On Friday, Business Week announced its list of the '25 most innovative companies' and, for the first time, Indian companies have made the list. Tata and Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Group have joined the likes of Apple, Google and Toyota, ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
Tata, placed 6th, ranks ahead of stalwarts such as Nintendo and Amazon and just one position behind Microsoft. Reliance, at 19th, beats innovation blue-chip 3M and upstart Facebook. The full list is available here.
It was just over 1 month ago when Bill Gates spoke to the US House Committee on Science and Technology about the importance of innovation in driving national economic performance. Gates said "For decades, innovation has been the engine of prosperity in this country" - it is apparent that the same engine has started in India and while prosperity has arrived for some, the road to be travelled remains dauntingly long.
With the Tatas and Reliance as models, we at LRAMP encourage the rest of India, from the city corporates to the village farmer, to think differently about your products, services and business models so that India can increasingly prosper and to build businesses where the prosperity will include those currently living in poverty. As Gates says, innovation is the key.