India, The New Innovation Destination of Choice

A report titled Digital Dynasties: The Rise of Innovation Empires Worldwide by Paris, France-based technology consulting and services firm Capgemini has listed Bangalore, India, as one of the top five most preferred locations for multinational companies that want to set up innovation centers and harness technology talent.

India, which did not figure in the top 10 list in July 2015, took Tokyo’s spot in February 2016 to stand at fifth place. Globally, 56 innovation centers opened in 20 countries over the past year, and 11 more plan to open soon. Capgemini analysts say that there has been a 29 percent rise in the number of innovation centers in Asia as compared to their previous research.

Capgemini Logo

Quoting from the report:

India has been rising in the ranks of favorite destinations to open innovation centers. Our previous research identified eight innovation centers in India in July 2015. India has since seen eight more innovation centers open their doors. Bangalore has been the most favored city with four new innovation centers. Bangalore is home to several billion-dollar Indian startups such as: Flipkart, InMobi and Mu Sigma, and attracts world-class technology talent and investments. Among the new innovation centers opened here are: Airbus’ BizLab, which intends to bring together startups and Airbus’ internal entrepreneurs; and Visa, whose new technology center in Bangalore will house 1000 developers accelerating development of next generation payment solutions. Global firms are showing interest in other Indian cities as well. For instance, TriMas Corporation – a diversified global manufacturer of engineered and applied products – opened an innovation center in Delhi to focus on driving innovation across its range of packaging solutions, while Puratos, a leading global food ingredient company, launched an innovation center in Mumbai.


July 14, 2016   No Comments

Stanford Spurs Med-Tech Startups in India

By using experiential teaching methods with cross-disciplinary teams, the Stanford India BioDesign fellowship has managed to create a cohort that is focused on creating new, cost-effective, devices customized to India’s healthcare needs.  Products include devices for pregnant mothers and newborn babies and those that help with biopsies and fecal collection.

1) Brun, a term in Sanskrit that means “fetus” is a fetomaternal monitor with a patented technology which was developed by 2012 Fellows of the Stanford Innovation Design program, Dr. Prashant Jha, Anirudh Chaturvedi, and Balaji Teegala.

Brün Fetomaternal Monitor

With inadequate monitoring during labor, there is a chance of the baby going into distress that can potentially lead to stillbirth. India unfortunately accounts for the largest number of stillbirths in the world with official figures greater than 330,000 every year. The solution landscape is littered with tools that are not designed to face the rigors of high patient volumes, inadequate power supply and lack of skilled workers.

Brun can be used by even the least trained worker in the field. It automatically captures the vital parameters of the mother and child and displays an easy-to-interpret graph of the safe progression of labor. An alarm is sounded for any parameters going out of range enabling timely interventions.

2) Specialized technologies for soft tissue biopsy were invented by a team of 2012 Fellows led by Siraj Bagwan, along with Dr. Jonathan Pillai, Dr. Jagdish Chaturvedi and Siddhartha Joshi. IndioLabs, a startup company founded by Siraj Bagwan, has acquired an exclusive global license of these technologies from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, for further development and commercialization.

The BioScoop invention comprises a method that significantly improves on the technique of aspiration needle biopsy as well as a device that automates the entire biopsy procedure while improving the tissue sample size.

The BxSeal is safety feature of the invention of the biopsy device to assist in concurrently delivering a hemostatic agent inside the biopsy track to significantly reduce the risk of internal hemorrhage.

BxOne with Bioscoop and BxSear Technologies

The system enables physicians to achieve safer and definitive tissue capture during liver biopsy using advanced needle-tissue characterization and automated control.

3) Windmill Health was co-founded by Stanford India Biodesign Fellows of 2011. The first innovation NeoBreathe was conceptualized by founders Dr. Avijit Bansal and Ayesha Chaudhary, PhD at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.


NeoBeathe is the world’s first foot-operated resuscitator system for new born babies that does not require electricity and is simple enough to be handled by caregivers of all levels.

“Birth asphyxia causes 811,000 deaths every year, most of which can be prevented by resuscitation. But resuscitation is difficult using current devices, and requires skill that is scarce in the developing world, leading to death and disability,” said CEO Avijit Bansal.

4) Nitin Sisodia, founder & CEO of the Sohum Innovation Lab is a 2010 Stanford India Bio-design fellow. The device Sohum provides early screening for congenital hearing loss, one of the most common birth disorders. In resource constrained settings, hearing impairment goes undiagnosed until the child is about 4 years. By then, it is too late for the care cycle to be effective. This leads to speech loss, impaired communication skills, and possible unemployment. Early screening, leads to timely treatment and rehabilitation, as well as savings in healthcare expenses to the system.

Sohum Early Hearing Screening device

The device is non-invasive, with high sensitivity and specificity and is specially designed for mass screening of neonates. It uses brain-stem auditory evoked response (BAER or ABR) technology which is the gold standard in auditory testing and is recommended as the test of choice by the American Association of Pediatrics and the National Health Services, UK.

5) Fellows of 2008, Nishith Chasmawala and Amit Sharma spent more than 1,000 hours in hospitals, ambulance rides, and patients’ homes, both in India and across the United States, to understand any unmet clinical need, and build a solution around it, reports Economic Times.

On realizing that the only solution to fecal incontinence was a diaper or pad, Sharma and Chasmawala decided to build fecal management kits for millions of patients in advanced nursing or critical care at their company Consure Medical.

