Monday, February 7, 2011

Open innovation India

Are Indian companies ready for open innovation?

Multinational companies (MNCs) which are making India their second home have brought in the culture of open innovation here. Companies like Xerox, P&G, and General Mills are already perusing open innovation aggressively in India. Indian companies like Tata, Mahindra & Mahindra, Future Group and Biocon are not far behind and are already engaging with employees, vendors and customers to co-create.

While companies in the west suffered from Not Invented Here syndrome (NIH) and are working to get over it. Many (not all) Indian companies suffer from Why Invent (WI) syndrome; good news is - it is a declining tribe!

There is a bigger shift in the making. With the world’s focus shifting to Asia, the responsibility of getting innovation done is also tagging along. And when that happens, local companies are joining the bandwagon, for competitive reasons. In addition Open Innovation in Service industry and benefits of incremental innovation are getting quite an attention for ROI reasons.

Some select Indian companies are quick to realize that there is a lead time needed to get into the culture of open innovation and co-creation. Companies with this foresight probably will dictate the landscape of domain leaders and the followers in this decade.

Are Indian innovators ready for open innovation?

Over the years Indians have becoming more aware of their personal intellectual capital in a global context, and connectivity is providing insight into the markets with buying powers – in turn making Indians an irresistible choice for companies hungry for brainpower.

So does this mean Indians are turning the table around on the innovation front? The answer is ‘not yet’. Indians are highly social and love to share, however they shy away when there is a probability of failure, specifically in a non business environment like creativity and innovation. Though innovativeness of Indians is not disputable, I am specifically pointing to the volume and the impact density.

The pace at which the knowledge economy is growing, however, clearly indicates that a certain percentage (which accounts for quite a volume) is moving to the next orbit – and becoming hard core innovators. Not to forget a Jugaad mindset which has produced millions of innovations in India over the years. With the market needs beyond Jugaad – there comes the supply beyond Jugaad.

There is a huge opportunity lining up for Indian innovators both globally and locally. And the innovators who open up to the collaborative innovation will find themselves rewarded - both intellectually and monetarily.

ideaken is leading the service platform space for open innovation and co-creation in India. Facilitating open innovation and co-creation for companies across the world and India, and innovators on board from more than 160 countries, thousands of them from India.