Our economic history has seen a different trajectory from the Western world since the industrial revolution and Indians have not seen the economic impact of innovations. But a new generation of entrepreneurs seems to be changing that.
As more and more real estate projects hit India across the country, you see more steel and glass - with little thinking on cleaning systems, local materials and innovative use of materials for the Indian heat and dust. Over 35 years ago, I had met an architect who had talked of creating a roof made with overturned earthen pots sandwiched between two slabs. The resultant roof led to an 8% difference in temperature between the outside and inside. I have never heard of this or anything similar since. Such low cost innovations - from a floating bicycle to the solar cooker (300 days of sunshine and a value conscious Indian consumer should have made for a blockbuster product) have never taken off in India. Overall, across categories, innovations are few and far between.