Technology can help manufacturing sector enormously if the needs are matched, says Prashant Girbane, director general, MCCIA
Today in New Delhi, India
Jan 12, 2019-Saturday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Technology can help manufacturing sector enormously if the needs are matched, says Prashant Girbane, director general, MCCIA

Prashant Girbane, director general, Mahratta chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) gives an overview of the startup ecosystem of Israel and how Pune can learn from it

pune Updated: Jan 12, 2019 17:06 IST
Namita Shibad
Namita Shibad
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Mahratta chamber of Commerce,Industries and Agriculture
Prashant Girbane, director general, Mahratta chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA)(Pratham Gokhale/HT PHOTO)

Prashant Girbane, director general, Mahratta chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) gives an overview of the startup ecosystem of Israel and how Pune can learn from it. He talks to Namita Shibad about his recent trip to Israel which has given him a new perspective that can be used to boost Pune’s innovation quotient.

Israel’s innovation ecosystem is well known globally. What lessons do you think Pune innovators can learn from Israel?

Israel is a small country almost the size of Pune district that is situated in a hostile region. Yet this country has grown 50 times in the last 60 years and has more companies listed on the Nasdaq than Japan, South Korea and India put together. In Israel one person out of every 1,500 is a job producer. They have 270 incubators, nine Nobel laureates and have developed the Pentium chip for Intel, ‘google suggest’ for google and water from thin air. So they obviously are doing something right. What is it? I think it is the culture in that country. What binds them together, among other things , is the fact that almost everyone compulsorily spends two years of his life in the Army. The other thing that pushes their innovation quotient is their chutzpah attitude – a positive rudeness. They are comfortable challenging the known wisdom, challenging things that are being taught and what exists. This is very important to bring about the change. To question what exists. Today if Israel desalinates water from the Mediterranean Sea and provides its surplus of 50 Mil Cubic metres to Jordan every year it is because of this chutzpah that leads to innovation. All the nine universities there in Israel have a dedicated unit that looks after monetising the inventions. Their job is to commercialise, sell, brand whatever is invented in the universities. Pune has many universities and colleges and more than couple of dozen national R&D institutes that are focused on invention and I think each one of them should set up such tech commercialisation units or further strengthen existing ones. The other thing we can learn is their ‘multi disciplinary approach’ . Almost all innovation teams adopted this approach as against working in silos. The Government is doing quite a bit towards funding innovations.

Do you feel there are further changes in policy or actions that can make a bigger difference?

India’s Global Innovation Index has been ranked 57 out of 126 countries. I think broadly, the Government has very good policies to promote innovation and entrepreneurship but the gap exists in implementation these policies. Maharashtra too has very good policies but we need an implementation rigor.There needs to be more awareness about the policy framework and the policies need to be implemented. That’s all that is required even before we think of new policies.

What does MCCIA plan to do to help the startup community?

We at Mahratta chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) are doing whatever we can to promote entrepreneurship. Technology can help manufacturing sector enormously if the needs are matched. So we will ask startups if they have anything substantive that can help the manufacturing companies.

In a few weeks from now we have planned a platform that will provide tech startups an opportunity to showcase their work to most relevant target segment. Through this, we aim to make our own contribution in catalysing the interaction between demand and supply.

These select startups can display their work at our office and since we have several business owners who visit our office, they will get exposed to such technologies that can help their businesses.

First Published: Jan 12, 2019 16:03 IST