Google was not founded in India
So - why has India consistently failed to come up with a notable innovation or idea in the field of Software - a field in which india is supposed to be pretty good.
Well - India may have failed - Indians have not. THAT is a difference thats important to understand. Indians seem to perform quite well in foreign climates, and seem to be ordinay when it comes to innovations and idea's in India.
This in my opinion is a direct result of 'Climate'. There is no dearth of ideas even within India, but when it comes to spinning these ideas into successful commercial products or companies, there is miserable failure. The climate referred here is the entire system - required to support and grow a innovative company or for that any company! The problems that indian entrepreneurs face have been documented well by many people, and referred to in the past on this blog too.. so will leave out that.
But - lets see what caused a hypothetical Google's early demise when it was being founded in India :
- The company registration clerk got smart - and kept delaying registration.
- The ordinary office space had no reliable supply of electricity, unless they moved to a posh location.
- Working out of garage or such low cost means was not permitted because of govt. regulations.
- When the search engine gained some popularity - someone used it to search porn. A lawyer sitting in small town filed a series of PILs against the company accusing it of providing a platform for searching porn. The CEO was summoned by the legal system.
- Inspite of explaining that google (remember bazee?) was just a search engine and people could use it for any purpose. Just as govt. cannot be held accountable for someone using the road to break traffic laws - just because it happened to build that road, google cannot be held accountable for someone using it for searching porn.
- But the difference was lost in special legal clauses, and CEO was to directed attend hearings for next few years regularly without fail. (If i am not mistaken the fine for filing a frivolous PIL is something in tune of a few thousand Rupees. Oh well...)
Google was shut down, and 100 other companies with crazy ideas, shut shop immediately. Most moved abroad.
Would Lakshmi Mittal be the same man today - if he had chosen to do his entrepreneurial stuff in India? Almost all his successful ventures when he was growing really fast - are stories from abroad. Perhaps things are changing.. but is this pace of change good enough?
p.s: Anyone seen Guru?