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Professor of Strategy
Even as white collar jobs are outsourced to Indian firms, those of us in the developed world persist in the view that our distinct advantage over the developing world our ability to innovate will remain unchallenged. After all, where are the Indian iPhones, Googles, and Viagras? But according to the latest research by India business experts Nirmalya Kumar and Phanish Puranam, this view is wrongheaded. In fact, though much of it is invisible to the Western consumer, there is already a great deal of innovation in India such as management and process innovation, and innovations in B2B and R&D, for example.Even more dramatically, Kumar and Puranam study a new, more visible, consumer-oriented kind of innovation emerging in India of compact, low-cost, robust, and efficient products. New products such as Tata's Nano, Going Green's G-Wiz car, and GE's ECG machine exemplify this unique kind of Indian innovation which is marked by robustness (more insensitive to a harsh environment), compactness (miniaturization and system integration), feature rationalization (ditching the junk that accumulates), and mega-scale production (to drive down costs). This "Nano effect" low-cost innovation that meets the needs of consumers who are both demanding and budget-constrained will ultimately result in consumer-branded products for the developed world.Tracing what they see as a movement of innovation to the East, and particularly the increasing capability of Indian companies to innovate and develop products for global markets, Kumar and Puranam deliver a ""wake-up"" call to companies in the developed world. With implications for companies and policy makers in both the developed world and India, this book offers a clear-eyed view of the challenges and opportunities for multinationals looking for new sources of innovation in the future.