It may sound crazy in a place notorious for copycats, but at least 10 aspiring entrepreneurs in India see intellectual property (IP) as a viable business model. Out of the 254 finalists in ET's The Power of Ideas programme, 10 chose to submit intellectual property-based business ideas for their preferred area of entrepreneurship. Take for instance Ashish Gupta, a Delhi-based professional who has been successful in setting up a retail venture in India, aims to use licensing of IP-based technologies to spread education in India. He said, 'Our venture can enhance adult literacy rates in India. We have formed a group of MBAs to take this idea relating to education technology to Indian market.' If Gupta has a team of professionals to help him, KM Dixit, a Delhi-based government employee in his forties, has formed a team of retired government employees to work on an idea to start a venture on disaster recovery management. 'We want to take the idea of disaster recovery to all sections of society, such as media, government, NGOs, and make a profitable venture out of it. Often, citizens think that disaster recovery is the basic duty of the government, which often is not the case,' said Dixit.
Sapna Agarwal, dean of a Kota-based B-school, who is also a corporate trainer and a post graduate in Gandhian thoughts and non-violence, wants to start an IP-based education and training venture covering the whole country. Interestingly, out of the 10 contestants betting on IP, only three, including Gupta, have any professional degree, despite the fact that IP-based businesses require a fair degree of technical and legal knowledge. Also, most ideators, who submitted ideas based on IP, are above 30 years of age with half of them being above 40. In comparison, many ideators in the internet and IT domains were fresh graduates or people with less than five years of experience. About 57 % of the 254 shortlisted candidates are below 37 years of age. The Power of Ideas programme got over 12,000 ideas from entrepreneurs across the country, of which 254 have been shortlisted for the final.