Craig Mundie finds that the U.S. still has a tremendous innovation capability and is unlikely to lose it to countries such as India and China. He rightly points out that innovation in some large scale can not abruptly shift from one part of the world to another. As he sees it that Innovation will happen in India due to its well educated workforce but may lack the VC ecosystem and points out the Indian business needs new model of capital formation to sustain and grow the innovation track and finds challenges ahead for the country on commercializing these finds I think Mundie seems to have a certain pulse of the reality and the state of progress within India.
Most of the IT majors have invested heavily in Indian talent, residing both within the country and outside. I can say that qualified data suggests that atleast in the enterprise software space – lot of engineering and testing are happening in India and may in the days to come closely compete with the US in terms of the nature and volumeof work. Craig himsef travelled to visit Microsoft reseach unit setup in India -just one of the six spread globally. It is a fact that India is making a lot of strides in R&d. While it is generaaly well known that all knowledge related work would slowly move towards India,and that several western corporations in the high tech sector are already moving research work in considerable volume towards India,I was wondering what's the view on this from the indian research fraternity.Raghunath Mashelkar provides his perspective. He writes,India's R&D has the potential to reach the Top. His key thoughts run like this:
- Five years ago, he predicted: "The next century will belong to India, which will become a unique intellectual and economic power to reckon with, recapturing all its glory, which it had in the millennia gone by" and concludes that if India plays its cards right, it can become by 2020 the world's number-one knowledge production center, creating not only valuable private goods but also much needed public goods that will help the growing global population suffer less and live better. I wrote recently :
- While the potential may be high , India needs to learn from the US to focus on applied reseearch more aggressively.Reseach in the emerging areas of digital/mobile technologies, Silicon, Conductivity,Communication, Sensor systems, Bio-technology etc. Anything less than being seen as world leaders in innovation in each of these categories would not be seen a full fledged success.
- For all its proclaimed prowess, India has not been able to produce nobel prize winners- The academia, industry, government linkage looks very weak and needs to be improved several times over.
- India needs to attract lot of foreign talent to work out of India in cutting edge areas - India should be seen more easy to do business with and should host and participate in lot more scientific activities - conferences, exchange programs etc.
On balance, Craig is mostly right - The innovation pace in the Indian ecosystem has definitely got to improve – as I see it not so far moved fast enough to claim good positions in the Opensource,Ajax world – the rising waves- surely here capital is not the only deterrent. But can India do it - I think so - even offshoring - which has catapulted india into a global major in services is in large measures a bye -product of innovation !!
Category :Innovation, India