Although inspiration leads to euphoria the creative work is not complete. It requires an innovative effort. Innovative involves taking that inspiration and turning it into a useful product service, or way of doing things. Thomas Edison is often credited with saying that Creativity is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. That 99 percent, of the innovation involves testing, evaluating and retesting what the inspiration found. It is usually at this stage that an individual involves others more in what he or she has been working on. That involvement is critical because even the greatest invention may be delayed, or lost, if an individual cannot effectively deal with others in communicating and achieving what the creative idea is supposed to do.
India is rapidly emerging as top global innovator for various hi-tech products and services, though it continues to under perform relative to its innovative potential because of various infrastructural constraints. Such constraints not with standing a number of Indian researchers and scientists have been making path breaking innovations in diverse areas, often using indigenous resources. While some are specific to the Indian context, others have a global reach in terms of scope. Exhibit highlights some of the note worthy innovations by Indian scientist in various reputed educational and research institutes in the country.
In the corporate world also, a number of Indian companies have introduced innovations in their core of expertise, resulting insubstantial improvement in their profitability, as exemplified in Exhibit below
Bharti Tele ventures: Cellular operator out sourced core networking services, hence management could focus on marketing and sales.
Tata Motors: Automobile manufacturer: Developed a passenger car worth slightly more than a lakh of rupees, to be distributed in a Kit and assembled at point of sale.
ITC: Agribusiness; Employed e-commerce to procure and produce raw materials in rural areas.
ICICI Bank: Banking: Used lower cost business processing in India to offer higher interest rates to foreign customers.
TCS: Software: Constructed a computer aided adult literacy program uses symbols to teach 500 words in 10 weeks.
There have been a number of grass root innovations in India at the rural level, some examples of them being:
Balubhai Vasoya from Ahmedabad in Gujarat has developed a stove that uses both kerosene and electricity. It saves 70 percent on fuel compared with conventional stoves running on LPG.
Mansukhbhai of Gujarat created an Enfield diesel motorcycle with a difference by removing the back wheel and replacing it with a spiked cylinder his motorcycle now doubles as tractor.
Anna Saheb Udgave, a 70 year old farmer from the Sadalga village in Karnataka’s Belgaum district, developed a low cost drip irrigation system to fight water crisis in his village. He improved upon his innovation and turned it into a mega sprinkler calling it Chandraprabhu Rain Gun.
Deepasakhti Pooja Oil, a blend of five different oils in a ratio prescribed in the Indian shastras does not produce any soot but gives a bright flame. It lasts longer and the fumes produced to repel disease causing bacteria.
A solar water harvester conceived by Deepak Rao of Chennai has received a grant of Rs 190,000 from the Techno entrepreneur Promotion Program of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. It uses solar energy to convert non-potable water.
How can a manager foster Innovation?
Three sets of variables have been found to stimulate innovation. They pertain to the organization’s structure culture and human resources practices.
How do structural variables affect innovation?
On the basis of extensive research, we can make three statements regarding the effect of structural variables on innovation. First, organic structures positively influence innovation because they have less work specialization and fewer rules and are more decentralized than mechanistic structures. They facilitate the flexibility, adaptation, and cross fertilization that make the adoption of innovations easier. Second, easy availability of plentiful resources is a key building block for innovation. An abundance of resources allows management to purchase innovations, bear the cost of instituting innovations, and absorb failures. Finally, frequent inter unit communication helps to break down possible barriers to innovation by facilitating interaction across departmental lines.