Nandan Nilekani: Our entrepreneurs can beat the best from the world
Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani Friday said we are the only nation where the local entrepreneurs have to compete with the offerings from the best around the world, particularly those from the US and China. He said the country is at an interesting juncture where private innovation is being supported by government through programmes like Aadhar, which he helmed, or the Unified Payment Interface.
"We are an extremely competitive market for innovation. We are the only country in the world where we our entrepreneurs are competing with both American and Chinese companies," he told a Bombay Management Association event here on startups. The remarks come amid concerns on how to foster local entrepreneurship in the face of the hyper competition and pitches for safeguarding the local entrepreneurs' interest being made.
"We need innovation more than ever before. We face challenges in every aspect--water, education, healthcare, environment, and infrastructure among others. You name it and we have a challenge," Nilekani said. He warned that "business as usual" will not work given the challenges that we face, and said innovation with scale is the only way forward.
It is the only way to meet the aspirations of over a billion people exposed to latest developments in the technology, media and entertainment spaces, and "are impatient for improvement their lives", he said. Nilekani said government is also ushering in innovation through its policies and initiatives, which include Aadhar, GST and UPI.
Direct benefit transfers straight into citizens' accounts alone have resulted in savings of over Rs 90,000 crore in the past few years, he pointed out. The current scenario has set the stage for "us to leapfrog" onto every stage, be it education, healthcare, logistics and transportation, he said.
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