Driving Innovation in India Inc: Stories of Ratan Tata & More

Here are some success stories of Indian innovators from Vijay Menon, author of Innovation Stories of India Inc.

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What drives business leaders and brands behind the great innovation stories from India Inc?

Vijay Menon, who recently authored a book – Innovation Stories From India Inc – which narrated the stories of legends and big brands of the Indian Inc, says only companies with a plan for sustainable innovation have succeeded.

Innovation is either driven by energetic leaders, or by the institutionalisation of innovation in firms.


Recalling a conversation with Ratan Tata, he said that this business tycoon learnt the value of innovation when his ideas were rejected.

In the book, Tata says when he joined Tata group after his stint in the USA, he pitched an idea to his seniors. But he was asked to grow grey hair, before presenting the idea.

Years later, when he became a business tycoon and investor, he insisted on changing this. He wanted to create an environment where even the youngest employee could suggest an innovative idea.


Similarly, for Nestle, which stared at the odds of selling noodles in a rice eating country and selling coffee in a tea drinking country, believing in their product was key to success. According to Menon, Maggi noodles, which is now the rage among Indians, had no sales for over 10 years. “Nestle believed that innovation takes time and as a brand, they believed in the product,” he said.

Leaders of innovation are great communicators and storytellers, says Menon, who goes to add that India still needs to create an environment that promotes innovation, and these stories of innovation will be the driving force.

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