India needs to go the Google Way: Amitabh Kant

15-Jan-2016 #Digital India Source: India Inc

One of India’s key drivers of the Make in India programme believes the country needs to adopt a more innovation and manufacturing centric outlook to achieve its ambitious growth targets.

Amitabh Kant, recently appointed CEO of India’s premier planning body Niti Ayog, used two of the world’s best known technology giants – Google and Yahoo – to drive home his point about a more innovation-driven outlook.

He said: “The difference between Google and Yahoo was simply that Larry Page [Google co-founder] went and hired 4,000 engineers and Yahoo went and hired 4,000 marketing professionals. Look at where Google is today and where Yahoo is – on the block to be sold.

“In my view, marketing professionals will drive India to death, engineers will take India to great glory.”

To achieve this turnaround, he spelt out his “dream” of creating more engineering colleges to overtake the swarms of business schools and IIMs in the country. And, significantly, despite his own IAS background and current role as Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Kant warned against losing any more bright engineering minds to the civil service.

How to foster an innovation culture? Amitabh Kant gives his perspective at India Inc. 2nd Digital Conclave

“There are just too many IIMs, we need engineering institutes and we need to create incubation centres there for prototyping. Too many engineers are being lost to IAS. We need engineers to innovate, do manufacturing and drive India’s growth,” he stressed.

A leading mastermind behind the Make In India campaign believes its success heavily depends on a “create in India” approach, which will be possible only if larger numbers of home-grown engineers are provided the right ecosystem to innovate.

He said: “The challenge for India is to really push the limits in terms of creating the right ecosystem. In my view, this involves allowing startups to just go ahead and do it.

“India should allow failures to take place because without failures you can’t be successful.”

The facts and figures also back up his view. While India attracted an impressive $9 billion in startup funding last year, hardly any of the new startups belonged to the manufacturing sector.

It is about time India stemmed the flow of its most innovative minds to the civil service.

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