“Innovation is happening in India better than anywhere in the world,” said Gururaj (Desh) Deshpande, who is best known for co-founding the internet equipment manufacturer Sycamore Networks, the Deshpande Centre for Technological Innovation at MIT and the Deshpande Foundation.
Delivering the maiden American Bazaar Philanthropy Lecture here over the weekend, Deshpande said India has all the ingredients required for making the country a hub of global innovation.
“India is now a globally competitive talent, which was not the case earlier,” he said.
“Now about one percent of the population (which is 10 to 15 million people) are second to none to anybody in the world. So India has a lot of globally competitive talent,” Deshpande said, adding that there are huge problems being faced by the country.
“And finally, people in India unlike China have the freedom to do whatever they want to do,” Deshpande said.
Arguing that low cost solutions would now come from India, Deshpande said India now can be a beacon of hope.
“We can all be catalyst of what is happening in India,” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, another Indian American philanthropist Frank Islam said philanthropy is not just for billionaires, millionaires or the wealthy.
“It is an egalitarian province for anyone of any means who wants to contribute and make a difference for themselves and others by giving. Indian Americans at all levels of financial accomplishment can and should be involved,” he said.
Islam acknowledged that Indian Americans are not giving enough.
“Even though the Indian American community is the most affluent ethnic group in the US, my experience is we are punching below our weight, when it comes to philanthropy. A significant percentage of our community is standing on the sidelines. They need to be introduced to philanthropy and inspired to give,” he said.