India as a Global Player in Innovation and R&D

Saikat Chaudhuri on the globalization of innovation and what that means for R&D in India.

India has not traditionally been a significant hub of research and development, but winds of change are blowing. Saikat Chaudhuri discusses the factors contributing to the shift in this interview at a recent conference at the Indian School of Business.

In addition to India’s homegrown innovation, international collaboration is key. Many people are already familiar the phenomenon of offshore outsourcing—foreign companies looking to India to source products and services—but the practice is increasingly happening in reverse. Globalization is changing the way people think about innovation, causing people to de-centralize and expand beyond the local level.

Innovation and R&D were traditionally thought of as a very centralized activity…Now companies are increasingly asking, “How can I distribute and disaggregate those efforts around the world?”

Chaudhuri urges would-be entrepreneurs be ambitious: Instead of merely creating adaptations of existing products, they should take advantage of local marketplace conditions—especially in the sectors of healthcare or energy—to produce innovations truly unique to India.