I come from a background of working at a Auto MNC. So I hope I can share something useful to how to encourage innovation in India.
- Innovation is all about way of thinking and mentality over anything else. Its not solely about technical prowess, not solely about analytical ability but more about the combination of the two coupled with creativity, vision, domain knowledge.
- We generally term Improvements as innovations. There is a big difference. Improvements are incremental, innovation is path breaking , disruptive.
- Problem identification and formulation are single most important step in solving any problem. Getting this step wrong will result in failure even if the Math and analysis is good.
- Open mindedness and ability to accept failure and rejection is also one of the key obstacles. As a culture we despise failure.
- We should remove the notion that India is already innovative because of Jugaad. Jugaad might be a good quick fix but it is not something worth aspiring too. Frugal Engineering innovation is something which we should be aiming for. Innovation should bring about prosperity and wealth generation in the country which Jugaad in its current state cannot do, it is harmful and not reliable.
- Blaming the Government for lack of budget is not a good way to tackle the situation. Although money is important but you have got the internet. The amount of information available is something which earlier generations never had. Also innovation can actually flourish in very harsh environments. AS the saying goes “Necessity is the mother of invention” As an example to this, Read about this man Genrich Altshuller-Wikipedia. He actually came up with a theory for systematic innovation while in a prison cell reading through thousands of patents. During the time of Stalin, a time of political upheavel.
- Innovation especially Engineering innovation will become a major driver of growth in the coming future due to Industry. Our Demographic dividend has to be utilized to convert most of the youth to skilled non knowledge and knowledge workers. Without this there will be a huge problem in stability of the country.
- Inculcating innovation at an early stage of education is critical and the government has recognized this by starting A tal innovation Labs. Although I feel this will not be enough without active participation of industry and sufficient percolation of knowledge from all the sources.
- Online education has to be utilized in a major way.
- Knowledge will surely be the most powerful asset in the future and knowledge will lead to innovation over anything else. First thing india should do that make sure all intellectual property should be safe by law and order.
Writer: Mufaddal Rasheed