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Time for India R&D centers to maximize value from Globalization: Says Zinnov

Team YS
8th Feb 2011
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Zinnov Management Consulting, a Leading Management Consulting firm in conjunction with Abobe, recently hosted a one-of-its-kind Leadership Meet on R&D in Bangalore recently. With the theme “India Calling: Time for Indian R&D centers to maximize value from Globalization”, the meet brought to light that in the current scenario, to bring out a new innovation in any market; R&D is the key ingredient and its time that India centers start maximizing the value via globalization.

India today, is surely at a cusp where it needs to take that leap of faith towards a journey to become a global power in R&D, accounting for around 20% of the world’s research investment. It also added that while Globalization is not really a new phenomenon when we talk about R&D; India however still accounts for a small proportion of the total R&D investments by global companies despite having a strong talent pool across verticals. This phenomenon needs to change in the current context for the industry to grow to the next level.

Speaking about the Indian R&D industry, Mr. Pari Natarajan, Chief Executive Officer, Zinnov Management Consulting, said, “We have noticed that only 19 new centers have been set up in India in 2010, with most of the centers having an employee headcount of less than 300 and we very strongly feel that there is indeed a lot of scope to expand for optimization”.

“It also should be taken a note of that companies are planning to install over 20% of their Global R&D headcount in India. All these are indeed good signs and hence, we, as important stakeholders of the industry, we should try and push all of this forward to grow to the next maturity level. While a few companies have been fairly successful in uplifting the maturity of the centers in India, others should also start looking beyond cost control to bring in global leadership and innovation capabilities at the center which would help them move up the value chain and become critical centers for the parent organization”, Pari added.

According to the latest findings, MNCs employ about 430,000 people in India out of which approximately 200,000 are engaged in R&D. Also, out of the total of 202,430 talent pool in the R&D industry, majority of them - 89,383 come from the Software vertical. While Telecom and Semiconductors employee about 26,715 and 23,713 respectively.

“India has a great opportunity and potential to become a leader in innovation and R&D. Already, there are many examples of how companies in India are carrying out cutting-edge R&D activity to create innovation for a globalized world. What the country now needs is a systemic focus on raising the bar in our education system as well as support from the industry to nurture the innovative minds,” says Dr. Naresh Gupta, Sr VP, Print and Publishing BU and Managing Director, Adobe India.

Last but not the least, it was jointly agreed upon that though India offers a significant cost arbitrage when compared with the costs in US and Europe, the R&D centers in India are losing out on certain key aspects because of excessive focus on cost. While cost control is the top priority, aspects like innovation, competency creation and leadership roles should now start becoming a focus as well.

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