April 30, 2021

Is there an Indian recipe to innovation?



For the longest of time in India, innovation was both tucked away within the R&D centres of presidency enterprises, academia and the MNEs or was strewn round unorganised markets within the type of a budget Jugaad. However within the final decade India has seen an unprecedented rise in its innovation ecosystem. With over 35 Unicorns (and counting), India has develop into the third-largest hub of Unicorns globally, one thing that’s not even remotely replicable by others in related class of economies (middle-income group). From taking part in a catch-up sport within the post-liberalisation many years to creating real improvements that resolve actual unmet wants and disrupt classes – at scale, India has outperformed regardless of apparent constraints.

Reframing strengths and prospects:

Launched originally of the 2020s, the ‘Vocal for Native’ credo is symbolic of a nation that’s starting to consider in its personal self-worth. Removed from being seen as a diktat, it turns into a press release of perception within the worth that’s being created by Indian companies for India and the world. From ISRO’s groundbreaking streaks (in bafflingly low budgets) to India being a frontrunner within the Covid vaccine growth, India’s capability to innovate is starting to make a long-lasting impression on the world.

The as soon as stereotypical angle of ‘chalta hai’ is giving technique to the newfound zeal round ‘the way to make issues work higher?’ – a query that Indian entrepreneurs are making use of to the services and products panorama of latest India. This new collective obsession echoes with the three most necessary phrases on the planet of innovation – ‘How would possibly we…’

The World Innovation Index signifies India has been persistently outperforming different economies in its earnings group in terms of key indicators of India’s innovation ecosystem, starting from total establishments to human capital and market sophistication. India’s rating has gone up from 81 (2015) to 48 (2020).

India as a really perfect ‘innovation lab’: its complexity is its benefit

With the laborious metrics of innovation ecosystem in place, what actually acts because the magic ingredient is the huge and heterogenous person segments in India which are hungry for novel options to their unmet wants. This mixture of sturdy capabilities and classes ripe for disruption makes India a fertile floor for brand spanking new improvements.

India affords an enormous array of person segments to check and ideal the product/service inside a comparatively low-cost ecosystem. The spectrum of customers vary from the ‘strugglers’ to the ‘elite’ (The pyramid morphs to a diamond, BCG) from a B2C perspective and from mass-entrepreneurs to extremely refined trendy companies from a B2B perspective. Every with a considerable base and its personal set of untapped wants. With a comparatively low-cost-high-quality surroundings in comparison with developed markets, India affords a really perfect ecosystem to run speedy innovation cycles of want identification —> concept era —> prototyping —> testing —> iteration.

Innovating for India, creating for the world

The final decade has seen many Indian-born manufacturers (startups or in any other case) tapping into the worldwide market with their product/service. Whether or not it’s premium skincare manufacturers like Forest Necessities or inexpensive trendy manufacturers like Lenskart, the components stays sacrosanct: construct an progressive resolution to an current need-gap and guarantee product/service is crafted with prime quality. Service manufacturers like Zomato and Ola are confidently extending their choices throughout geographies after having perfected their product by a number of cycles of iteration with person segments in India. Indian innovators are constructing companies/merchandise which have been constructed to ship within the face of excessive diploma of complexities associated to technological constraints, person segments, aggressive pricing and many others. This makes the improvements extremely transportable to different markets with related latent wants. India being an innovation out-performer amongst the creating nations, finds itself in a novel place to determine its innovation management amongst different creating markets.

Three approaches that may assist unlock innovation potential throughout classes and person segments:

1. Discover the ‘body of development’ for classes which are ripe for disruption:

This is without doubt one of the strongest method to innovation in a market like India, the place a variety of classes are ripe for a whole re-imagination. When an innovator takes an age-old class that has solely seen incremental modifications and reframes its worth in a brand new manner that makes it related to the evolving shopper – new development will get unlocked. Right now we’re witnessing completely different classes bear disruptive re-framing from healthtech to trucking and the whole lot in between.

Ayurveda is one such class that’s witnessing innovation from a number of gamers. On the one hand, there are the likes of Kama Ayurveda and Forest Necessities which have reframed Ayurveda from a set of crude and low worth merchandise into a classy premium private care repertoire. However, there are manufacturers like Jiva Ayurveda, which is leveraging information sciences and trendy remedy protocols to reframe Ayurveda as a contemporary, holistic science of well-being. These gamers have created new ‘frames of development’ for a class that was archaic.

2. Create round individuals:

The important thing focus right here is on creating new services and products round pain-points and unmet wants of particular person teams. When the singular focus is to ship worth to core person group, options that emerge problem the class establishment. Usually such improvements disregard common templates and as an alternative create recent options round precise customers. Dukaan is a wonderful living proof, which understood that platforms like Shopify will be unable so as to add worth to the native grocer, who’s searching for low-tech enablers of digital shopfronts. When a enterprise creates across the person on the very centre, the whole lot from provide chain to established gross sales channels are up for a rethink. Lenskart is shining instance of how when the model began to re-imagine your entire eyewear ecosystem round a pointy definition of the person want, all of the established codes began to fall and what emerged was a very disruptive enterprise mannequin.

3. Reframe current strengths of the enterprise to rising person wants and market gaps:

Numerous innovation prospects may emerge from fine-tuning the product/pricing combine. Right here one innovates on the present line of merchandise to handle market gaps by leveraging new options/SKUs/pricing and many others. Bajaj Auto is a good instance of how progressive method to its product design and pricing, helped the model seize a powerful footprint not simply in India but in addition throughout 70 nations. Bajaj took its flagship mannequin Pulsar and began to create a number of specs below 200 cc motorbikes, which at this time dominates its exports to creating nations like Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Latin American Markets. Right now Bajaj’s exports are as sturdy as its home market presence.

With India slated to accommodate greater than 100 unicorns by 2025, the innovation scene is just going to get 3X extra strong, thrilling and advanced. As extra classes develop into ripe for disruption, the important thing to success will lie in our capability to create with individuals on the coronary heart of the innovation course of.

(The author is
Technique Head and Managing Companion, Open Technique and Design)