Business Standard

Mahindra bats for making life simpler for Indian innovators

- SOHINI DAS

Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra on Sunday urged the government to make ‘life simpler’ for Indian innovators who are ‘pioneers and potential’ unicorns.

Speaking at the 4th Annual Atal Behari Vajpayee Lecture, Mahindra said all startups he has spoken to, have said “they were at sea in the maze of existing regulation­s and controls that are applied to them, sometimes even retrospect­ively.”

“The government is working on the increased ease of business for investors. How about making life simpler for our innovators who are pioneers and potential unicorns? We need regulators to work as partners and proponents rather than being seen as taskmaster­s,” he said.

“We need to encourage astronomic­al amounts of innovation for a resurgent India and the lesser obstacles there are in the way, the better,” he emphasised.

Mahindra said India spends a lower share of its GDP, less than 1 per cent on research and developmen­t than US and China, which spend more than 2 per cent.

He also felt that government-funded research and its impact on industry and civil society is an area that needs to be exploited.

“Our institutio­ns of higher learning and research could do with much more government funding to generate such seminal innovation­s that can eventually be commercial­ised,” he said.

Further, the manufactur­ing costs are ‘unnecessar­ily high’, he reasoned.

Land costs, utility costs, logistics costs – all contribute to our lack of competitiv­eness.

“More focus on improving cost structures, more advances on the ports model, will have a multiplier effect on industry,” he said.

India needs to think on a larger scale, he explained.

“We need larger scale corporatio­ns in media, which can digest the up-front financial risk required to turn this heritage into new IP and content. Reliance’s acquisitio­n of Disney India is a welcome step in this direction,” Mahindra elaborated.

“Korea and Japan helped their companies build scale through industrial policy and protection­ism until their companies reached scale enough to go global. That is not a path that India chose, and I am glad we didn’t. But we do need nurturing and the incentivis­ation for scale. Not through protection­ism but support for a limited-time horizon,” he said.

 ?? ?? Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra said India spends a smaller share of GDP on R&D than US and China
Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra said India spends a smaller share of GDP on R&D than US and China

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