Inventions and innovations are no longer the prized possessions of Big Innovation Incs and Corporate honchos. The said notion can be certainly regarded to be true till last decade, as long as we talk of the Indian Business Market. It is quite intriguing that the rapid expansion of knowledge and awareness amongst the Indian citizens which includes URBAN as well as RURAL India led to the knowhow of the inventions, patents etc and hence the talent from Rural India and those involved in MSME's are today enlightened and aware about their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Innovations.
The said awareness has though not spread collectively throughout India but the current policies and action plans like START UP INDIA, MAKE IN INDIA, formation of INNOVATION COUNCILS in various states aim to make the knowledge of IP available to every nook and corner of the country so that not only the giants but also the MSMEs can identify their creation and protect it under the IP laws and prosper well adding to the prosperity of the country. The basic ignition behind the innovations amongst MSME's is the origination of a prevailing problem in the small industries relating to manufacturing or quality of the product that ultimately leads to the germination of an INNOVATION.
Innovation - Key to Success
It is quite a general perception that only the literates can innovate and invent something new, but actually innovations are all about application of logical and basic science which one can conceptualize and attempt and the same can be further fine tuned and furnished by support of knowledgeable.
India has seen some remarkable innovations and success stories in recent times wherein the invention was done by some man in rural India or MSME that came up with some revolutionary concept or machinery. The awareness of IP in India is though late than western countries but it has certain got the attention at every scale. The innovations today are protected by the MSMEs which can reap them effective benefits, returns by exploiting the said innovation exclusively. The protection under the IPR can also curb the problem of counterfeiting of the authentic products and goods which generally damages the reputation and market of authentic and standard goods produced by MSMEs.
With the dawn of liberalized economic policies in India, the gateways of immense opportunities to come up with your idea or innovation have got a huge backing of the Government. The Startup India Action plan launched by the Central Government provides for the algorithm to recognize an eligible startup and the ways to identify the Intellectual property. The said policy also marks the concessions provided by the Government for registration of the said IP's developed by the start up. Resultantly with wide outspread of such policies and campaigning, the MSME and startups will definitely score well in the competitive markets against the Giants by utilizing their IP's and protecting it effectively.
The said action plans and policies have been brought into action recently, whereas even prior to that a rapid rise in the awareness for protecting the Intellectual Property could be seen in various MSME sectors. To illustrate a few a gentlemen from Kerala found out that a particular species of plant variety mistaken to be a weed and often thrown or burnt by the farmers was actually used in Mexico to extract ethanol to prepare “TEQUILA”. He has also developed a process to extract ethanol and prepare the alcoholic beverage for which he has also filed a patent by the support of organizations. Thus it can be observed that people in India have become quite aware as to how their Intellectual Property can be protected and it is a welcoming fact for the MSMEs to grow and prosper well.
The mindset is also responsible for slow progress of MSME in identifying and exploiting the IPs, reason being that the MSME owners and manufacturers feel that IP protection is only for the multinationals and they often think of IP as something that can provide acclamation, promotion and advertisement to their business and donot understand the commercial value of their IP which may be a million dollar idea or work.
One of the best examples, wherein an Innovation led to the very formation of the MSME is the success story of Jayaashree Industries, an initiative of Arunachalam Muruganantham from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu state.
A classic example wherein the INNOVATION has helped a struggler to become an entrepreneur and also has provided employment to many and besides empowering women, is the tale of Muruganantham. He is known for inventing a low-cost sanitary pad making machine and has innovated grass-roots mechanisms for generating awareness about traditional unhygienic practices around menstruation in rural India. His mini-machines, which can manufacture sanitary pads for less than a third of the cost of commercial pads, have been installed in 23 of the 29 states of India.
He also wishes to introduce the said invention in other countries. His accolades and achievements include being shortlisted in 100 Most Influential People in the World in TIMES MAGAZINE, 2014. Also he has been conferred Padma Shri award by Government of India in 2016.
In 2006, with the support of IIT MADRAS, his invention got registered for the National Innovation Foundation's Grassroots Technological Innovations Award where he won. The Industry setup by Muruganantham provides employment to unemployed female workers and has created better job prospects through his outstanding innovation.
Another success story that talks of bestowing boon to the MSME is of the MALKHA – a fabric made of malmal and khadi which took birth out of the vision of an IITian Kannan, who wanted to find out an answer to the problem of spinning of cotton in rural India. He came up with the design of MICROSPINING that is too small to the size of a commercial spinning machine and he further substantiated the advantage of the machine into producing a fabric that was of high quality. The said innovation later required funding and distribution hence he set Vortex, a private limited company, with the object of solving the problems of rural India. He also found Fractal Foundation, a non-profit organization, which manufactures low cost and smaller size micro spinning machines. It also got support by way of a loan from the Technology Development Board of the Government of India.
The MALKHA fabric produced by MICROSPINNING is used by designers all over the world and has helped revive the spinning and fabric manufacturing by rural artisans in India which almost got extinct by Industrial revolution earlier. The said machine is being distributed throughout the rural regions to the artisans, to make the process of fabric manufacturing less cumbersome, qualitative and high on output.
Thus innovations have now become a game turner for MSME's in India, they often lead to development of these small scale industries to a top notch business groups. Innovation has already made an impact on the growth of small scale industries, also the government policies and action plans pertaining to innovations and awareness programmes are gradually making the rural India empowered to stand tall in the commercial market. The dream of India Shining rests on the development at the grass root level and innovations are the key to this gift box.
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