Sukriti Nair, Young Leader - IndiaGlocal
Sukriti Nair is a full time post graduate candidate at Xavier Institute of Management, Jabalpur. This article was submitted as part of her selection process as an IndiaGlocal - Young Leader. The views and opinion in the article are solely of the author.
As said by Steve Jobs, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” and it seems right when I think it for India as well.
India has been in the forefront of innovations right from the era of Aryabhata and Charka. As a country it has always been proud of its intellectuals, in almost all field of development. It was a very developed and rich economy, even-though hidden from the world. The brains here had the potential to make India’s economy stand out on its own. Only in the era of colonialization, did it loose a track of such developments, when innovation & advancement were oppressed by the British raj, to have an upper hand on India. This was one of their tools to keep the economic situation in their hands.
Now may I ask you, why innovation & technological advancement is so important for any country’s development?
Well, the answer lies in the fact that only innovation and improvement are solutions to even the simplest of challenges. The better the capability to find solutions in this ever-changing world, the better prepared a country is and lesser is the effect of any crisis. Luckily, soon after Independence the Indian leaders realized this, and wanted to establish a technological backdrop in the Indian education system, to pace up India in the global race of development. With the establishment of IITs, ISRO, etc. they wanted to bridge academia and industrial insight with developmental needs of the country. Even today India spends about 0.6% of its GDP on R&D.
Talking about the present situation of India, it now stands globally third in attracting technology related investments. It is amongst the top five nations in field of space exploration and generates a lot of revenue by lending its space facilities to other nations of the world. The Government is extensively promoting research hubs and Tech business incubators, to promote inventive ideas and helping become commercial ventures. India was also the world’s third largest technology start-up hub with incorporation of 1,000 new companies in 2017, as per the governments database. In the recent past there has been considerable investment by GOI, in different sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, space research, nuclear power and scientific research to make these sectors self-reliant. This has led to many MNCs establishing R&D centers in India. Even government has come up with a number of initiatives to support technological advancement through PPP (Public Private partnership) funds and other support. Some key players in economic development through innovation have been, GOI (directly and indirectly) and private giants like TCS, Biocon, Mahindra, Infosys, Rel-Jio and others. They have with their advanced business models attracted humungous global investment and backed the Indian Economy, even in times of the unprecedented COVID crisis.
In times like now when everything is uncertain the only thing a country can think of is finding answers to newly emerged problems and looking for innovations with reduced quicker obsolescence. But, how can this be achieved by India? How can we leverage technology & innovation for economic stability & development? Answer to this question is by-
Since India now already has developed a much-needed backend of data, using it for a better adoption of tech compliant systems and processes shall not remain an issue. This is a major reason companies like Facebook, Google and even NPOs like the Gates foundation still find immense potential in India’s economy. Thus, we can say that if technology becomes the growth driver of Indian economy, it will definitely grow multifold. Any innovation delayed does not remain an innovation in Itself, it may not be sufficient to take one ahead of others. This is the reason why corporate world focuses on deadlines since their entire motive is to remain ahead of others, which is not the only motive of any nation, especially India where we have multiple other issues to handle as well! In the current situation it may be difficult to invest but we should not lose out on such a great chance to strengthen the technological infrastructure as now is the time we need it the most. Definitely the return on such investment would be positive, as it would not only help in current situation handling but in the future as well. Technology and Innovation are the major driving force for India now. We need Innovation in technology not only in service but also in Manufacturing. Like providing tech which will be efficient and high productivity at reasonable price. Innovation in Technology can really help manufacturing industry. For Ex: Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki are India's top automobile manufacturers but now they need to bring Innovation in technology like Electric Cars and cost of petrol or diesel to cost of electricity per km. That will be a game changer in major cities in India. Many types of Innovations are required now. Since, the situation of the Pandemic has worsened so yes! Innovation in technology is going to be play a key role in boosting growth across sectors in India.
Innovation in manufacturing will enable us to produce world-class products which apart from only being used in India may be exported and will bring immense benefits. R&D expenditure is imperative in any country. It is the only way we can walk our way to the future that holds unlimited potential! The focus with the new ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ has definitely shifted to this direction and recently it's quite visible in the news how India is all set to become the next smartphone manufacturing hub. More manufacturing, more improvements, more the innovation. At this time, when Indian economy is looking inwards, technology, and innovation can make it withstand outside rivals. It definitely can be called the adrenaline to Indian Economy. Hopefully India will again become the Innovation leader in Future!