Over the last few years, numerous interesting researches and developments have come from India. If you look at the market today, you will find a lot of young entrepreneurs creating a wave of start-ups in India and coming up with innovative products and solutions. It is also good to see tech giants such as Intel, Mahindra, National Instruments (NI), Tektronix and Texas Instruments (TI) promoting and providing incubation for developing these ideas into final products, starting at college level.
However, we also see that some start-ups fail to even take off. Only a few of them have reached the market and have made profit and a lasting impression. Indian designs hardly get recognised and accepted like the ones coming from the world’s top economies. Discussed below are some of the major reasons why this is happening, and how it can be solved.
Made in India, made for India
The Indian economy is different from other economies on the technology forefront. A large number of innovative ideas that come up here concentrate on assisting at grassroot levels, such as farming. It is difficult, or even pointless, to introduce such indigenous technologies to countries that do not match our living conditions and economies.
So, either the products should be made with a more universal appeal or should be targeted at markets that are at par with India.
Expectations of developers
In today’s world, innovation is not just about bringing up a breakthrough idea and a product. It is about creation of new economic value for this product and achieving its wide adoption and commercial success.
More often than not, Indian innovators are fascinated with increasing the functionalities and including exclusive features to the product they are developing. What they do not assess is whether the product would sell and in what kind of application areas a customer would get value addition, and if it satisfies regulation and safety standards.
After spending a lot of time and money developing the product, they start thinking about things like who will buy the product, how to sell it, how to get it certified and more. So they end up selling in Indian markets only and are unable to recover the cost without venturing out to international markets.
Quoting veteran scientist Dr Raghunath Anant Mashelkar, “In the field of innovation, India’s image is bad across the world because of our tendency to have jugaad. This means getting less from less people. We bypass everything and somehow fix things. The idea of affordable excellence is what India needs to support.”
Expectations of consumers
As previously mentioned, we find that some innovators try to add as many features as possible into a single product. But increased functionalities do not always excite end users. More integration generally affects the ease-of-use because system complexity increases with increased features.
Maintaining a simple user interface (UI) is a major factor that engineers should be careful about, but sometimes they fail in keeping it simple and easy to understand from the consumer point of view. The product would not be successful if it is not implemented in a way the customers find useful and simple.
Another major area where innovators fail is pricing. Countries like India have a price-sensitive market, and unless the product has an affordable price point, and its design blends in with the ecosystem of the country, selling the product could be difficult.