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The Big Question: How can India Innovate?

India has been at the top in terms of innovation all across Asia, this might seem as good news, but if you go into the depth of the matter, you will see that the majority of patents filed in the Country are only by MNCs. This constitutes about 70% of the total patents filed in India, the balance 30% from the contribution by Indian companies and academia. India ranks 66th on the Global Innovation Index List. In the year 2015, India filed for 1423 international patents, which is much lesser than the number of patents filed by Japan,  China and South Korea. This basically shows that India is far behind when it comes to innovations and the development of new business models. The top 10 innovative companies across the World consist of US companies only, one Indian company, Asian Paints features at number 18 on the list. 

Successful Indian Startups have also built their business models based on the Western concept. For example, Flipkart is based on Amazon and Ola is based on Uber. There is nothing in the name of Indian innovation across the World. With strict regulations on immigration policies and the movement of people, India can attract the best talent and nurture it with the right frameworks. The Government is also mulling over bringing new changes into the IPR and patent policies. It has established the Ministry for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Facilitation Centers that offer financial schemes and help increase the expenditure over infrastructure. The Make In India Initiative will go a long way in helping companies focus on an out of the box thinking.

It should also be noted that the ease of filing for patents will be critical for a company to innovate. The Government should take initiatives like tax exemption for initial two years for companies recognized as approved enterprises. Also, an investment by the Government in the research and development infrastructure will go a long way. For example, China has a policy that reduces the patent fees for individuals who cannot afford it. It also offers cash subsidies for patent applications.

India can open the opportunity for top talent from across the World and build a strong destination for innovation activities. The registration and the software product policy should be entrepreneur friendly and inclusive. It is time to focus on being the originator instead of being the nationality of the investor. With an increase in innovation, there will be a direct increase in the talent to the startup ecosystem. Innovators are looking for the right environment and opportunities to step into the Country, with a huge supply of global business skills, the Country has an ability to invest and innovate. With progressive policies, Israel has a strong presence of MNCs that have created world class startups. Our Country is finally ready to take charge of the IPR future with a few changes in the policy and regulations.

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