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i-Story India Innovates.

Intent
The general outlook in the western world, about innovation in India, is very negative. The general perception is that, most of the capable people in India are largely involved only in the low level jobs and the outsourcing led economic growth has not translated into people moving into higher levels of value chain. There are serious doubts if the next generation of technology would ever come from India and whether Indians would ever be able to build products of global mass appeal rather than just those based reverse engineering the western innovations and at best adapting them for a price sensitive local market (jugaad). Having been educated at IIT, the author has had a chance to interact with the best and brightest of Indian minds, many of whom have achieved laurels in research. He has also experienced the problems people face when they try the unconventional path of cutting edge research and product development in India. Often such daring people feel disheartened because they do not get to hear the many motivational success stories of their compatriots and neither do they get much publicity when they succeed, unlike their counterparts in the west. Media in the western countries regularly bring out such stories, which are very motivational and inspiring for others and at the same time help the innovators achieve much required publicity and visibility, thus helping them to further their goals (making it easier to raise funds or network with the right people). Thus, this is book is the authors attempt to bring to light the efforts of zealous young Indians who are trying to achieve success via innovation, despite greater challenges that they face when compared to their western counterparts.

Akshat Agrawal, Aug. 2012

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Elaborate Blurb
The book traces the journey of 20 innovators and tries to present the story of how they achieved what they did and how they overcame the hurdles they faced while pursuing their dreams.

Each innovator is personally interviewed with a set of general and customized questionnaire aimed at understanding their upbringing, persona, their work and the hurdles that they faced. The information collected during the interview, is presented in the form of a short story.

The 20 people chosen come from all walks of life. Some are Ph.D.s, some plain engineering graduates and some without any formal education. They are of different ages, come from all over the country and work in variety of fields, ranging from medical devices to software and from eco-friendly home appliances to i-pad killer tablet computers! Some are involved in academic research and some have founded their own companies to commercialize their technologies. What unites them is that they are all have a vision for a better world, ordinary people with extraordinary thinking!

The book would leave the readers enriched with a lot of information and at the same time would motivate them and fill them with a sense of pride in the achievements of their compatriots.

Inspiration
The idea came to the authors mind when he had an argument with his colleague in the US, who otherwise has a lot of regards for Indian engineers and meant no offense, but was not entirely convinced that many Indians are involved in bringing to the market the next path breaking wow products, which are unique and scalable, with appeal to global market. The author realized that this person was not alone as there are several others who are skeptical about it. The author believes that the key reason behind this attitude is that the Indian innovation stories are rarely celebrated by the media and thus much less well known (how many people in India or

Akshat Agrawal, Aug. 2012

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elsewhere would know that GE MAC 400, a fully functional, low cost, portable ECG machine marketed by all across the world by GE was completely conceptualized and designed by its Indian engineers in India?). The author strongly believes that, in any country including India, the growth in innovation inevitably follows the growth in economy. The local demand for better products and services, along with greater competition, increases the pressure for innovation in order to differentiate products from the competitors and also cater to increasingly sophisticated tastes and deeper pockets. Therefore, the support for new ideas becomes more readily available and also financially sustainable. He has full faith in the capability of India to become the next big hub for innovation. This book is an effort to win the respect for those who are defying the conventional and tirelessly working towards powering continuous innovation in India, thus shaping its future along with theirs.

Akshat Agrawal, Aug. 2012

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