Promoting Innovation and Entrepreneurship in India

Experts and Young achievers discuss a roadmap for Promoting Innovation and Entrepreneurship in India Jaipur: “India's G20 presidency is a wonderful opportunity to address the current global challenges and promote sustainable development”, said Dr Arvind Mayaram, Chairman, Institute of Development Studies. He delivered the keynote address at the summit organized by Youth 20 Engagement Group, in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies, Jaipur and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi, to collect viewpoints of experts and young Indian achievers.

“Technology is rapidly changing the development paradigm and it requires deliberations on redesigning education, creating new skill building frameworks, incorporating lifelong learning and future of work “, Dr Mayaram said. The summit held interactive sessions on two broad themes, namely, (i) Industry 4.0, Innovation and entrepreneurship and (ii) ‘driving innovations in handicraft sector'.

Dr Pankaj Vashisht, Associate Professor, RIS, New Delhi, briefed the participants about the Youth 20 engagement group from the context of India's G20 presidency. ‘The Youth20 engagement group, under the overall framework of G20, is exploring ways to channel the energy and innovative ideas of the young population to overcome obstacles and transform society and achieve growth,' he said. The interactive sessions are held with the specific object of receiving inputs and bringing out policy recommendations for formulating the agenda for youth.

Chairing the session on ‘Industry 4.0, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Rakesh Basant, Professor, Indian Institute of Management Allahabad, pointed out that first generation innovative entrepreneurship development ecosystem in India is still under development. He advocated for cluster based approach for incubation centers along with better public private partnerships in R&D and breaking of disciplinary silos in Universities to stimulate innovations. “Identifying a real problem and offering an affordable solution is the key to success for start-up” said Mr. Nishant Patni, co-founder, Hello English. Highlighting the documentation process pertaining to tax compliance, IP protection, reporting and disclosure etc., as an important hurdle, he suggested that government should consider introducing a helpline to assist start-ups in this regard.

Participating in the discussion, Mr Chintan Bakshi, CEO Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship, argued that India has witnessing a spurt of incubation centre but most of these incubation canters are operating at sub-optimal levels'. He advocated that incubators should play an active role in mentoring start-ups as part of an incubation process with the support of mentors and experts. An incubation centre should also help the start-up validate the right assumptions and hypotheses across the various stages of its growth.

The following were the key takeaways from the Industry 4.0, Innovation and Entrepreneurship session –

  1. Better industry-academia collaboration is required to increase the commercialization of innovations.
  2. More public funding for mission-oriented research and development at private institutions.
  3. Adopting a cluster-based incubation approach to reap the economies of scale and scope
  4. Public funds anchor investment funds in Public-PrivateAcademia partnerships to support start-ups that require long gestation periods. Seed money is insufficient for scale-up and private investors must find such deals attractive.
  5. Extend the incentives for manufacturing start-ups and other sectors, which can have a significant social impact.
  6. Introduce a helpline for start-ups to assist them with documentation.

Ms Pallavi Tak, vice president of programmes, CIIE, chaired the session on ‘driving innovations in handicraft sector', which discussed action plans to encourage innovations in the handicraft sector. The entrepreneurs agreed that while technology can play a significant role in enhancing the supply chain efficiency, market access, transparency and traceability, the craft per se needs to be kept entirely handmade to keep the purity of the craft. More than 40 young entrepreneurs, professionals and thinkers attended the meet.

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