Innovate2Build: What India Needs To Spearhead Collaborative Innovation

Innovation is the new Darwinism in business – its no longer about survival of the fittest but survival of the most innovative.

It’s very simple – companies today have to innovate or they will fade into oblivion. Take for instance the list of Fortune 500 companies. 88% of them from 1955 have either gone bankrupt, merged with bigger entities or have fallen off the famed list. While this may ring alarm bells for industries worldover, there is a lesson in this statistic. These companies failed to make the cut as poster children of modern business because they simply didn’t innovate.

“Without a robust and resilient innovation strategy, no company can survive,” says Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs.

In India, the tides of change in business have been rapid but impactful. With liberalization of economic policies and the advent of the Internet, the software industry began to scale rapidly in the country. From the year 2000 to 2018, the hardware and software industry attracted FDI to the tune of $35.82bn.

While IT companies and other enterprises are behemoths in their respective domains, the biggest fear is losing the mark of brilliance through innovation. And this was precisely why the Fortune 500 companies of yore no longer exist in the fray, or are considered innovators anymore.

In order to ensure India’s biggest businesses continue to lead the industry, it is imperative that they innovate. This could be through a multitude of ways such as investing in R&D and identifying scope for collaboration with companies pushing the boundaries of creativity.

How India’s Startup Ecosystem Could Unlock India’s Next Wave of Innovation

The Indian startup success story is going from strength to strength every passing year. The country is the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. There is a tremendous inflow of capital, ideas for a business-ready market and measures to scale implementation. Over the years, the lines between key stakeholders in the system have become increasingly blurred – successful startup founders have become investors, investors have taken the plunge as entrepreneurs, and enterprises have started playing a bigger role in identifying and grooming startups for specific solutions.

For instance, Reliance Industries – arguably India’s largest conglomerate – has been reinventing the wheel by investing in upcoming technologies and companies. In the past year, the startup has invested in a host of technology and content platforms such as Reverie Technologies, Haptik, Saavn, Easy Gov and C-Square Info Solutions. More enterprises and conglomerates are opening up industry-specific problem areas and calling innovators across the spectrum to solve them.

This shift in perspective within the industry collides with the incremental development and adoption of deep technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Analytics, to solve complex business challenges.

With high-caliber startups using analytics and resource-rich enterprises expanding their boundaries of innovation, the industry stands at a precipice now.

Can enterprises and startups work together in harmony, collate their collective strengths, forging robust collaborative strategies and herald a new era of innovation in India?

It would certainly appear so.

Co-Creation, as a business model, has evolved over the years in countless ways. Today, startups are rich with data and skillsets to solve complex challenges, but require help in accelerating business prospects, reaching appropriate markets and creating social impact for scale. Large-scale enterprises are now investing their resources in startups with a high innovation quotient, by providing them actual use-cases that require immediate attention.

As a catalyst of innovation across industries and emerging deep technologies, NASSCOM Center of Excellence has conceptualized a portal Innovate2Build – a platform for enterprises and startups to synchronize and collate data on industry use cases and technologies that can solve them.

The first Co-Creation Demo Day for Innovate2Build was conducted at NASSCOM Bangalore recently, where more than 30 startups gathered to join this platform and gain access to use-cases presented by enterprises that partner with NASSCOM Center of Excellence.

Here are some use cases on the Innovate2Build portal –

Predicting the Estimated Time of Arrival of an Airline – Airport efficiency can primarily be assessed on the punctuality of flights. Worldover, air traffic in key hubs has risen exponentially and it has become a challenge for airline companies to ensure flights depart and arrive per schedule. In order to provide a seamless travel experience, and optimize airport resources to the hilt, technology can be used to predict the estimated time of arrival of an airline. Any startup working extensively in AI, ML and IoT are eligible to apply, and develop custom-made solutions for this enterprise, which is a leader in the aviation industry.

Using Imaging & AI Solutions for Gender Masking During An Ultrasound – Predictably put forth by a major player in the healthcare space, this solution requires the use of AI and analytics to mask gender while a foetal ultrasound is being performed. Per Indian law, gender determination is illegal. Yet, there are several pockets in India where sex determination still takes place un-monitored, leading to unmitigated cases of medical termination of pregnancy and/or foeticide. In order to keep the gender of an unborn child under wraps, developing an ultra sound imaging machine and second component consists of leveraging machine learning solution to feed into the intermediary image, masking it and producing a final image to be rendered.

The new era of innovation is here, and NASSCOM Center of Excellence is at the forefront of driving innovation in digital transformation.

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