Editors note: As India stands at the cusp of a new era in economic growth, it is time to ask a big question: Can a nation of one billion people build a global tech giant as new frontiers of technology arrive? The answer involves understanding global economic dynamics, innovation, ownership, management, competition, regulation, finance and intellectual property rights. Firstpost is publishing a series of stories that will seek to address these issues in a manner that helps entrepreneurs, policymakers and ordinary citizens understand what it takes to reach new highs without losing one's ground in a world where threats are as real as opportunities. Here's the fifth piece in the series. 

Confidence begins at home and is the most important ingredient in building an innovative product or tech giant. Being an entrepreneur in genomics for 18 years now, I do see a shift in the confidence levels of first-time entrepreneurs, which makes me optimistic about the fact that we will see a tech giant, or two perhaps, from India in the coming years. However, the chances of creating many of them would increase greatly if we get a few things right and build an ecosystem that nurtures the right companies and the right ideas.


For an entrepreneur, what matters the most is to get one’s idea in front of customers and get them to pay for it, to eventually build a successful, sustainable venture. Oh, sorry! That was so last decade. Today, we seem to build a venture with an aim to sell it to a bigger entity, without caring for profitability. Only scale matters.

If you are in the e-commerce space or in a new shared economy business that exists elsewhere in the world that should be fine, since you are just a marketplace in a different geography waiting to be acquired by the larger global player. That’s a perfectly fine situation to be in. However, if we want to create leaders in new categories, especially those that can disrupt and change the current course of the nation (forward, of course), we need to think differently.