Medical Plastic Data Service Magazine



Our 28th Year of Publication
Page  2 of 9

Cover Story

The Importance Of R&D And Innovation
In The Post COVID19 World


Balagopal Chandrasekhar
Founder and former Managing Director
Terumo Penpol Ltd.

General observations based on my experience as an entrepreneur and investor and mentor for tech startups.

1. The R&D spend of companies and government in India is too low. The private sector still behaves as rent seekers, not builders of businesses with a long term vision.

2. R&D has changed mainly due to the impact of the Internet: information is easy to access anywhere. This enables collaboration, sharing of resources, and crowd sourcing solutions.

3. Indian labs and research institutes are a huge resource - industry is losing out by not seeing this fact. They have people with skills in all sorts of esoteric areas and fields, and proven capabilities.


4. Industry must learn to know where to look. As Pasteur said: chance favours the prepared mind. You must be worrying about a problem to see a solution in the most unexpected places.


5. Invest in your people regularly going to engg trade fairs and research labs and seminars and workshops, not so much for what is being discussed, as for what else you may find there. This can range from answers to research problems to processes you can use to reduce costs and improve quality, to equipment that may help you make something you could not otherwise do.


6. ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’. Innovation starts with you: if you are not worrying about something, if there is no necessity, there will be no innovation. I have found the best ROI to come from investment in research and development.


The course of industrial development in India has followed a path of dependence on imported knowhow and equipment, despite a substantial investment mostly by the Government of India in Science and Technology by setting up large National Labs in various fields of activity. This has been a puzzle, and the answer must be sought in the industrial policies of the period up to the mid-1980s, which were based on erecting tariff walls to protect local business and industry. This only resulted in creating an inefficient and uncompetitive local industry. When the economy started to open up, the private sector initially was in panic, leading to the creation of the Bombay Club, which tried to stop the opening up of the economy.


While matters have improved somewhat after that initial panic reaction, matters appeared to be settling down to the same lazy rent-seeking approach by the private sector. This is proved by the decline of the share of manufacturing industry in the GDP till it is today less than 15%. (The corresponding figure for China is around 40%!). Various explanations were put forward for this, some even claiming that, while China had become the factory of the world, India would become the back office! But, this neglect of the manufacturing sector has proved costly, as India has fallen far behind China, and is now not likely to catch up. China has graduated from being a low cost manufacturer with cheap labour, to a high quality manufacturer of products developed using their local skills. Today, China is a global leader in engineering products in the construction field, chemical industry, electronics and communications sector, consumer products, household articles of various kinds. In fact, it can be said that almost 50% of the global manufacturing output today comes from China! Indian businesses today depend on importing most of their components and materials from China, and Chinese supply chains have become essential for many businesses and industries in India.


Why did India fall behind, and what did India do wrong? If we study the course of economic reform in India, we find it mostly consisted in easing the restrictions on international capital flows, enabling global finance capital to access Indian savings and stockmarkets. The more important liberalisation that was needed in domestic regulations governing the manufacturing sector were not attended to, with archaic regulations dating back more than 100 years still on the statute books, holding back MSME sector from modernising, expanding, and diversifying. Policies privileged imports over domestic products, by setting high quality standards, high tariffs on import of components and materials, high interest rates, high power tariffs, etc. If we had supported domestic technical capability through supportive policies, we could have further developed the know-why and technical capability for a strong domestic power equipment manufacturing sector, domestic machine tool sector, construction equipment sector, and so on. Companies like BHEL, NTPC, BEML, HMT, SAIL, IPCL, and others were already strong and capable, and should have been helped by supportive policies to become world class enterprises like the many Chinese companies that have done so. Instead, our policies after liberalisation only served to restrict these companies and their capabilities, leading to their decline.

Advertisers' Index

Accuprec Research Labs Pvt. Ltd., India
Ambica Medicare Engineering, India
Nu-Vu Conair Pvt. Ltd., India
Divya Steri Solutions Pvt. Ltd., India
ET Elastomer Technik, Germany
Eewa Engineering Co. Pvt. Ltd., India
Ineos Styrolution India Ltd., India
I-Kare Polyalloys Pvt. Ltd., India
KLJ Group, India
Lubrizol Advanced Materials India Pvt. Ltd.
Kuraray India Pvt. Ltd., India
Maider Medical Industry Equipment Ltd.China
Medicall 2019, India
Ferromatik Milacron India Pvt. Ltd., India
GLR Laboratories Pvt. Ltd., India
Pashiba Lifescience, India
Plastivision India
Pradeep Surgipack, India
PVC Colouring Compounding & Processing, India
Qosina, USA
Raumedic AG
SMC Medical Manufacturing Pvt. Ltd., India
Sterimed Medical Devices (P) Ltd., India
Steri Techno Fab, India
Tekni-Plex India Pvt. Ltd., India
Twist Engineering Works,India
Yuhuan Shengjiu Mould Co., Ltd., China

Airways Surgical Pvt. Ltd., India

Alpha Medicare and Devices Ltd., India
Alpha Therapeutics Pvt. Ltd., India
Ami Polymer Pvt. Ltd., India
Angiplast Pvt. Ltd., India
Appasamy Associates, India
Beacon Plastics, India
Delux Surgical, Inida
Ignisol Mediplas Corporation, India
Jain Rubbers Pvt. Ltd., India
Operon Strategist, India
R.R. Patel Gases (P) Ltd., India

Proven Trade Contacts, India

Sanidhya Enterprise, India
Surgi Pack India Pvt. Ltd.
Unikal Consultants, India
Vinit Performance Polymers Pvt. Ltd., India
Aircity, India
Amigo Surgi Care Pvt. Ltd., India
Angel Products, India
Apex Medical Devices, India
Jimit Medico Surgicals Pvt. Ltd.
Kavya Packaging, India
Life-O-Line Technologist, India
Mesco Surgical, India
Morrisons Lifecare Pvt. Ltd., India
National Healthcare, India
Pharmadocx, Inida
S. Nath & Co., India
Unikal Consultants, India
Venus Industries,India, Mobile : 9825747495
Zinkal Products, India
Back | Back to Top | Previous | Next