Innovation is an absolute necessity in this world of competition, a fact that the 7 most innovative companies in India have thoroughly understood.
India’s economy has been presenting an increasingly positive picture over the last couple of years. People did not take this seriously until the last quarter of the fiscal year 2014 – 2015 when the GDP of the nation showed a huge growth rate of 7.5 percent, which earned it the label of the fastest growing economy in the world. Industrial development is always a major cause behind the economic progress of any country and India is definitely no exception. It has, over the years, produced several companies that not only had the ability to innovate but also put their ideas into action.
Innovation is a prerequisite to being able to gain a competitive advantage in a tough business environment. If there are innumerable brands selling the same product and your company does not have a new or differentiated product, it’s almost impossible to build a customer base. But for a company to be truly cutting edge, a sole innovative entrepreneur is not enough either. Recruitment of innovative employees is pretty much a requirement too. Sure it seems like Steve Jobs did it alone, but then again ever since his death, Apple is criticized quite often for its lack of new ideas. In fact, Harvard Business Review recommends training the staff to think in an innovative manner. It suggests that an individual is not inherently innovative or inherently inept at coming up with anything creative. They can be trained by the company to direct their minds towards revolutionary ideas.
Usually, large companies tend to forget about the concept of innovation, either due to smugness over their existing success or fear of incurring massive losses when investing in something new, but the ones that have the ability to set their sights on the long-term future know that only innovation can provide them with more triumphant times. Investment is what kick starts a business, but innovation is what keeps it going. However, if you are not one to take the risk of a heavy investment, our list of the 11 Most Profitable Businesses With the Least Investment in India may be of some help.
Getting back to the topic at hand: if you do a quick search of the most innovative companies in India, most of the hits you will get will be of the 5 Indian companies included in the esteemed list of the most innovative companies in the world published by Forbes every year. The catch, however? Well, the methodology employed by Forbes to create the aforementioned list is, frankly speaking, simply nonsensical. Forbes states that it uses “the difference between the market capitalization and the net present value of cash flows from existing businesses” to rank companies. Furthermore, an entity will not be included if it does not have 7 years of public financial data and $10 billion in market cap.
So basically, a small start-up company may be making waves in the industrial world, may be investing heavily in innovation and may as well have ideas no other company would dream of, but it would never find its way on Forbes’s list. Why? Just because of the fact that it’s small and therefore it does not have much of a market cap or because it’s a start-up entity and thus no public data for it is available.
Forbes claims that the companies included are those which are not only innovative now but are also expected to be so in the future. But think of Google when it was founded. It certainly would not have earned a prized place on Forbes’s list as it wasn’t really making any money and its market cap was less than $10 billion. Yet it went on to become one of the most profitable companies in the world and along the way it changed the advertising industry forever. Or let’s take Uber. It isn’t making any money right now and it isn’t publicly traded but we know that private investors are valuing the company at $50-60 billion, because of the fact that it has revolutionized the entire concept of cab hailing.
So for us, that is what an innovative company is: one that leaves a long-lasting impact on the industry that it enters or creates a brand new industry altogether. Not Hindustan Unilever, an Indian company that holds the 31st spot on Forbes’s list but has been selling the same soap and shampoo for decades.
Since we could not place our trust on Forbes’s list for obvious reasons, we scoured the internet looking to find the most innovative companies in India, companies that have not only had novel ideas but have also found solutions to some of the problems facing the developing nation. Let’s find out what we came up with!
7. Eram Scientific
Who knew someone could make toilets innovative? Eram Scientific, one of the most innovative companies in India certainly has. To cater to the disturbing problem of people urinating on the streets simply to avoid filthy or unavailable public toilets, this social organization has come up with eToilets. They’re portable, hygienic and just plain fascinating. A coin is inserted to get the door open and the toilet flushes itself automatically after usage. Lights are automatic too, so it is also environment friendly. Furthermore, the toilet can wash itself entirely after a certain number of people have used it. No wonder the organization has received an Innovation India Award 2016 from the Marico Innovation Foundation.
6. Noora Health
We are continuinf our list of most innovative companies in India with Noora Health hat is a non-profit organization that strives to make life easier for patients in India, through a process that is quite intriguing in itself. It focuses on training patients as well as their caretakers or relatives on how to tend to their condition after major surgeries or operations. It is a business that was unheard of in the nation before Noora Health stepped in. The entity has till date trained more than 75,000 family members of patients. Since India is facing a disturbing issue of overcrowding in its hospitals, Noora Health’s work is especially helpful as it reduces patients returning to hospitals due to after-surgery complications or for after-surgery care.
FreshDesk, one of the most innovative companies in India, is simply a solution for companies that have a hard time with customer service. The founders of FreshDesk thought of this fresh idea when a bad experience complaining about a broken TV was too frustrating to handle. What did they do? They came up with a state of the art customer service application that makes complaints received from customers through various media so much more convenient to respond to. Its easy and convenient design earned it a win at the Microsoft BizSpark Startup Challenge in 2011 when it was first introduced. It has become so popular that companies like Honda and 3M have ended up as one of their customers.
4. Tata Group
The Tata group is one great specimen of how far the industrial world has come in India. Its presence as a group exists in more than a hundred countries and it is undoubtedly the biggest company on our list. It has dabbled in the fields of manufacturing, technology, communication, infrastructure, defense, finance: you name it, they’ve done it. The group’s diversification is proof enough of how creative it is but it doesn’t stop there. Whenever any company in the group faces an issue, they post it on Tata Innoverse, a platform created by the Tata Group Innovation Forum. A great example is when the jewelry division of the group converted a 16 hour process of drying gold powder into merely a single hour method. How? They posted it on the platform and got almost an immediate reply from a particularly innovative employee. Other examples of such ideas include airbag systems for pedestrian’s safety and seats with changeable orientation.
3. Reverie Language Technologies
The third place on our list of most innovative companies in India goes to the Reverie Language Technologies that recognized the issue that the technological hurricane that originated from the West was in English and therefore, not at all easy for locals to understand. The organization, founded in 2009, has taken it upon itself to make technology easier for people who seem to be left stranded just because they do not have command over the English language. It not only presents media content in local languages thus providing them the development they so desperately need but has also succeeded in converting businesses into multilingual presences.
Amazingly, Innoz has done the impossible: offline internet. Since not even half of the population of India has access to the internet, Innoz has done the nation a great service. It has made available a search engine through SMS to users who do not have or simply cannot afford an internet connection, making huge troves of information accessible to the common man. Innoz has processed more than 1 billion queries through its offline service till date.
1. Mitra Biotech
Mitra Biotech’s research and development center is perhaps the epitome of innovation in the world of cancer. Its futuristic technology named CANscript creates a synthetic environment for a specific person’s tumor, allowing researchers to test drugs quite effectively and coming up with a personalized treatment selection in no time. Mitra Biotech has also received the Top Innovator Award from the Economic Times for its amazing work, leaving no doubt that it is indeed one of the most innovative companies in India.