Seeking avenues for growth – India in the top 50 innovating countries

Deepti Ganapathy, faculty in the Management Communication area, IIMB, writes that the signals are strong and one needs to mine the communication networks to pick up the conducive atmosphere for creating jobs

The recent budget has given much emphasis on innovation and R&D, and doubled the total financial aid to students to INR 2482.32 crores. India entered the top 50 innovating countries for the first time in 2020, since inception of the Global Innovation Index, by improving its rank from 81 in 2015 to 48 in 2020. Among lower middle-income group economies, India ranks first in Central and South Asia and third among lower middle-income group economies.

These are signals offering strong indicators for anyone with an entrepreneurial attitude as some of these projects are expected to generate nearly lakhs of jobs. The recent AERO India 2021 put the spotlight on how the existing PSUs in Bengaluru city as well as start-ups in the state of Karnataka have heavily invested in the aerospace and defence sectors.

In this post, I will take stock of the arenas to look for through the communication channels available publicly, and ponder over the choice of media and tools used to reach investors.

As a young investor, one must go through the formal channels of communication set up by the various ministries in the state Government. It is also beneficial to have a broader overview of the departments and ministries at the Centre, in order to look for intersecting points of contact and overlapping areas that one might be interested to explore.

Most government websites, understanding this need, have a section of related links and icons such as Make in India, Invest Karnataka, that are built-into the entire investment focus – with integration into social media platforms as well, in a bid to reach the target audience in a manner most convenient and suited to them.

A good place to start with is the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board which provides an overview of the entire state’s industrial corridors, Special Economic Zones, emerging industrial estates and scope for further phases to expand in view of road infrastructure projects that bring in the connectivity factor which is very crucial for the supply chain to work seamlessly. The process of communication is effective – with a detailed map, zone-wise allocation, key highlights and sector-wise potential. To ensure faster access and interactivity, most of the procedural hurdles have been circumvented with digital transactions – cutting red tape and bureaucratic hurdles.

According to the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Karnataka received 513 investment intentions between January 2018 and December 2020. The number of projects cleared was 225 in 2020 resulting in an investment of Rs 47, 627.24 crores and creation of 98,998 jobs (Source: DH, 07 Feb 2021).

As an investor, one needs to consume the information available with more responsibility by exhibiting behaviour that is information-seeking when alternatives abound. Simply leaning back and allowing an algorithm to lead you based on your informational inclinations will not suffice. Rather one must be an active seeker of information, going to reliable and multiple sources of information to make an informed decision.

If a potential investor has researched all these sources of information, he or she is equipped with the knowledge to ask the right questions that can lead up to the action of setting up the business itself.

Another great way to connect and glean information is to attend trade expos such as AERO India and other such sector-specific shows that bring together exhibitors from all over the world and lead to meaningful and engaging deliberations.

As India gears up to bring in its 75th year of Independence – the youth of this country have the confidence to create jobs, rather than seek jobs and ride on the wave for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ – the record number of start-ups and the fifth position that the country has earned in the renewable energy space are signalling the growth story for the coming decade.

(Follow on Twitter @GanapathyDeepti)

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