the central place for people to interact and launch something. I am a student in the US and am currently involved in a startup and feel that what India needs at the moment more than anything is mentors. These people can really help upcoming entrepreneurs by guiding them and introducing them to the network of entrepreneurs that exists in India.
Conferences and meetups do promote this to an extent but I feel it is not possible for everyone to attend them due to the travel required, specially for us Indians who are studying/living abroad.
Perhaps an online portal which is built upon the idea of crowd sourcing. For the first month people submit ideas and everyone votes on ideas and then the best 3 ideas are developed by programmers and professionals in their free time and everyone gets a share in the company. An open source and crowd sourced project which is managed by a few people in India but built by everyone who wants to contribute.
This might even lead to the next operating system / browser / mail client…
Well I know a lot of people might think this is impossible or just a vision but everything is possible right.