Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple Inc and one of the greatest innovator from the tech world, believed that innovation was the only way to win, and by no means did he just see innovation in making things more complex. An advocate of simplicity, he also reiterated, “Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.” That’s why we, at GHV, believe “Innovation is not just doing something new. Sometimes it means pushing the existing more powerfully and elegantly.”
Innovation or doing things differently is something that has set the momentum of the “startup scene” in India. It is because of thinking differently, the “old wine in a new bottle” syndrome that has revamped and fuelled the success of top startups in the country today. Innovation is all about bringing something new and exciting to the customer. Given the cutthroat competition in the market today, innovative products and ideas are the key to differentiating yourself from others in the race.
Successful businesses often anticipate future trends and develop an idea, product or service that allows them to meet this future demand rapidly and effectively. It is not just about fulfilling the pain points of the consumers, but also being able to preempt the future needs of the consumers before they even feel them. In essence, predicting and fulfilling a future void and working on its solution in the present, staying ahead of the curve. Innovation can help you stay ahead of your competition as markets, technologies or trends shift, thereby giving you a definite edge.
This year, India has slipped 10 places in the Global Innovation Index to a disappointing 76th position. Imagine what we can accomplish as a nation if more people were to focus on innovation. We can easily transition to become a nation of job creators than job seekers.
Renowned global brands like 3M, GE, Lego, Nestlé, Pepsi and Starbucks are all from different industries, but have been constantly innovating their products. These companies have successfully created and supported an internal innovation capability that drives new products into the marketplace year after year with remarkable success. In fact, the very reason behind their success is that they made innovation a critical capability within their organisations. These companies recognised innovation as a key driver for success by enhancing the value that the business was delivering to customers.
With Indians like Nikesh Arora and Sundar Pichai, leading the heavy weight ‘innovating’ companies like SoftBank and Google, we are looking at a complete change in the way India and Indians are perceived globally; whether it is Indra Nooyi, Satya Nadella, Ajay Banga or Shantanu Narayen.
Innovation helps large companies survive challenges. According to Clayton Christensen, disruptive innovation is the key to future success in business. For companies to become market leaders and retain that position, they have no choice but to innovate and disrupt an existing technology or market by recognising opportunities.
For example, Patym had revolutionised mobile commerce in India. Earlier, people were wary of storing their debit or credit card information online. The company created a secure digital wallet where a user can put in a small amount without threat of online and credit card fraud. The payment solutions provider uses an RBI approved semi-closed wallet that is being used everywhere, right from Domino’s Pizza to Zivame to Uber. The company now has over 80 Mn mobile wallets and more than 15 million orders per month.
Innovation is that one thing that all successful businesses worldwide have in common. Innovation is a part of their culture… it’s in their DNA.
To foster a spirit of innovation in today’s youth, iSPIRT is hosting InnoFest, a daylong event focused on kick starting the next wave of innovation in the country. The event to be held at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore on 22ndAugust 2015, will offer young innovators a platform to present their ideas and interact with like-minded people from across the country. The daylong fest is meant to celebrate innovation and bring forward ideas that can become game changers for the nation.
Guest Post by Vikram Upadhyaya