GujUpdates Interview:India needs to develop innovation culture fast to keep pace with global market: Sanjeev Mehta

  • If India wants to move forward, it should abandon the traditional style and adopt innovation

The private sector is a major contributor to R&D and innovation in the US-Europe. Which is not just because of a particular place, but because of the growth in innovation there. If India wants to move forward, it has to abandon the traditional style and develop an innovation culture. These are the words of Sanjeev Mehta, the new president of industry body FICCI. This was stated during a conversation with Aniruddha Sharma of Dainik Bhaskar. Highlights of the conversation …

  • What effect has the Omicron variant had on the industry?

The Omicron variant needs to be monitored. Hopefully it won’t have much impact in India. Vaccination is rampant in the country. The health infrastructure has improved a lot. In such a situation, we do not need to panic, but we need to be careful.

  • What steps should be taken to accelerate MSME and service sector?

To make MSME the backbone of the country, it needs to provide its talent, capital as well as financing and technical access, in many cases marketing efforts. The urban poor and the lower middle class who worked in the service sector, lost their jobs during the Corona period, need attention. There should be big companies in manufacturing and also MSMEs. There is a need to increase massive investment in health and education.

  • What recommendations have you made in the pre-budget meeting with the Prime Minister?

We have seen the need for India to make significant improvements in research and development (R&D) and innovation. If we want to compete globally, we have to be competitive in cost, quality of service and innovation. We can be the best in the world in Greentech, Digitech and Biotech. For this, it was suggested to start Iconic Innovation Incubator, Center of Excellence, Innovation Cluster in the country.

  • The private sector is a major contributor to R&D and innovation in the US-Europe, why not in India?

R&D does not need to be viewed in isolation. There are many innovation hubs in the world, such as the biotech hub in Boston. Digitech is a hub in Silicon Valley.

  • What are your suggestions and expectations for the next budget?

Traders want consistent tax stability. You invest only when you are sure that there is stability in policy and tax. Second, in the long run, we want to see uniformity in different rates of GST. The government should focus on consumption, increase capital expenditure.

Until private investment increases, the role of government spending remains crucial, as the infrastructure sector spends more to create more and more jobs. Third, the fiscal deficit should not be reduced abruptly. Fourth, the MSME and service sector, especially the contract service sector, needs to be reformed and given special attention.