Introduction to the Special Issue: Towards a Theoretical Understanding of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in India

Sanjay Jain
Anil Nair, Old Dominion University
David Ahlstrom

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Abstract

(First paragraph) Over the past few decades, India has become one of the world’s most vibrant economies (Chari & Banalieva, 2015). While the first forty years after India’s independence in 1947 was characterized by a sluggish annual growth rate (of approximately 3%), economic reforms initiated in 1991 have resulted in the GDP growing at a rate of around 6.8% in the last quarter century (Chari & Banalieva, 2015;McCloskey, 2010). Conversely, while the pre-reform institutional environment generally underemphasized and undermined entrepreneurial and innovative activity (Bardhan, 1994; Baumol, Litan, & Schramm, 2009;Sivaraman, 1991), the post-reform period has been characterized by a much wider acceptance of the value of innovation and entrepreneurship. Moreover, many Indian firms and entrepreneurs have emerged as global leaders in information technology (IT) services, auto, steel and generic drug production as well as medical services (Chari & Banalieva, 2015). India’s emergence as a significant player in the global business landscape has been accompanied by a boom in discourse about Indian economy and management, with academics, journalists, consultants and managers alike studying and chronicling these in numerous articles and books (e.g. Das, 2000; Nilekani, 2008; Chandler & Zainulbhai, 2013; Sharma, 2015)—all of these constituting the first draft of this exciting phase in India’s development.