When I started researching Indias engineering education in 2005, my first conclusion was that Indian I.T. was doomed. The country was barely graduating enough engineers to staff this growing industry. The quality of engineers that Indias universities graduated was also inconsistent, and most were unemployable. To make matters worse, India graduated hardly any engineering PhDsso there wasnt much hope of improving the education system. I concluded that Indian innovation would never get off the ground.
Yet, during my trip to Mumbai this month, in a talk I gave atINK India (a spicy version of TED), I predicted that in less than a decade there will tens of thousands of start-ups building health sensors, robots, drones, commerce, and infrastructure tools; hundreds of thousands of app builders solving local problems; and millions of Internet entrepreneurs. Id come to conclude that India is about to experience an entrepreneurship boom that will make Americas dot-com boom seem lame. It is entrepreneurs who will be solving not only Indias problems but those of the world.
What changed after 2005? How did innovation in India begin to bloom, and how did Indian engineers achieve such success? Watch my INK talk above to learn the answer.
Vivek Wadhwa is Vice President of Innovation and Research at Singularity University; Fellow, Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University; Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University; and distinguished visiting scholar, Halle Institute of Global Learning, Emory University. He is author of ”The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent”–which was named by The Economist as a Book of the Year of 2012.
Wadhwa oversees the academic programs at Singularity University, which educates a select group of leaders about the exponentially growing technologies that are soon going to change our world. These advances—in fields such as robotics, A.I., computing, synthetic biology, 3D printing, medicine, and nanomaterials—are making it possible for small teams to do what was once possible only for governments and large corporations to do: solve the grand challenges in education, water, food, shelter, health, and security.
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