Sad stories of innovators in India
While it is highly imperative that the next generation will belong to innovators, and I have been very critical of IT companies focussing more on transactional processing related business, there is a sordid picture when someone takes innovation route too.
I was going through the newspaper and understood that MindTree founder Ashok Soota resigned and is pursuing new opportunities. Few years back, MindTree wanted to be away from the regular bunch and started taking bets on research and development. They invested by taking over the R&D wing of Kyocera which is one of the leading handsets manufacturer of wireless phones along with host of other products. The move seemed to have failed as the market has gone much ahead of what Kyocera ever did and MindTree is now forced to convert the acquisition into a test lab for mobile manufacturers.
In another even more upsetting story is that of Ramco which came out with the first Indian ERP. Those who know about Ramco product are very candid in mentioning that the big ones are no match to the usefulness of the product. The suite has been regularly updated and last year the suite was moved on cloud with online ERP services which is probably one of the first of its kind globally. No one took note of that. There were no partners who came to support them nor any Telecom provider ever thought that the product potential can be exploited on their own cloud.
The product which is truly an Indian product for Indian companies is still trying to find its space which it truly deserves. It is understood that the services of this product is being used by 800 plus customers who pay very small amount for the services as the company found no support from any corner to market their product and had ultimately resorted to cutting margins effecting their own growth.
In such a scenario, it is not unusual for most of the Indian companies to keep away from spending money on innovation and keep focussing on ‘today’ with whatever business they can service.
I still maintain that while Ramco is still struggling with moving to the next step, Tally which did just the right marketing became a truly Global product. It is how the product is marketed and awareness increased is what will define the future of the innovation.