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Last Updated : Sep 22, 2016 10:16 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

India moves up the innovation ladder; Germany gives thumbs-up

Indian innovators are not just doing path-breaking work, they're re-writing history. Germany, which was once considered a global powerhouse for innovation, is now leveraging the Indian approach to innovation to get its mojo back.


Indian innovators are not just doing path-breaking work, they're re-writing history. Germany, which was once considered a global powerhouse for innovation, is now leveraging the Indian approach to innovation to get its mojo back.


With 1,000 R&D labs and counting, India has jumped on board the Innovation Express and cities like Bengaluru, which is rated the 5th-best destination globally for innovation and technology, has Indian innovators setting a pace that other countries are rushing to learn from.


German think tank Bertelsmann Stiftung believes there is a definite buzz about India's R& D strength and this, after the think-tank studied 80 companies in India.


The study revealed that Indian companies approach innovation in two ways – First, innovative innovation, which involves adapting products offered in Developed markets. Second is frugal innovation, where Indian firms create products and services with limited resources.


It's this second method the think-tank says Germany needs to adopt for itself. After all, Germany was once hailed as the top innovator globally, but is now quite low down the pecking order, and is struggling to get its mojo back.


For this, Bertelsmann Stiftung has recommended that German academic bodies collaborate with Indian companies with an innovative streak to learn approach and techniques, and that the German government push for more corporate collaborations with Indian companies when it comes to innovation.


The report says adopting such an approach will bode well for German companies looking to enlarge their presence in India because these German companies have to go beyond lower price points to woo the Indian customer. In addition, these companies will have to custom design products to cater to functional needs, which rank high on an Indian consumer's list of priorities.


However, the report also points out that while Indian innovators have a lot to offer Germany and German companies, India is still at a very nascent stage in the innovative process. The next 15 years will be critical for the country's innovation ecosystem. So as long as India stays the course, it will have more than Yoga, Basmati Rice and the Zero to offer the world.

First Published on Sep 22, 2016 10:12 pm
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