Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Three Basic Ingredients of Innovation

India has witnessed three different centuries in its last history-

1. Slave century
2. Xerox Century, and
3. Innovation Century.

The whole of 19th century, I categorized as slave century for India. The country remained under the rule of one ruler or other. British ruled for most of the time in most of the Indian sub-continent. This whole century, I termed as Slave Century of India.

From the last few centuries of oppression, the country has lost its own wisdom domain and trivializes the whole issue of innovations. Innovations demand significant chunk of capital to prove and implement the benefit for human civilization. Because of the lack of access to these capitals around these times, the country and its people have lost direction. In 18th century, we worked hard on the path of liberation. The Sati Pratha, caste system, Dalit discriminations and other anomalies of society were handled for the benefit of human beings in general. In the last century, we mastered ourselves in copying from all across the world whether it is appliance, system, music, and culture or even dresses. Last centuries, I call it Xerox Century of India.

The end of the last centuries and beginning of the 21st century has given us dream, hope, capital and circumstances to be the leader of innovations. The glimpses of these leaderships have started from vast and successful working democratic set up of this country. The growth of Reliance Industries, Infosys, Biocon and Wipro, etc., has shown us the leadership. The production of car named ‘Indica’ by M/S Tata is a magnificent beginning. This I termed as Brand Leadership of India.

In the era of information age, we witnessed the mushrooming of call centers and information technology enabled services all across the country. This resulted in the transfer of the large funds from developed countries to developing countries like India. This has given the way for innovations. Innovations pass through difficult incubation phases. Innovations consist of stages like research development, technology transfer, technology absorption, productions of products or systems with significant world class performance, quality and cost effectiveness. It also depends upon its impact on the large section of the population. This demands a huge investment. This demand dedication and sincerity. This demands a devoted team. Today, with the systematic construction of strong infrastructure, India has the resources to venture into innovation.

The innovation needs design. Indigenous design capability is built through rigorous training in technology and design, development, fabrication and production processes through multiple institutions by the use of outsourcing and utilization of available national expertise. Wealth generation depends largely on design phase, which contributes about 60 percent of the efforts of the development of the product. The consideration for the quality of the product has to be built in during the design phase itself. The indigenous design and development capability is the key to acquire competitive edge. It is very important to understand the importance of design capability by technocrats, R&D teams, business communities and industry leaders. This is what the edge in 20th century, developed countries had. The developed countries had resources, manpower and capital to go ahead with innovation. The innovation made them rich. The innovation made them sustain prosperity and development. In this 21st century, India is poised to have this edge over others.

The evolving technological scenario of the world has provided immense opportunities to the people of the developing countries all across the world to harness the benefits. Because of the prevailing circumstances and situation, India is in a position to harness the benefit for the betterment of its 100 million populations subject to if these million are ready to unlearn old conservative style and learn the better way of living life. The innovations will give the tools and means for these effects.

The services industries do not demand a huge capital. There are many entrepreneurs, who have started call centres, BPOs, consulting services and other knowledge base services. These are generating tremendous capital within the country. These capital generations are making more billionaire every year, which will give catalytic effect to innovation. Once innovation starts, this country and its people will have an edge in all other aspects of life. This scenario compels me to call the Innovation Century of India. We need three basic qualities to harness the innovation and development.

1. Global Language – Every educated individual and policy maker of the nation should think over the language issue. We should not leave the regional language for the poor and deprived people. We should try to provide equal opportunities to poor and deprived one also to learn global language. All government run school must teach English language from the primary school to bridge the ongoing gap between rich and poor. The poor also should not feel as their duty to force their children to study regional language. We must learn and ensure other learn the global language. The knowledge of global language will pave the way for a very bright future of developing nation.
2. Discrimination Free Society – Social discrimination has been a critical and prominent part of the human civilization just a century back all across the world. However as the society are developing and educations and prosperity increases, the discrimination between humans is vanishing. But, discrimination is still the biggest challenge to human civilization. It is the biggest challenge for innovation to emerge and prosper. It is like a cancer to humanity. We must make a policy so that all human beings are considered equal. There should be no need of reservations. Have America ever thought of making reservations for blacks to eradicate the drawbacks of black society? Has Africa ever done it? Is China doing anything like this? Indian political bosses also should take a lesson and find some substitute for reservation for backward, SC, ST or even women. We must eradicate discrimination by removing reservation. We should take other steps so that all human treat other human being equal. Reservations remain a biggest source of discriminations in India.
3. Global Thinking – We should not restrict our acquaintances with people of one country, rather we should move across the world. We should be ready to accept caliber from any parts of the earth to improve life of humanity. We must unlearn old ‘Missionary Phobia’. When Bill Gates of Microsoft Corporations fought to remove the ‘visa’ restrictions of the United States of America, there is no reason that we should not enhance the system and improve infrastructures to attract brilliant mind from across the world in various field irrespective of region and religion.

Today, when Arjun Singh as forward and Congress under Sonia Gandhi are playing the game of reservation to keep backward really backward, we all irrespective of caste and creed should discard at any cost. A reservation ensures discrimination and no body wants to be discriminated in this developed world. We all must unite ourselves to crush such game plan. Unless we meet the above three ingredients in society or organisation, it will be difficult to pursue innovation. It will be difficult to achieve innovation. It will be difficult to sustain innovation.