Keywords: technological innovation, small enterprise, innovation intensity, innovation achievement, innovation personnel, innovation expenditure, Karnataka, India, competitiveness, small firms, SMEs, technology transfer
Technological innovations in Indian small enterprises: dimensions, intensity and implications
Small Enterprises (SEs), which make a significant contribution to the Indian economy, have been exposed to an intensifying competitive environment since the early 1990s due to economic liberalisation, globalisation and Information and Communication Technology revolution. In the competitive environment, a significant number of SEs in Karnataka State has undertaken innovations, predominantly informally with self-efforts. External factors have primarily prompted these SEs to undertake innovations to achieve the objective of improving competitiveness. Innovation activities of SEs are primarily product-related, particularly improving product performance and quality. These 'incremental innovations' have enabled the majority of the SEs to achieve quality improvement, reduced output rejections and higher productivity which all imply greater competitiveness. Technological innovations make a positive contribution to output. Therefore policy makers should reorient India's Small Enterprise Policy emphasis from support through 'technology transfer' to support to 'in-house technological innovations' that lend greater stability to SE development.