Innovation Will Keep India Ahead

by Hanil Manghani    Feb 17, 2006

S. Ramadorai, Chairman of NASSCOM and CEO & MD, TCS, set the tone at NASSCOM’s flagship event, NASSCOM 2006: India Leadership Forum by emphasizing the role of innovation in India’s future as an IT power: “We should aspire for the next big thing, the next killer application. Competitive costs helped India get a foot in the door, quality gave us continuity, but it is innovation that will keep us in the game and ahead of the competition,” he said.

The mega event, which attracted 1200 delegates from 500 companies spread across 25 countries, saw a continued emphasis on innovation with a session, IT Innovation in India: A reality check. Chairing the event, Ganesh Natarajan, Deputy Chairman & MD, Zensar Technologies enthused, “Just the fact that we are having these discussions on innovation is indicative of India’s progress. Typically, inventions happen at the top of the pyramid while innovations happen at the bottom by smart young aspirants who take the initiative to create something of value. However, today we are seeing innovation happening right across the entire spectrum of industry. Innovation is impacting BPO, learning, partnerships and much more.”

Keynote speaker Vivek Paul, Managing Director, TPG Ventures, offered a venture capitalist’s perspective, giving valuable words of advice to budding entrepreneurs and innovators:

* Be Alert, do not be disadvantaged by not being fully awake, push any opportunities available.
* Have the ability and willingness to take risks.
* Be willing to change bets placed, according to changes in the market - don’t get bogged down by ego issues.
* Have the confidence to go all the way, don’t take small steps.

In response to a query on how innovations could be successfully marketed, he cautioned that instead of hoping that some super sales pitch would get them funding or international presence, they should focus on building a client base, which in turn builds investor confidence.

Presentations were made by eight companies whose innovations were shortlisted from among the 150 applicants who were invited to participate.

These included:

* Santosh Choubey, Director General, All India Society for Electronics and Computer Technology (AISECT), who spoke on the initiative of multipurpose IT centers, a sustainable model for IT dissemination in rural areas - an initiative that received the Indian Innovation Award 2005 from President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
* Vinay L. Deshpande, Chairman & CEO, Founder, Encore Software, presented Encore’s mobile computing effort SATHI (Situation Awareness and Tactical Handheld Information), an integrated handheld battlefield computer.
* Anu Acharya, CEO, Ocimum Biosolutions, held forth on Optgene - a tool used by scientists for optimizing naturally occurring genes faster and with fewer errors.
* Sanjay shah, CEO, Skelta Software, spoke about the flagship product Skelta Workflow - a BPM Workflow software.
* Shirish B Purohit, CEO, Midas Communications spoke about the company’s wireless access technology products.
* Subhash Menon, President & CEO, Subex Systems Ltd presented Ranger, a fraud management solution.
* Rajgopal Srinivasan, Sr Consultant, Life Sciences R&D Division, TCS, who spoke about Bio-Suite, a comprehensive, modular package of analytical tools for computational biology.
* G K. Prasanna, Senior VP, Wipro Technologies, who spoke about Global Command Center (GCC), a next generation facility for providing remote management services.

All of the above will be given special awards by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.