I am in Microsoft India’s i3 2007 event in Leela, Bangalore. Many eminent speakers are talking today about how India is innovating.
Mr Ravi Venkatesan talked about “How a World Bank report that says India’s GDP can become 5 times of what it is today. As a country we have learned to innovate around constraints. Look in the Mobile phone industry where we have the lowest ARPU but still some of the highest urban teledensity. Take say Tata ACE or other innovative products built on Shoestring budgets when compared with rest of the world. Take for instance a gentleman from Chennai is able to produce solar power heated water. The challenge is to accelerate these sparse and spread innovations. Only 16% of Manufacturing industry in India have forward planning for human resources, in China it is 92%. We have done a bad job of applying IT within the country. Investments in IT in India is only 3.5% GDP same as Bangladesh & Sri Lanka. Today we are talking about Innovation from India, Innovation for India, Innovation with India. India has over 8 Million SMEs and they are the primary employment drivers and only 2 Million of them use computers other than Mobile. In Tirupur we have a model for Software plus Service model for garment industry by paying Rs.5000/2500 per user. Our DPE team is going to work with Startups in enabling them with technology, opening doors, connecting to venture capitalists“
Ramgopal Subramaniam from Aztecsoft did the demo of their Tirupur Garment cluster for SME.
Prof Sadagopan talked about “I will talk about Innovation East of Bangalore, West of Bangalore and lastly in Bangalore.
- For example nearly a decade back In Tirupathi, we developed a system whereby each pilgrim got a barcode tag which replaced physical queue with a logical queue. It costs 10paise and over 26 Million people have used it so far. Later we found that the pilgrims took bath in the template tank, so we moved to waterproof tag. Now we have extended the system to the Internet. Initially, critics said illiterates will oppose it, but they support it because they don’t have the bribing opportunities that literates have:-). To make it India it got to be Absolutely low cost, reliable and easy to use.
- Moving West, in Udipi we have a company called Robosoft serving Marquee Top 5 Japan companies for Device driving with over 2000 people and he calls his place Silicon Beach, this proves innovation can happen anywhere
- In Bangalore – From JP Nagar few years a 30 people company managed to make USD 6 Million for a gadget that unwired iPod. They are closed now, but the point that innovation can happen from anywhere.
Most of the innovation can happen from the most unusual place. So India innovating should be India innovating from anywhere in the country.
There is a social dilemma because in India everyone wants to be developing software, but the bigger opportunity/a large number of jobs are in maintenance of software/business. The message should somehow reach the youngsters and that Maintenance is cool. Even in Microsoft, people will like to first go to MS Research, then to MS Labs finally to Sales or Support. But most of the challenging work happens in Support.
Automotive and Retail are the next booming industry and both are IT intensive“
Srikanth Rao of Affordable Business Solutions says the “biggest gap of man power exists for SME players. They can’t train people because if they train the trained resources will quit. If you can do a solution at less than 10% of the overall cost to company and produce 20 to 30% cost saving, you got it”