Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Growth
Promoting Entrepreneurship and Startups will ensure an unprecedented wave of long-deserved growth, prosperity and wellbeing that can serve the interests of the rest of the world as well as the spirit of New India. Creating a nation of job-creators and not just job-seekers is important for sustainable growth. And central to this, is the need for extensive collaboration between corporate industry, academia, and governments at the village, district, state and central levels.
India, over the centuries, has never had a dearth of great thinkers, scientists, engineers, doctors, innovators, philosophers, artists. Indian intellectual, engineering, artistic capabilities are second to none with some of the greatest scientists, mathematicians and engineers in the world like former President Abdul Kalam, S. Ramanujan, Sir C.V. Raman and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai coming from various regions of India. Our philosophy, culture, fine arts, temples and sculptures also bear testimony of the same.
However, what has been lacking is a holistic innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem that stimulates, enables and supports Inspiration, Imagination and Innovation in our schools, universities, industries across the length and breadth of the nation. Whenever Indians go abroad they excel and reach the highest levels of eminence and achievements, be it in technology, business, academia, and even governments. Many Indians are leading innovations in some of the largest and most innovative tech, medical, financial companies of the world including Google, Microso, IBM, Adobe. Access to an innovative ecosystem in these developed countries has allowed many Indians to realise their aspirations, convert their dreams into realities, and helped them blossom to their full creative potential.
With over 1.4 million schools, approximately 10500 engineering and related institutions, approximately 39000 colleges, a demographic dividend that is the envy of many a country and a fast-growing economy; the imperative in India is therefore to ensure that an estimated 150 million youth of India entering the workforce over the next few years can realise their true potential through access to a world-class innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem, leveraging rapidly advancing, accessible, affordable technologies transforming the world we live in and enabling an incredible set of opportunities for innovation and new job creation.
Revolutionary technological advancements are indeed transforming the world giving rise to new technology and business innovations at a dizzying pace. Electronics miniaturisation has enabled a computer the size of a room to fit our pockets aided by the convergence of computing, storage and communications at incredibly lower costs. Robotics and Artificial intelligence are driving next-generation productivity and automation. 3D printers are making real-time conceptualisation, design, prototyping and manufacturing at an SME level a reality. IoT or the Internet of things are connecting sensor technologies to mobile and satellite Technologies in every Industry from enabling precision agriculture, healthcare, water cleansing and conservation, climate change controls, disaster prediction and management, driverless cars and space shuttles. Big Data and analytics and Artificial Intelligence are enabling complex decision-making through advanced easy to use tools. India is a country of a billion people with thousands of challenges, which are also thousands of opportunities for innovative entrepreneurial startups to succeed with possible global impact.
The authors are R. Ramanan, Addional Secretary and Mission Director (AIM), NITI Aayog, Naman Agrawal, Senior Associate, NITI Aayog and Himanshu Agrawal, Young Professional, NITI Aayog. Views expressed are personal.