Taken notes from TiE Round Table –
I have placed the Gist of the Question/Answer session here
Large service companies in India are not egines of innovations.
– Too metrics driven, Insufficient discretion used
– Innovative members build infrastructure, not often seen as contributing to bottom line
– Companies need diversities in terms of people who do not think alike, speak alike.
Even in the Silicon Valley, engines of innovations are spun out of large companies like Cisco, and spun back in.
Innovations in local markets
– Financial models in local markets is a problem
– Eg :- Electricity – How do you make farmers pay for it
– If rural India is used to getting things for free, so be it
– Somebody else in the ecosystem may want to pay for this.
– Eg :- Google
We do not lack in innovation
– Most finance in India is debt-based
– Also, marketing is a problem
Innovation comes only when education system changes.
– Both parents and students look at education as a passport for the next job.
– How do we introduce the love for Engineering?
When an innovation gets the desired visibility, the money comes chasing.
– Scaling up is an issue.
– Mentoring is an issue
Theory – Culturally, we are not hands-on.
Lack of role-models
– IIT Kanpur dean says –
Researchers working on problems isolated from that of the customer.
Replicating the Silicon Valley in the rest of US – Not possible.
Seems to be a “State of the mind. Failure is not seen as a failure, adds to experience”.
People are not risk-averse. Willing to take risks.
Seed capital is not available easily in India
– Capabilities of assessing is not there.
– Investors also do what they best understand – balancing the books.
– US – Angel and Seed investors are successful engineers of the past
Niche company in a niche area. How to scale?
Companies have a very short life-span.
Can the innovation labs, and universties do better, since they have longer lifespans.
– Avoids high investments by companies.
Should a product at an innovative company have one product for daily food? And one for the innovation.
– Never do that
– Manage your risks.
– Eg :- Mobile markets in India have managed competition.
Is there a mismatch between the skillsets/aspirations of the people of India, and the local market demand situation?
Innovation evolution in foreign markets needs local presence to understand local customer needs.
– There are companies that take the innovations from here to other parts of the world.