Business / Industry Sectors
Israeli company keen to fund Indian innovators
Today the innovation eco-system in India has all the ingredients required for a ‘Make-in-India’ innovation hub.

Mr. Alok Mittal, Managing Director, Canaan Partners, India said that “Venture Capitalists focus on sectors with high rate of return instead of sectors of national priorities. They invest 50% of their portfolio into IT sector and avoid investing into labour intensive sectors such as manufacturing and defence”. He was speaking in a panel discussion organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on ‘Fund for Innovation & New Venture’ during Knowledgexpo 2014.


The Knowledgexpo is being organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry in partnership with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Ministry of Science and Technology on November 20-21 in Greater Noida.


Mr. Saurabh Srivastava, Chairman, CA Technologies said “the need of the hour in the country is innovation and entrepreneurship. The Knowledgexpo summit is extremely timely and if it can ignite the spark, it would be great because India needs 10 million jobs and only entrepreneurs can create those”. 
Today the innovation eco-system in India has all the ingredients required for a ‘Make-in-India’ innovation hub, particularly for frugal and cost effective innovations, said Dr. W. Selvamurthy, President (Honorary), Amity Science, Technology & Innovation Foundation (ASTIF). The translation from science to technology to product to market to industry commercialization, all require resources. These resources are available in India. All it requires is an idea and entrepreneurship skills, he added.
Dr. Eddy Kaufman, CEO, ICL Innovation Ltd. Israel announced that ICL is a global manufacturer of products based on unique minerals, in three sectors: agriculture, food and engineered materials. The Company is looking for breakthrough innovative technologies with high risk, and long term projects. The project should be in early stage with 50 million US$ market potential.
In addition, he assured the Indian innovators that no financial funds are expected from the inventor and all the R&D expenses will be covered by ICL Innovation. When applicable ICL Innovation Ltd, provides patent support and inventors enjoy royalties from commercial sales.
A large number of young entrepreneurs are focusing on health challenges affecting underserved populations, said Ms. Deepanwita Chattopadhyay, MD & CEO, IKP Knowledge Park. She also highlighted that Life Science Incubator (LSI) received INR 20 million Seed Fund support from National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India in 2008. All the incubatees at the Life Science Incubator can avail this in-house funding for their R&D and product development activities. LSI follows well defined criteria and methods to fund the incubatee companies under this Seed Fund Support scheme.
At another session organised during the Knowledge Expo 2014 titled ‘Leaders Talk’,  Prof. G. “Anand” Anandalingam, Dean, Imperial College Business School, London shared his insights on global entrepreneurship successes, issues of entrepreneurship in India, in the formal vs informal sector and family owned businesses. In addition, he highlighted how family owned businesses can be innovative and entrepreneurial.
Ms Neeru Sharma, Co-founder and Director – CorpDev, Infibeam, shared her experience of how innovative ideas of promoters turned into a profitable venture. She highlighted that e-commerce, in the initial years, is a gross margin negative business and is sustainable only because of an innovative business idea.
Dr. Nirmalya Kumar, Member of Group Executive Council, Tata Sons shared a plan for emerging market brands to achieve success in international markets. He outlined eight strategies - including the Asian tortoise route, from B2B to B2C, brand acquisition and leveraging cultural resources - that will develop emerging market brands into global brands.
“Innovation is driven by either desperation or inspiration. Young people in India are now inspired to innovate by the possibilities of the world around them and the success of previous generations of Indian entrepreneurs” said Prof. Soumitra Dutta, Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean, Johnson Business School, Cornell University.
Today the number one enemy of entrepreneurship is the home loan, said Mr Girish Mathrubootham, Founder & CEO, Freshdesk. He recalled how both he and his co-founder had home loans when starting the company. There are so many smart people in India who want to start up but unable to do so because of the home loans.
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