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Take India to 20 trillion dollars

To help build a $10 trillion economy India’s businesses must become the most progressive in the world, fully prepared for the unprecedented challenges of the 21st century. In practice, this means addressing three urgent questions around strategy, organisation and leadership.

Over the past few decades many cost-advantaged Indian businesses, led by IT and auto industries, built a global footprint, but globalisation is just the beginning. Today, global presence and cost efficiency are no more than table stakes — necessary, but not sufficient prerequisites for success. To intercept the future, Indian companies must build tomorrow’s best practices today.

Truth is, even the world’s most admired companies often suffer from three incompetencies. First, they are too incremental. While they may have been innovative once, they haven’t made innovation a deeply embedded capability.

As a result, few employees believe they have a responsibility to innovate, few leaders are held accountable for innovation, and there is little in the culture that supports breakout thinking and rapid experimentation. That’s why the future usually gets invented by newcomers rather than incumbents. The challenge for India Inc: How to make innovation both instinctive and intrinsic?

Gary Hamel is a visiting Professor at London Business School. Vineet Nayar is former CEO of HCL Technologies.

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