Innovation has to be the starting point for entrepreneurs

Innovation significantly expands your options, possibilities, and opportunities

That there is enthusiasm about entrepreneurship across India is apparent, and clearly visible. A number of our young citizens are now thinking about starting a business rather than taking up a job. And that’s a good thing, because we need more job creators.

However, in India, innovation is often not the starting point in our thought process for our entrepreneurial journey. Most of our innovators and entrepreneurs are not thinking of how we can solve the problem with a radically different solution or approach. Most of our aspiring entrepreneurs do not think of creating or inventing new products and solutions.

That’s why we see India falling to 76th position this year in the global innovation index. Even within the BRICS nations, we are the lowest-ranked country on this index. Interestingly, while all other BRICS nations have strengthened their position, India has slipped 10 points from 66 last year, to 76 this year.

This has to change.

There is nothing wrong in building a strong me-too business. However, me-too concepts or even incremental innovations on existing concepts limit your own options and opportunities. On the other hand, innovation expands your possibilities, options, and opportunities, significantly. It provides you a fresh new canvas to paint on, rather than trying to fit your signature on a painting that already has other signatures.

But, for innovation to become a part of our mainstream thinking, we need to create an enabling ecosystem and a conducive environment for innovators and entrepreneurs to convert their ideas into products and businesses. I am glad to note that things are improving on this front. A number of private initiatives are creating the infrastructure and resources for entrepreneurs to innovate. Initiatives like Innofest, of which I am a committed patron, which celebrate and showcase innovation, are important to bring innovation at the center of our thought process.

Innofest is a festival of innovation, ideas and inspiration, to be held in Bengaluru on the 22nd of August 2015. I will be there. I hope to see you there too.

#IndiaCanInnovate @Inno_fest