Software industry body Nasscom has sought help from captive in-house centres of multinational companies to drive innovation amongst Indian companies.

The $100-billion Indian IT industry is at a crossroads as companies in developed markets are considering outsourcing work to alternative locations.

Concerned over this, the sector is re-branding itself as a destination that offers innovation at affordable costs and aims to reach $300 billion by 2020.

According to WIPO Statistics Database, October 2012, non-resident companies in India contributed to 79.1 per cent of the total number of patents filed in 2012.

“If India has to be competitive in the business landscape, there is an urgent need to generate more Intellectual Property (IP),” said Sandeep Kejriwal, Chair of Nasscom Bangalore Global Inhouse Centre Chapter.

Kejriwal’s concern reflects in the numbers. In 2011, the total number of patent applications for in India was estimated to be 37,000, or about 2 per cent of the total patent filings, according to Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and industry data.

If one includes the amount spent on research and development, the scenario gets bleaker.

According to WIPO, Indian companies have invested $36 billion in R&D compared with $296 billion by Chinese companies. “The contribution is abysmal and it needs to go up sooner rather than later,” said Kejriwal.

While the numbers look bleak, on the ground, things have been picking up for captives of multinational companies.

“Our Indian centre has contributes around 850 patents to GE globally, which underlines the kind of work that we are doing out of the country,” said Gopcihand Katragadda, Managing Director, GE India Technology Centre.

Stagnant growth in developed markets and emerging markets focus is seeing companies outsource more to Indian captives, said Sundararaman Viswanathan, Manager-Consulting, Zinnov.

(This article was published on April 5, 2013)
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