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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Book Review: Indian Innovators by Akshat Agrawal

Author Akshat Agrawal is a product of IIT Delhi and currently Director at Alpha Beta Classes, a startup in Education domain. This is a story of 20 Indian Innovators written in simple narrative form with no pretension of discovering any unique Indian innovation methodology. The innovators covered are:
Anirudha Sharma formed a team in the first year of engineering at RTU, worked on touch user interface technology and received first bout of appreciation when their team `Team Sparsh’ won first prize in Hardware Design competition at BITS Pilani. The spark came to Hemanth Satyanarayana while doing MS at SUNY, Buffalo after graduation from IITM. He developed `Trail room using Augmented Reaity’, a technology that lets you try clothes digitally without having to wear them. More familiar to me is long journey of Mrinmayee Bhushan who successfully developed, patented and commercialized Romantaque, hair growth inhibitor. Met the 3Nethra team of professionals at CIIE for Piramal awards and very comfortable to interact with a startup team not composed of teens. MittiCool innovator Mansukhbhai was a celebrity among grass root innovators scouted and supported by National Innovation Foundation (NIF). Met many of them at Anil Gupta’s workshop in Ahmedabad. TePP supported many innovators like Artin Dynmics incubated at Technopark, Trivendrum. Chandrasekhar Nair managed the most successful TePP Outreach Center. Research spin-offs are a rarity in India and Dr Nitin Joshi stands out for pursuing research on nanoparticle based targeted drug delivery into an innovation. Anirudha Sharma and Prateek Bumb started their entrepreneurial journey with a business plan for technology to capture CO2 from industrial flue gas at IDEAS 2008 , became part of Indian Youth Delegation to COP15 by 2009. India Innovation Initiative (i3) inspired many innovators like Priyanka Sharma, inventor of disposable plastic biochip, Pratik Mahapatra who developed a process to kae paper from weeds growing unchecked in lakes. Sachidanand Swami from IITD working on touch tables is waiting for the big break. Sriram Kannan working on location tracking without GPS, Abjijit Joshi developing implantable biosensor for diabetes monitoring, Ganesh interacting with virtual 3D objects, Ahmad Khan constructing roads plastic waste. DST-Lockheed Martin India Innovation Growth Programm also supported many innovators like CareMother. Stanford Biodesign Fellowshop program led  innovators like Chinmay Deothar to develop and license laproscopic sugerey instrument to US firm. Arunachalam with development of low cost sanitary pad making machine created opened a huge market for a consumer product. Startup Village has many success stories and Innoz of Deepak Ravindran is one such a one. Prof Amarnath at IITB groomed many startups and Ankit Mehta of IdeaForge is one such a story.

The Innovators need to be celebrated as builders of new India, designing products for make In India. The organizations that supported these innovators at early stage also need a brief mention and for that reason I highlighted the small but significant role played by govt funding agencies and mentors.

1 comment:

ashok gupta said...

Excellent initiative by Akshat Agarwal. It is useful to put some successful innovative efforts (put-in by individuals) in a book form to make it readily available to any body interested in this innate human activity. Grass root Innovators are not often appreciated and encouraged in India. Thanks to the the sustained efforts by Prof Anil Gupta to discover these innovations and bring them to light. Also compliment to JAICO for publishing it.