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India's invisible leaps in innovation 
(Mon, 21 Nov Pre-Open) 
 
Recently, India was ranked a poor 62 as per the global innovation index brought out by a global innovation agency. The fact that China ranked 29 as per the same agency may give us a feel of what it could imply for our position in the race of global economic superpowers.

To many of us, this may seem fair as India hardly has any claim to fame when it comes to origination or invention of products and services. However, it will be a folly to pass a judgment based on the conventional definition of innovation that ignores the novel ways in how value can be created and distributed; taking away the credit that India deserves for innovations that have penetrated through the society and business models.

Exploring these 'invisible' innovations would bring to light the Indian R&D centers- the 'captive' innovation centers of MNCs like Intel, General Electric (GE), Dr Reddy's, etc. that have opted for India as an 'innovation' destination. And India has only solidified the trust. The availability of high skilled and low cost labour has let us integrate innovation in processes, even those that may seem like routine jobs. And this has been taken a step further by extending this to products and services that range from semi conductors to drug discoveries, offered with sophistication, thus making offshore R&D services an estimated US$ 20 bn market in 2012.

However, it's time that 'innovation potential' in the country is unleashed for its own good and not just to serve the global firms. At a time when the global economy is facing uncertainties; innovation, the key to economic progress and competitiveness, is an essential element that deserves to be placed at the centre of growth strategies.

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