Pragmatic Innovation - Vishal Sharma

Pragmatic Innovation - Vishal Sharma

26, May 2021

It is not that one day suddenly Larry Page and Sergey Brin thought of making a search engine and boom Google was born. It is an innovation and innovation is done in layers.

“Have hundreds of ideas but then have a process to quickly filter it and then come to a value point," says Vishal Sharma, the Senior Director at Capgemini. He is leading a team of highly motivated architects to deliver newer business models for FS clients in APAC. With three patents under his belt (two granted and one in process), he believes that innovation is the key to success, especially in the digital landscape. His expertise spans enterprise architecture, solution architecture, business analysis, IT strategy, management and many more. He has worked for Oracle, Barclays, Citibank, Sapient, NIIT Technologies in his 20-year long journey. Apart from that, he is an avid reader too.

Gracing the iConnect platform at the World Intellectual Property Day, Vishal began with the quote, “The best way to outdo a business is to out-innovate them.” Apple replacing Nokia and Google replacing Yahoo are live examples. This can be done by asking questions. It was a question of Arjun that gave us the epic Mahabharata.

Vishal told that innovation is not any eureka moment but a complex process that is initiated from that eureka moment, viz., creativity. The invention is the first occurrence of the thought, it is under the scientific or academic domain mostly under the R and D of Defence forces around the globe. While innovation is when such inventions are ahead from labs to drawing rooms or other places. Apple’s first major product success, iPod is an innovation from the invention of MP3 players.

There are several types of innovations i.e., products, services, experiences, like that from Google maps, or development of core processes. Now there also exists a process of innovation. The first one must let many ideas flow through quickly and after filtration should move ahead with commercialization of the idea. No one knows if innovation is commercially viable or not and that is why you need to test it out, with a fail-fast approach. One can imagine how beneficial this is as evident by the journey of Sony with its first product being a pressure cooker to what it is now.

“Innovate, don't hold yourself. Write your fresh ideas, think on it a bit more, chew it a bit more, build it and see the right way of taking the first action on it," commented Vishal.

On the note of protecting your intellectual property, there are 4 broad categories. Copyright, for written, musical or artistic work which is difficult to quantify in terms of a commercial value; Trademark, for brands, word logo, slogans and even colour schemes like the one received by Barclays; Patent the broadest one to get legal rights usually for twenty years and Registered Design, for the appearance of the produced commodity are the categories. One has to check through prior art, if similar innovation has been patented before with the help of lawyers or attorneys, Vishal himself read 270 of them to verify that his patent is exclusive.

Well, the twenty years law makes it tricky that if truly one gets full protection on her/his innovation as you have to make each detail of your concept public till twenty years you can commercialize it but later it is for public use. This is the reason why Coca- Cola never patented its recipe and has happily prefered it to be a secret. Though there is a risk of someone figuring it out someday, Coca-cola’s recipe is just it's own. Timing the patent well is the key to get ROI on the patent. Think of Sam Pitroda’s patent for Mobile wallet back in 1975, an idea used for free since the 2000s.

Nevertheless, intellectual property registrations are to protect your innovation. You can even make it free from day one if you want it to be for a noble cause. The value of innovating will never fade out since it is to make things better. Vishal says, “Don't think patent first, think innovation and think about the value that you are bringing to the table".

Written by,

Anvesha Dubey

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