New Delhi: Just as energy is the basis of life itself, and ideas the source of innovation, so is innovation the vital spark of all human change, improvement and progress.”
It is appropriate that Theodore Levitt, an American economist who popularized the term globalization, provided the best single-line perspective on the primary fuel for the 21st century’s flat world.
Innovation is that ephemeral, ancient human ability to spark change. It really began two million years ago when an ancestor of man called Homo habilis started fashioning implements from stone. It continues today in dramatically more complex form as we fashion computer circuits from sand, electricity from water and endless opportunities from thin air.
Ceaseless innovation so became a part of the first-world business ethos that it led to a Western domination of the world economy.
That is changing—faster than we realize.
As the new century rolled in, a new India, symbolized by information technology and its possibilities, began the transition from back office to the front.
We still have software coolies, but we are, now, also much more than that.
Whether in automobiles, chemicals or telecom, a new, new India is emerging with a palette of more colours, stronger and more vibrant.
As innovation rapidly settles in as a business concept, it’s allowing previously timorous Indian firms to go global, and it’s persuading previously imperious global firms to move into India.
This special edition marks an intense joint editorial effort, the first between Mint and our sister publication, Hindustan Times, to bring you stories of innovation from the new, new India.
Over the last four months, reporters from both newspapers scoured the nation’s technology hubs, tapped the best business brains and sifted through hundreds of companies before arriving at a list of those that best represent India’s new approach to innovation.
These are the untold stories of people and companies silently giving India a steely new cutting edge. We’ll take you into laboratories, offices and minds to understand how the emerging India works, from its ever-expanding ambitions to the personal dreams of those who make it happen.
This is just the start. The stories will continue every Friday for the next six months in both newspapers. “Made in India” also has a website with additional content such as interviews, podcasts, videos and slideshows. Let’s begin our journey.