Dr Jagat Shah, Founder – Mentor on Road (India & USA) shares his opinions on Innovation in India with Higher Education Plus.
- What is innovation in knowledge economy?
Innovation in knowledge economy is “doing one thing better than anyone else”. A knowledge-based economy is one in which all sectors are knowledge-intensive, are responsive to new ideas and technological change, are innovative and employ highly skilled personnel engaged in on-going learning. Innovation as a driver of growth is increasingly acknowledged not only at the level of National Innovation Systems but also at the regional and local levels.
A critical element contributing to regional and local innovation systems is an efficient knowledge system that connects all stakeholders like industry, education, research institutions and government. The organisation of knowledge thus becomes an issue for local and regional planning and for related policy development.
Innovation as a driver of growth is increasingly acknowledged not only at the level of National Innovation Systems but also at the regional and local levels.
- How does innovation in India look like to you?
Start-up India is building a good ecosystem for innovation. Atal innovation labs will create impact in rural India. After a not-so promising start at the beginning of this decade, India has been climbing up the Global Innovation Index (GII) rankings in the last couple of years, moving from 81 in 2015 to 57 in 2018.
According to a 2016 Capgemini study, India was the best innovation destination in Asia and the third best in the world. The increase in innovation investment in the region was attributed in part to “the government and other public-sector initiatives that seek to establish India as digitally empowered society and nurture innovation.” The improvement in the country has been remarkable although a lot of grassroots innovations seem to be falling under the radar.
- How can India build itself as an innovation nation?
India’s challenge of not being able to make the journey from mind-to-marketplace can be addressed only by building a powerful national innovation ecosystem. What is coming in the way? It is often lamented that Indian innovations are invariably incremental and not disruptive. They are often ‘first to India’ and not ‘first to the world’. They copy the ‘current best practice’ but don’t create the ‘next’ practice.
But even when we created disruptive game-changing inventions, it did not become an ‘innovation’, in the sense that the mind-to-market place journey was not completed to create competitive marketable products with speed, scale and sustainability.
- What are the most important parameters looked at by GII while assessing innovation and its strategies?
The Global Innovation Index (GII) aims to capture the multi-dimensional facets of innovation and provide the tools that can assist in tailoring policies to promote long-term output growth, improved productivity, and job growth. The GII helps to create an environment in which innovation factors are continually evaluated. It provides a key tool and a rich database of detailed metrics for economies, which in 2018 encompasses 126 economies, representing 90.8% of the world’s population and 96.3% of global GDP.
The Global Innovation Index (GII) is an evolving project that builds on its previous editions while incorporating newly available data and that is inspired by the latest research on the measurement of innovation. The GII relies on two sub-indices—the Innovation Input Sub-Index and the Innovation Output Sub-Index—each built around key pillars.
Five input pillars capture elements of the national economy that enable innovative activities: (1) Institutions, (2) Human capital and research, (3) Infrastructure,
- Market sophistication, and (5)
Business sophistication. Two output pillars capture actual evidence of innovation outputs: (6) Knowledge and technology outputs and (7) Creative outputs. Each pillar is divided into sub-pillars and each sub-pillar is composed of individual indicators (80 in total in 2018).
Four measures are then calculated:
- Innovation Input Sub-Index: is the simple average of the first five pillar scores
- Innovation Output Sub-Index is the simple average of the last two pillar scores
- The overall GII score is the simple average of the Input and Output Sub-Indices
- The Innovation Efficiency Ratio is the ratio of the Output Sub-Index over the Input Sub-Index
- What are the important steps required to be taken to market one’s idea?
This has remained a challenge to most innovations in India. Here are some steps:
- Define Your Target Audience
- Know How To Reach Your Audience o Know The Problem You’re Solving o Understand The Buying Journey
o Secure Your Online Identity o Validate Your Product
o Know Your Competition And Be Different
- Make Sure It Hasn’t Been Done Before o Create A Free Trial Or Demo
o Lay Out A Comprehensive Strategic Plan
o Get Everyone On The Same Page o Create Brand Voice Guidelines o Offer Early Use Incentives
o Keep Testing It
o Know What You Don’t Know o Know Your Story
o Start Planning The Next Version
- What are the key points to be kept in mind while balancing one’s innovative aspirations and managing regular studies?
Keep this in mind:
- Track Your Time
- Determine Your Priorities
- Set Specific Goals
- Schedule Scrupulously
- Establish Boundaries
- Take Care of Your Health
- Nurture Your Family/Relationships
- Make Time for You
- Leave Work at Work
- Exercise Your Options
- Work Smarter Not Harder
- Know When to Ask for Help
- What should be the focus points when it comes to building a start-up firm?
Launching a business is hard. About half survive five years. At the 10-year mark, just a third of firms are still around. And the odds of hitting it big ? I estimate that 1% of venture-funded start-ups reached unicorn status, a billion-dollar valuation. These are the issues you must work on :
- How do you decide which opportunities to pursue? Are you looking at whole industries or specific ideas?
o You must have more ideas than you can act on. What’s your process for choosing which to move ahead with?
o Does market research play a role?
- As an entrepreneur, how do you figure out the right level of involvement in a company?
- How do you know when it’s time to add something to your work – time portfolio without spreading yourself too thin?
- What do you look for when choosing CEOs?
- Are you looking for previous experience leading a company?
- Do they need to come from a startup background?
- Which is more important, the idea or the execution?
- What are the key areas a young entrepreneur should focus on while building their business?
Follow these short one liners:
o Challenge yourself.
- Do work you care about. o Take the risk.
o Believe in yourself. o Have a vision.
o Find good people, Build a great team, Hire character.
o Face your fears. o Take action.
o Do the time.
o Manage energy, not time. o Plan for raising capital. o Know your goals.
o Learn from complaints. o Ask for customers’ input. o Spend wisely.
o Understand your industry. o Deliver more than expected. o Learn from mistakes.
o Know your customer.