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Innovation Is A Big Deal In China.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on April 4, 2006

China’s new 5-year plan is all about innovation. Check out this package of stories on innovation in China.

Beijing is putting huge resources into making the country an innovation powerhouse in the decade ahead. Good thing. Wages are soaring all along the coast, with compensation for managers, professionals, scientists—and manufacturing employees rising by double-digits every year. Already low-value manufacturing is leaving China for Vietnam and elsewhere. One key factor is demographics—that one-child policy is causing a dearth of workers along the coast. The other reason, of course, is demand. China’s economy is booming and the demand for blue and white-collar labor is off the charts. China needs to innovate to get to the next level.

Beijing is leading a state-sponsored, macro-economic effort to get to that level. India is taking another path, a micro-economic push to develop. Which is the better path?

Reader Comments

vishnu pindi

April 5, 2006 11:24 AM

India's micro-economic push brings more people towards proper education, health-care and basic amenities. though India may not be investing a lot of money in R&D, its investing in creating a country where every-man has equal opportunities to conquer globalised world.high end R&D requires hell amount of money and not all the investments bring in positive results.india cannot do this.there are many mouth's to feed.

today's generation is the product of the govt. investment's in providing basic amenities. in the last few years we see many indian people hitting the world.we see many indian companies pushing for innovation and spending more on R&D. the govt. is putting in a quite a bit of money in R&D,but the govt is pushing the private sector to invovate and in this process created the new patent law(2005).only when the poverty in the country come's down, the country can flash more money for R&D, till then its better that govt provide the basic amenties and right environment and let the people decide where they want to go.

steve baker

April 5, 2006 12:36 PM

Key conditions for innovation are the freedom of expression and the freedom to challenge the status quo even at the seat of power. That said, I'd put my money on India.

Niti Bhan

April 6, 2006 3:23 AM

I must agree with Steve. This article
referencing the Chinese 5 year plan, ends with this interesting little snippet,

But there is a long way to go before China becomes a truly global design workshop.

"The design business in China is, to a large extent, backed by the government," says Song.

"Only when most domestic firms' awareness of the importance of design rises significantly can the country become a global design centre. And that could take a long time."

Puneet Thariani

April 9, 2008 2:43 PM

China might be having loads of manpower to fuel its growth, but what we forget is that India is brimming with bright minds. I rememeber a particular incident which i would like to mention, This gentleman who was driving for a peace march across 7 countries in a Land Rover had some problems with the car while he was passing thorugh a small village in northern india. After numerous attempts of getting the car started, the gentleman though hesitant decided to take help from a road side mechanic, who miracously did some 'jugad'(hindi word for tinkering) and the car started. Not only that for the rest of the journey it never gave away. Finally back in the UK when the car was taken to a Land Rover Service station, they were surprised to see only a cloth tied to the fuel pump do the trick. They couldn't figure how could it hang on through such a terrain but it did its job of holding the pump and plugging the leak.
I guess there is no further need of explaining what indians are capable off.


June 1, 2008 9:16 PM

There is no comparison really.

India has been able to build up multinationals that have market caps in the tens of billions.

When China wants a firm to succeed, they "import" a foreigner, like Lenovo's CEO.

On the other hand, India exports CEOs to the worlds largest firms like Citibank, Vodafone and Pepsi.

Just see how McKinsey in the US is heavily staffed with Indians.

Of course, innovation is not everything. China is doing a great job in providing a manufacturing base for the world and moving large sections of its population out of povery.


July 13, 2008 7:08 AM

That is because when Indian join a company, he will bring in the whole village, regardless whether the next in kin is good or not.

No doubt Indians have a lot of talents. But in general, Indians also have quite an issue with working attitude and accountability, and the ability that they might be wrong sometime.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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