Tag Archives: India

India Lagging in Digital Technology

Maplecroft has today released research figures that shows that of the BRIC nations, India is at ‘extreme risk” with respect to their population becoming stifled by a lack of digital inclusion i.e. the ability for their population to use and access ICT technology. Maplecroft uses 10 indicators to calculate the level of digital inclusion found across 186 countries. These include numbers of mobile cellular and broadband subscriptions; fixed telephone lines; households with a PC and television; internet users and secure internet servers; internet bandwidth; secondary education enrolment; and adult literacy.

Of the BRIC nations, India (39) is the only country to be classified as ‘extreme risk’, meaning that the country’s population suffers from a severe lack of digital inclusion. China (103) Brazil (110) and Russia (134) are rated ‘medium risk’. Despite huge economic growth, the BRICs nations are still significantly outperformed by developed nations in the Digital Inclusion Index. The countries with the best access to ICTs are the Netherlands (186), Denmark (185), Luxembourg (184), Sweden (183) and the UK (182). Trends suggest that the BRICs nations may not lag behind for much longer however.

Read more here.

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Are you a fence-sitter? A Lost Soul? Or a Transformer?

Great video about life, change and who you really are.

Vineet Nayar and his team have committed HCL to a goal—reverse accountability. David Kirkpatrick, then Fortune magazine’s top tech writer, profiled the company in an piece entitled: The World’s Most Modern Management—In India. More recently, HCL has been the focus of a series of Harvard Business School case studies.

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Innovation Requirements in India

Interesting report on ZDNet on the Indus Entrepreneurs meeting recently held in Delhi. Key points of note are:

  • The India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had approved the establishment of a National Innovation Council to prepare a 10-year roadmap
  • India does not need low-cost but ultra-low cost products,  The products need to be extremely affordability and that can only happen through disruptive innovation
  • Much of the innovation in India is emerging out of scarcity and aspirations

As an example of the sort of innovation coming out of India, a student in Kerala, Remia Jose, had a lot of household chores to do when her mother fell ill. She would return from school and wash clothes because her family could not afford a washing machine.

To cope, then 15-year-old Remia created a washing machine that ran on pedals and did not require electricity to operate. The machine cost just US$45 (INR 2,000).

Mansukhbhai Prajapati also invented an earthen refrigerator, called Mittikool, which is priced at US$77 (INR 3,500). The refrigerator has separate compartments for storing water and vegetables and also runs without electricity, making it ideal for rural areas.

Prajapati operates a small-scale industrial unit in Rajkot, which has been producing clay products since 1988. Besides the refrigerator, Prajapati’s company also manufactures non-stick pans made from clay, as well as Mittikool water filters, cookers and dinner sets.

There is no doubt that this sort of innovation is a powerhouse of opportunity as yet not fully realised in potential.

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Tata, Innovation and Ideation

Most of us will have heard about the low cost car that is set to revolutionize travel in India. Many of us will have heard of its innovative model of distribution throughout the country. But not many of us have linked the innovation by Tata to ideation.

But it is.

An executive of an Indian conglomerate credited a corporate culture that encourages innovation with the creation of the world’s cheapest everyday car, a fuel-efficient, $2,500 four-seater that the company plans to export to Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.

Sunil Sinha, an executive in Tata Quality Management Services, told a Harvard audience Tuesday (Oct. 12) that the car was the result of an unlikely — but public — promise that the company’s leader made in 2003, setting to work a team of engineers charged with rethinking how cars could be designed and made. The result, which went on sale last year, is the Tata Nano, a tiny, two-cylinder model that gets 55 miles per gallon and meets all of India’s vehicle emissions and regulatory requirements.

So where does ideation fit in? Sinha described a culture of innovation at Tata that includes employee-awards programs for both successful and unsuccessful ideas. What’s important, Sinha said, is that employees feel comfortable in bringing forward ideas, even ones that don’t pan out, and that they feel they work in a place that values fresh thinking.

The innovation culture has produced several notable products, he said. One is a water purification system that costs just $20 and produces enough water to keep a family of four supplied for more than a year.

Read the full article here. If I find a video of the talk, I will post it.

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You must watch Hans Rosling!

If you have fifteen minutes, please watch this video. Even if you don’t, you need to watch it anyway. Make the time!

Not only is it an eye opener about the rise and rise of India and China as economies, Hans’ presentation is unbelievably stimulating. Forget the tie and suit PowerPoint presentation – I wish every talk I went to (and gave) was just like this one.

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Bangalore blooming into innovation hothouse

Great article about how Bangalore’s innovation capability is accelerating. Key points as follows:

  • Google’s Map Maker, Intel’s six-core Xeon processor, Microsoft’s search engine Bing and HP’s Dynamic Smart Cooling Technology have all been designed or have key components built in the city. IBM and Microsoft have tens of thousands of employees based in Bangalore. Cisco is developing next-gen intelligent networking technologies in the city.
  • About 60 per cent of the country’s R&D talent is based in Bangalore. Many of the nearly 700 India-based captive multinational R&D centres are located in the city. That is not counting the R&D outsourced to large Indian software companies such as Wipro Ltd and Infosys Technologies, both headquartered in the tech hub.
  • 3M, General Electric and Honeywell see a 15 to 20 per cent revenue growth in the Asia-Pacific geographies in the next three to five years
  • The swing to greater research happened a couple of years ago when Cisco set up its globalisation centre in Bangalore, making the city virtually its second headquarters outside its base in Silicon Valley. In an unprecedented move, the company then relocated its number two executive, the Dutch-born Wim Elfrink to Bangalore. Companies like Cisco and Nokia are not just shifting R&D to India, they are also shifting R&D management to India and that is the game-changer, says Navi Radjou, executive director of the Centre for India & Global Business at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
  • Costs in Bangalore are still comparable to other global R&D centres such as Shanghai in China, the Ukraine and Russia. An analysis of cost per fulltime R&D employee in Bangalore and Shanghai showed Bangalore holding a 15 to 17 per cent cost advantage.

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