Qora Applicator

The Qora Stool Management Kit features an odor-proof collection bag, a sampling, irrigation and withdrawal port and a hygienic device applicator. It is a USFDA cleared, closed- system stool management system that hygienically captures liquid to semi-formed stool and directs it into an odor proof collection bag offering security and protection to bedridden patients by minimizing painful and costly complications often arising from fecal incontinence.

“An untapped market is basically a gap in the value chain; it is a pain point and that is where innovation is created,” said Padmaja Ruparel, president, Indian Angel Network, which has backed Consure and other healthcare startups. “There is clearly a need in our country. If a venture is flourishing and successful, it becomes a hugely investable proposition.”

The Stanford India Biodesign Fellowship Program is centered at India’s premier public hospital and medical school, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. It is an academic collaboration between Stanford University, the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and AIIMS. The program is jointly funded by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India and Stanford University, in partnership with the Indo-US Science & Technology Forum.

June 15, 2016   No Comments

McKinsey: Emerging Demographics Are the New Emerging Markets

“Urban World: The Global Consumers to Watch”, a report by the McKinsey Global Institute says that global urban consumption is expected to grow by $23 trillion over 15 years, at a compound annual growth rate of 3.6 percent. 32 cities globally, including two from India – Delhi and Mumbai – will likely generate one-quarter of total urban consumption growth between 2015 and 2030, and by 2030, consumers in large cities across the world will account for 81 percent of global consumption, which is “extraordinarily concentrated”, reports India Today.

The report noted the beginning of two significant trends: the heavy spending on healthcare among seniors in developed regions and increasing spending by consumers in emerging economies. “In India, such spending accounted for 35 percent of average household consumption; by 2025, and McKinsey Global Institute expects this share to have increased to 70 percent,” the report said.

“Emerging demographics are the new emerging markets: The question is no longer where to search the globe for growth, but which demographic groups have the most spending power,” it says.

Key Takeaways for India:

  • 70% growth to come from population between the ages of 15 and 59
  • 79% growth through rise in per capita consumption
  • Growth will be concentrated in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai
  • Urban population growth to be moderate at 2.2%

Older age segments are growing faster – Sixty-plus populations are expanding at four percent compounded annual growth rate, and the under-30 population at 1.5 per cent CAGR.

Businesses will need to factor in shifting urban demographics while evolving their footprint. “Knowing which cities, and even which neighborhoods within cities are home to key consumers will matter,” said the report. It added that companies will have to tailor products and services for an increasingly diverse consumer market, reports Business Standard.

April 5, 2016   No Comments

Bombardier Transportation Expands in India

Canada’s Bombardier Transportation has opened a new Rail Control Solutions office for engineering and product development in Gurgaon, near Delhi. The office will focus on developing, testing, networking and cyber security works.

“We are pleased to expand our presence and investment in India with this state-of-the-art center which will support our product development activities for customers locally and globally,” the company’s President (Rail Control Solutions Division) Peter Cedervall said.

Bombardier Transportation

“Our goal is to grow the team significantly over the next two years and it reflects our commitment to develop local talent, also key to constantly innovate and improve our solutions,” he added.

Bombardier employs nearly 1,200 people in India and is Delhi Metro’s largest contractor for signalling and train control solutions with over 80 miles of line delivered or in progress. It has also contributed to traffic management systems for Western and Central Railways.

December 4, 2015   No Comments

Moving to India? Remember These Tips…

Living in India is balancing modernity with traditional ideas and practices according to the website Expat Focus.

You will also find differences in the ways of life in the metros such as New Delhi and Chennai and the tier I cities like Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, which are also quite different from the Tier II cities such as Nagpur, Mysore, and rural areas.


There are at least as many cuisines as there are States in India – each having its own kind of charm and distinctive type of cuisine. Street food too is of varying kinds and has a special allure as in all countries. However, do be careful eating off the streets or in roadside inns or ‘dhabas’, as the food may not be very hygienic. Also avoid eating raw vegetables in salads even in better establishments. At all times, do carry your own supply of drinking water wherever you go. If you do happen to catch a stomach bug, eating plenty of yogurt and drinking safe water will keep you hydrated and your gut happy.


With the exception of the Metro trains in Delhi, Kolkata, and Bangalore, public transport in India is crowded and difficult to adjust to. The three-wheeled auto-rickshaws, if and when available, are one of the alternate choices. Ola cabs and Uber are now available in cities. Ola also has a share-a-ride facility which is affordable. Download Google Maps on your smartphone and feel more confident by following the path being taken in hired transport.


In metros and tier I cities shopping malls are ubiquitous and you will find chain stores such as Marks and Spencer, or Westside; others are brand outlets such as Accessorize, Puma or Nike to mention a few. At such places one pays the price on the tag. However, at smaller establishments and mom and pop stores, some bargaining is a must. Start with 50% – 60% off the original price quoted and settle for about 40% less than the initially offered price.


You will find them at traffic lights, tourist spots and outside hotels and, well, just about everywhere. While they do arouse pity and compassion in each of us, ‘helping’ them by giving them a few rupees may not be very helpful as most of them are part of well-organized cartels. Please do ignore them. There are many deserving NGOs that operate in every city and which do good and far reaching work in education, health and other social causes. Supporting such organizations with a donation or even volunteering your time and expertise at such places will be very rewarding.

Understanding a ‘Yes’ in India:

A head-shake, sideways, shoulder-to-shoulder often means a ‘yes’. And universally most people in India are culturally wired to say ‘yes’ to you so as not to appear rude or offend you by saying ‘No’. So make sure to tell the person that they are free to say ‘no’ if they really cannot help in what you may want them to do, and you will be completely OK with that.

November 22, 2015   No Comments