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Companies Need State And Corporate Leaders To Support Innovation

From the event “India’s National Competitiveness Forum and Porter Prize”. The panel discussion highlighted that innovation is absolutely necessary for companies to be sustainable, to guarantee they can stay competitive with other players in the market. However it will not be possible without the support of the leaders of state and the businesses themselves.

Photo Credit : http://competitiveness.in/india-council-competitiveness/,

The business founders and vice presidents and CEO present on the panel all agreed the state and central government of India must enable and truly appreciate the need to lend support for the businesses trying to make in India so that they can also sell in India alongside global heavyweights.

Amiee Aloi is associate VP, PhRMA, an organization based in Washington DC, represents pharmaceutical and bio science companies. Ms. Aloi said, “With the Bio- Pharmaceutical industry creating high skilled, high paying jobs, life changing research and new medicine that leads to a better quality of life, it has become a key sector promoted under Startup India and Make in India campaigns.”

“India has the infrastructure to promote clinical research-based innovation, however when we surveyed business leaders across the world we learned government policies also matter. Policy environment is the pivotal that inclines global drug manufacturers to invest in a region or not. So Indian states must look at restructuring for conducive business environment, reward innovation, protection innovation and do all it can to attract such investments."

"Central and state governments should work together for this, which the leaders headed by PM Modi are working towards. Global leaders in Bio-Pharmaceuticals across Washington applaud their work and do realize it won’t be an overnight change.”

Himanshu Jain, MD and VP for Indian subcontinent, Sealed Air, a company’s whose claim to fame is bubble wrap began by explaining the mission of the company. “It’s reimagine key industries we serve. Damage reduction, product improvement in product packaging, food waste management, and public hygiene are key areas we do most of reimagining/innovating in.”

“Without innovation you can’t be competitive, lowest price model cannot be sustained forever. You cannot play on cost forever. Example is Nano car, it’s the cheapest car but never sold well.”

"We lack science based innovative products in India, we also have tremendous resistance to change in coming from corporates in power and not necessarily from the customer.” He suggested that business leaders resist changing what is running well. “I think we should cull this need to be comfortable with what is running well at present and replace with what is better.”

Sanjiv Navangul, managing director, Janssen India, Johnson and Johnson India said, “Everyone thinks we are a company with a baby on its ads. However we are more than that. No surgeon can cut open or sew up a patient without Johnson and Johnson products, we are the fastest growing pharmaceutical company in the world."

He offered his suggestion for where India should really start innovating: in healthcare. “You can only have a Competitive India only with a healthy India. Cardiovascular Disease is a bigger drag on economy than poverty. Innovation is needed in our improper healthcare system as well.”

“From our experience in carrying out clinical trials which is the corner stone of innovation, India has become a pariah place for clinical trials and is on a pendulum swing because of exaggerated attention from courts, media and governments. We feel state governments should work to control this issues too.”

Amitabh Thakur, CEO Gamchha said, “We are trying to make world’s best scarves. My innovation journey was scattered over 2-3 years, I feel like I don’t know if he is innovating any more. I have set up the business in native Bihar’s in Bhagalpur, a tough place to set up business owing to backward view of commercial activities. Bihar used to have all the infrastructure required a few years back, factories, resources to develop silk everything, all gone kaput.”

Amiet Kharbanda, managing director, MyBox Technologies said, “We are a set top box OEM in India, which is now part of Hero Electronics. I wouldn’t say we are very successful but we have made a mark in media compared to lots hardware importers in the industry."

They are the only local maker of set top boxes.

“I hope whatever regime in power will continue to enable more entrepreneurship from youth who now are so focused on startingup and forget to be restricted by caste, hometown or education level. I think we also should be careful about signing FTAs which may impede growth of local manufacturers too.”

Ashim Roy, CEO and cofounder, Uber Diagnostics – Indian startups have more challenges compared to those in China due to smaller and lower quality of manufacturing industry and very little government support. Our future in India is yet to be decided.

“Although we started with the aim to be wholly made in India and sell to India we cannot stick with this strategy anymore. We will stop manufacturing in India and will move to Malaysia, we simply do not have enough support from government. Our sales are 30% India and, 70% global. If we are to survive at all we are left no choice but to stop making India.”

“Everybody was talking about making in India, but nobody thought to create policies to buy in India.”, he said pointing to how local startups cannot compete with more established players and foreign companies selling India due to lack of promotion of buying from startups, comparably high cost and low quality of manufacturing, and low backing from government.


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