Often one gets a feeling that Innovation that too in technology & IT happens only in expected places (well-known institutions, successful corporations, efficient governments all full of well-educated professionals); it is far from true, at least in India.
ImpulseSoft (that was acquired by SiRF in 2006), a start-up company of about 35 people working out of a small house in obscure JP Nagar 5th phase in Bangalore could “unwire Apple iPod” (sell an add-on to unwire the Apple iPod)
LaserSoft operating in a small temple town called Udupi (famous for Krishna temple and Udupi Hotels – inexpensive fast-food joints across Indian middle-class households) could build a 1,000-seated world-class software development center, focus on device drivers and manage to get marquee customers in Japan
Ittiam a start-up with laser sharp focus could be born in year 2001 and manage to be in the “most preferred DSP company to work with” for three years in a row (2004, 2006, 2006) within the first five years of operation and be profitable
Balaji temple in Tirumala could put in place a bar-coded system “Sudarsanam” to manage the daily crowd of 60,000+ pilgrims (peaking past 100K on occasions) for nearly 8 years; move on to biometric system, introduce online bookings, implement a payment gateway.. though located atop a hill (16 km road connects to a sleepy town Tirupati in the hinterland of Andhra Pradesh)
Innovation can happen everywhere; in fact in the most unexpected places. Watch out!
(My views as a Panelist in “Innovation in India for India – Microsoft event” (www.i3network.in) in Bangalore in October 2007)