Sunday, January 27, 2008
India and Innovation .. Leading the world !!
It is said that Indian economy is very closely intertwined with the world economy. It is true in many respects. The sub-prime crisis in US , which made many Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) in India sell their part holdings and book profits to make good their losses incurred in US, caused the markets to come down crashing from dizzying heights .. ( nobody is that much bothered of the quick profits for the common investor when his stocks went up like bullets !!) And no doubt the FII investors are like honey bees, they are sure to return to india sooner than later. Once they have made good their losses elsewhere, they will come back to India, because this is where the money is..
The slowdown in the US economy precipitated by the crisis is causing slowdown in US investments in otjer parts of the world. The Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, had to announce a stepping down of the growth projections of the Indian Economy from 8.9 percent to 8.5 percent, because of this slowdown in the US economy. It is a matter of no doubt, that the US economy is indeed leading the growth and stagnaton of economies the world over, so vast and spreadout is it, after all !! (Not sure how long it will hold on, before the power axis gets shifted to the trimodal axis of Japan, China and India.)
It is in this context that Indians have virtually caught world attention by coming up with two GREAT innovations over the last fornight ! One was the introduction of the comapct sub-$2500 petrol car for small families.. Initially to be introduced in the Indian market and later on in other parts of the world, the market segments it can service and the hopes and aspirations it can satisfy of the two-wheeler generation who can think of a viable and economic upgradation to a four-wheeler is great !! There is a ready market of a million-plus in India itself, who can gobble up this contraption with great ease, not to forget of the markets elsewhere.. Even though, Suzuki, the biggest smal car manufacturer in the world so far, was initially sceptical of the sub-$2500 introduction citing safety reasons, it has preferred to wait and watch this new product to hit the world markets very soon.
The other innovative product to come out of India during the past wek was the $350 compact 7" monitor laptop PC (Mileap X) from Hindustan Computers Ltd (HCL). Working with solid state devices, ie. no moving parts at all, this Ubuntu Linux OS machine has a powerful office suite, openoffice and a powerful Firefox web browser to match, an 8 MB flash drive as the HDD and a 512 MB RAM to enables it to do simple browsing operations, wi-fi connection, simple office applications, presentation facilities and so on.
The promise it holds up to the 200 million plus, student and youngster population in the country is mesmersing !! Forget about the rest of the world waiting !! This innovation attains great significance after the much hailed and hyped Prof Negrponte(MIT) -Intel joint effort failed to take off citing economic unviability.
These two new products are just the begining, more new and innovative products are on their way. The Indian tiger has fnally woken up an has started roaring (unlike the other Asian tigers whose roars became mews in the 80s after the FIIs withdrew their money causing the markets and currencies to go for a real tumble !!)
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