Note from the Author

Hi there! 

Thanks for taking the time to visit this book website.

In this new book, I show how ordinary people are leveraging "innovation" to create new sources of wealth and solve their own problems. When millions of micro innovators and entrepreneurs align themselves towards development and growth, you have an innovation super power in the making. “India’s Innovation Blueprint: How the world's largest democracy is becoming an Innovation Super Power” draws on my ongoing research and work on "national innovation systems”, started during my tenure as a researcher at Infosys’ centre for Research and Innovation, SETLabs, between 2001 and 2005. The value of the book is apparent in its ability to set a problem-solving mindset and a vision for India towards becoming an Innovation superpower in the next 25 years.

In Summary, the book
- establishes and analyses the trends that support India’s global leadership in Innovation.
- acknowledges Asia's dominance in global Innovation that is well documented but highlights India's role in this shifting dynamic that is often ignored.
- identifies three critical levels of innovation within a national framework namely grassroots innovation, national innovation and innovation for global competitiveness.
- recommends the creation of a National Innovation System.
- offers a pragmatic call for action towards a balanced innovation portfolio to address rural GDP, employment, education and health for all.

For a country with visible dichotomies, the art and science of innovation as a mechanism for problem solving has seldom been applied for resolving India's deep rooted developmental challenges. Innovation is not about new technology and products alone, as often understood, but it is also about social, incremental and inclusive innovation. Akin to democracy, Innovation has the potential to become the exclusive platform for grassroots development. I take the view that gaps in employment, healthcare, education and infrastructure are themselves areas that innovation can resolve while leading to sources of wealth particularly in rural India.

For policy makers, I make the recommendation that a national innovation portfolio is a must to balance the need for global competitiveness and to enhance rural GDP. I also layout a framework for the setting up of a national innovation system that provides access to funds, markets, oversight, ancillary support, and R&D infrastructure such as prototyping and testing facilities etc to support micro and macro innovators which I believe is the sole factor hindering them from being successful on main street. To replace presumptive prescriptions from wood panelled offices, luxury hotel conference rooms and political rallies, I recommend that governments and firms provide people with platforms for innovation to solve their own problems and create wealth.

Included in 30 or so examples and dozens of interviews, I write how Gujarat is reversing rural migration to overcrowded cities, and how a company is formalising village markets into a fair trading ecosystem for large and small farmers using technology. I write of 140,000 rural innovators who are bringing in their genius to solving a range of rural problems from drinking water to improving productivity in farming. I write of technology companies developing ways for taking knowledge, health and employment to needy places. I speak of companies making products and services affordable for the 'bottom of the pyramid’. I draw inspiration from how bright young engineers are challenging status quo to build new products for global market.

The book is in many ways a tribute to India’s young people - 50 per cent of India's population are under the age of 25. This section of society holds the key to unlocking India’s true potential. Sadly a generation a upholding a crippled legacy might have to go before the stage is set for the goals of a new India to be realised. That journey has begun – in our life time. The book is a chronicle from a journalist, analyst, researcher and a consultant covering the first 20 years of India’s economic freedom with fine precision. At the same time, its perspectives and prescriptions are from a vantage point in history tempered with the benefit of 60 years of hindsight and 40 years of foresight in the 100 years of modern India's sovereign history.

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I look forward to interacting with you in person. You can also write to me.
Best Regards,

George Eby Mathew If you enjoyed reading this, consider buying India's Innovation Blueprint