Innovation and the Intellectual Property Promise

Current issue > April 2019

Weak or strong? Formal or informal? When it comes to intellectual property (IP) and innovation, should India learn from the international experience or its own?

That dilemma is at the heart of our new issue on the theme, guest-edited by Professor Anand Nandkumar. On the one hand, India’s pharmaceutical sector owed its innovation successes to a weaker IP regime. And India’s grassroots innovations – “frugal, adaptive and ingenious” as Rishikesha Krishnan puts it -thrive on the basis of open and accessible bodies of knowledge. On the other hand, evidence from cross-country comparisons presented by Mark Schultz and Hemal Shah suggests that innovation needs strong IP rights regimes.

Also: Girish Sahni provides a snapshot of innovation in the public sector Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Amit Kapoor and Chirag Yadav explain why some Indian states are outperforming the rest when it comes to innovation metrics.

Gopichand Kattragada speaks to Professor Anand Nandkumar about the Chief Innovation Officer function. And founder Amit Jotwani shares his start-up and innovation experience with Professor Sarang Deo.What makes marketing in India unique? ISB Professor Siddharth Singh shares his insights on innovations for the Indian market in conversation with Sumita Singh.

We’re proud this time to bring you contributions from our ISBInsight Student Challenge. Poornima Bushpala and Syed Fasiullah discussed the emerging challenges of cybersecurity with Sridhar Sidhu of Wells Fargo. And Ankur Badonia of our graduating PGP class spoke to S Sivakumar of ITC about innovating the e-Choupal model.

The theme of metrics and innovation continues with Anupurvi Jain’s infographic on our article on the Smart Cities Index. Our Last Page wraps up with cartoons by Utsav Patodia and Vritant Jain, who provide a satirical twist to the idea of financial innovation.

The Changing Contours of Innovation in India

Home-based innovation in India has been oriented more towards the process dimension. Adoption of quality management practices paved way for incremental innovation. On the other hand, the main drivers of innovation have shifted to the R&D centres of Multi-national Enterprises (MNEs). Rishikesha Krishnan argues that the evolution of start-ups and their contributions to product or technological innovation in India is worth studying.

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Indian Innovations: A Perspective from CSIR

Dr Girish Sahni provides a bird’s eye view of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) cross-sectoral contributions in India, discussing the challenges that Government R&D supported chains of laboratories and many other research institutes across the country face.

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Can IP-Led Innovation Help India Hurdle the Middle-Income Trap?

As a rapidly growing economy, India will soon encounter the middle-income trap. The Indian economy will need to build a sustainable policy framework, founded on strong property rights and rule of law, to hurdle the middle-income trap and compete in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Drawing on findings from the 2019 International IP Index, Hemal Shah of the United States Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Centre presents a perspective.

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Enhancing Trade Secret Protection in India

Why has protecting trade secrets become imperative for nations and businesses? How are trade secrets the key to fostering greater innovation? Professor Mark Schultz suggests how India can address the gaps in its trade secret protection laws.

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Regional Disparities in the Indian Innovation Ecosystem

Although certain states and industries in India are pioneering innovations, significant regional and sectoral disparities persist. Dr Amit Kapoor and Chirag Yadav explore the innovation landscape in India and make policy recommendations to bolster innovative capacities and drive greater economic prosperity.

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Facilitating Innovation on the Digital Frontier

Dr Gopichand Katragadda, then Chief Technology Officer at the Tata Group, spoke at the India Innovation, Intellectual Property and Competition Conference organised by ISB in New Delhi in March 2018. Professor Anand Nandkumar caught up with him afterwards to understand how organisations can build innovation cultures in the digital age.

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Access, Empowerment and Cancer Care

A recent webinar, co-organised by the Centre for Learning and Management Practice at ISB, featured an in-depth conversation between Professor Sarang Deo, Associate Professor of Operations Management and Executive Director of the Max Institute of Healthcare Management and Dr Amit Jotwani, Co-founder at An edited transcript of the discussion follows.

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