The world might not be completely flat, but a bulldozer has been working overtime on leveling the global innovation playing field—and many previously emerging nations are establishing themselves as serious competitors to the U.S. India is near the top of the list. Previously known in the technology world as a place for cheap outsourcing of IT talent, it is now a hotbed of hypercompetition and entrepreneurial activity, even as it struggles with core issues of health, corruption, and an unfair legal system dogging emerging nations.
For those of you who would like a personal, close-to-the-scene snapshot of India’s innovation landscape, I’d like to draw your attention to the still-unfolding series in our Forum penned by Xconomist Vinit Nijhawan, who is touring the country right now. In five short, easy-to-digest installments, Nijhawan takes readers on a fascinating journey, from New Delhi’s teeming cell phone (and cell phone unlocking) marketplace to Chandigarh, home to a great engineering college and a “nascent life sciences industry forming…around agricultural products” to his most-recent installment from Mumbai and the TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) Entrepreneurial Summit.
It isn’t all a pretty tour. Along the way, Nijhawan provides a view of India’s murky property situation, which he contrasts to its much more effective system of intellectual property protection; government corruption and ineptitude; and India’s problems with clean water, which he thinks might lead to a possible collaboration with Boston University, where he is a lecturer and executive-in-resident at the School of Management.
There’s a lot more I haven’t mentioned, but you get the idea. You can take the tour below:
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