Quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Mentoring is sharing knowledge, skills, and life experience to guide another towards reaching their full potential; it’s a journey of shared discovery. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development and improved social and economic opportunities. Mentoring is as indispensable as start-up capital for the entrepreneurial industry. At the same time, research strongly supports the importance of mentors for entrepreneurial learning.
A.S Rao, President, Indian Innovators Association, worked in DSIR, Ministry of Science & Technology where he worked on plan programs PATSER &TePP, supporting corporate innovations and independent innovators. Currently working as an Advisor/ Consultant / Mentor of selected organizations - IITH, VNRVJIET, Foundation for MSME Clusters, Startup Village. He throws light on innovations and how mentoring the ideas will help the growth and development of India and improve the social and economic opportunity on the world map.
The goal of Indian Innovators Association (IIA)
Indian Innovators Association (IIA) is a Non-Government Organisation (NGO), registered as Society, connecting innovators to market. “The goal is to get revenues for innovators in India and abroad. IIA represents India in international networks, IFIA, WIIFA, and Lisbon Council. The global networks have extended reach in 80 countries,” says A.S Rao.
Role of mentors
A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself. Out of the Three C's of Mentor-ship Role 1: Consultant. Role 2: Counselor. Role 3: Cheerleader, A. S. Rao enjoys the Cheerleader and Consultancy role. Here’s why, “As cheerleaders, we celebrate creative work of innovators with coverage in social media and international innovation fairs. And as a consultant, the Members of IIA are guided through their journey from ideation to the market,” he says.
More innovations in health care, sanitation, and public health
A.S Rao throws light on the spurt of innovations that have come up during the COVID crisis and the Government’s strategy to create demand for local innovations have improved the environment for Indian Innovators.
“Innovations are demand-driven. We can expect to see more innovations in health care, sanitation, and public health in general,” he says.
'Calm under pressure' while embracing the New Normal
A.S Rao, “The new normal is an opportunity to carry the momentum further. There is a small `r’ and capital `D’ in New Product Development. During the COVID crisis, the flood of innovations from Face masks to testing has 5 enablers.
- Standards, WTO & ICMR,
- Testing and validation at DRDO and other places,
- Local demand, especially public procurement,
- Freedom to Operate from Patent perspective,
- Capability to come with creative imitations, catch up products in a speedy manner.
We expect innovations to flourish in New Normal where the 5 enablers exist,” he says.
Social recognition to the Indian inventors
Being the President of Indian Innovators Association, A.S Rao explains how it feels to provide social recognition to the Indian inventors as the creators of knowledge & solution.
“Media coverage for innovators/ innovations since March is a dream phase for all of us. The nation will prosper when society looks at researchers and innovators as problem solvers, creating wealth for the nation. Apart from press releases media would do a great service by analyzing and reporting impact,” he says.
Made in India and risk-taking attitude
A.S Rao suggests that the Indian public as buyers do prefer made in India products but they need a tested and proven product.
“Nations from the USA to China de-risk their local innovations by procurement at pre-commercial R&D. When we do it, then the public will respond better in deeds,” he says. Rao also talks about types of risk, “There is a real risk and perceived risk. IIA educates buyers with papers, books, exhibitions to reduce the perceived risks,” he says.
Breed the next generation of innovators
Rao has been working on a book - 100 Best Innovations 2019, which they plan to release during IIF2020 or IIF2021. He also gives his parting thoughts on readying the next generation of innovators, “Breed next-generation innovators by taking your children to science exhibitions and innovation fairs,” he says.
You can check out the Indian Innovators Association website: http://www.indiainvents.in/.
Indian Innovators Association publication website - www.motguru.com
(Edited by Rabia Mistry Mulla)