Innovate India

I’ve been looking for a job in the start-up/tech sector for quite a while (and I’ve managed to grab something now finally). But when I came back to India and began to get a sense of the industry, I felt that there was something missing.

Or to put it in another way, there was too much of the same thing. For quite some time now, Silicon Valley (and the western world) has been at the forefront of developing new technologies and new business models based on those technologies. The rest of the world has been happy adapting or simply copying them.

Take India for instance, today there exist numerous clones of successful business models. Whether it’s Groupon or Amazon. A lot people I spoke to are also interested in starting their own ventures…of copying existing business models.

There is nothing wrong with this approach. I’m all for it. But I do have an differing opinion, and that is – India needs to start innovating! We (mankind) have attained a certain level of technological wizardry, which has magically made its way across the world – think cellular technology for instance. Cellphones have wondrously gotten smarter, thinner, lighter and cheaper at the same time! It’s a MIRACLE!

Countries such as India are plagued with numerous problems (yes, all countries are, but not equally). Personal technology, in my opinion, is a platform, an enabler. Using technology, why not innovate new business models with which we can solve our own problems?  To be honest, we could do without a dozen clones of Amazon and honestly, I don’t think India is quite ready for Airbnb. Making clones is easy (easier), innovating new business models isn’t.

I think it’s time we came up with our own ideas to solve our own problems. We have been fortunate to have kept up with the world when it comes to a lot of technology. Now, why not use it in our favour and let the rest of the world learn and copy from us!

This was one of the reasons why I enjoyed working for a start-up called Mambu. They used technology (cloud computing) as an enabler for microfinance institutions across the world.

And if you’re wondering, I do have a few such (Indian) ideas of my own. So, if you willing to fund me, I’d be happy to talk 🙂

Devesh Sahai

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