Innovation and India go together with the latter known worldwide for the former. Post the British and licence raj era, when India’s innovative ability was hampered, India has bounced back strongly. Software, aerospace, telecommunications, medicine, pharmacy etc. are just some of the many fields that have benefited from India’s innovation and creativity.
Zero was born in India! And today it is perhaps the most sought after number – after all the number of zeroes behind a digit makes a huge difference! Creativity in India can be seen in its Ajanta and Ellora caves, various art forms (including literature, music and dance), and diverse religions. India is home to five major classical dance forms; two forms of classical music, and four major religions were born in this country. India is also home to 25 languages – Kannada and Telugu being the most advanced of all – and innumerable dialects.
Unfortunately, the spirit of innovation and creativity slacked during the British reign in India. Our traditional (and ancient) educational system of ‘Gurukul’ was completely destroyed. But now this spirit is reviving.
Indians are known for their creativity and innovativeness. And innovation stands on the pillars of capital, in terms of both human and money. And fortunately, India is the second most densely inhabited country, and the flow of money has increased dramatically in the past 10-15 years.
Since independence, India has strived to achieve unexplored heights in scientific and engineering education. And today millions of students – not only from India but also abroad – graduate from these institutions every year.
The Share Market and democracy has also taken deep roots in Indian society. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) was the first to develop a petroleum refinery. RIL has also created a world record of having the largest number of shareholders. Suzlon, Ranbaxy, Cipla, and Dr. Reddy Labs amongst many others – all have worked their way into the market to raise the required capital for their business.
Another factor that has helped innovation in India is government policies. Research assistance in form of R&D has helped materialise the required infrastructure. ISRO, IIT, BARC etc have all become incubation centres regarding innovation.
In addition, Indians, unlike the Europeans and Americans, believe in cost effective innovation. Indians have made world-class products (be it in the field of science, technology or any other) but the cost involved is nothing when compared to what would have been spent by US. A classic example of this is Mahindra & Mahindra’s SUV – Scorpio – sold at a less than half of what a buyer would have spent for the same for a SUV manufactured by any foreign automobile company.
It is for this reason alone that the world looks towards India today for creative work. In fact it was also for this reason that during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, foreign traders came to India. Our labour is cheap but the products we produce are perhaps the finest.
Brands such as Coca Cola are advertising themselves online using Indian creativity. Luxury brands too are finding it difficult to keep their hands off this Indian talent.