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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak: Where is creativity in Indian tech companies?


India may have emerged as one of the world’s leading startup hubs over the past five years but still, it’s substantially away from building world-class product companies.

Steve Wozniak, the man who co-founded Apple along with Steve Jobs, does think so about Indian startups in terms of leaving a dent on the global map.

Speaking on the fourth edition of the Global Business Summit (organised by The Times of India group) Wozniak said that India is divided into two parts.

According to him, the $1.3 billion nation is driven by innovation deficit and has by-fractured societies – upper and lower classes. The upper-class success is essentially based on academic excellence, studying, learning, practicing and having a good job and a great life without strong realisation of responsibility to improve lives of unprivileged.

Talking about chances of building global tech company from India, he says that, “I don’t see those big advances in tech companies. Which is the biggest tech company here, Infosys maybe? I just don’t see that sort of thing coming out of Infosys despite three keynotes I delivered for them.”

Entrackr’s take on Woz claim

Undoubtedly, Wozniak is might be right in his perception as the country is yet to grab considerable space in coveted global disruptive startups list. But it is not the whole truth.

In last few years, things have changed as pure-play technology companies such as Freshworks, Browserstack and Wingify tend to negate the perception that India can’t produce cosmopolitan products.

India has carved its niche and becomes known for decoding and defying perceptions and it is bullish about eroding so-called ‘Sepoy Syndrome’ by building competitive products on local as well as fronts. 

Consumer Internet companies like MMT, Flipkart, Paytm, Zomato and Policybazaar amongst a few others have been building the probable $100 billion league companies.

Woz advice on coding for children

Meanwhile, Wozniak cautioned parents to not force coding skills to their wards until the age of 12. He explained that the first 12 years are pivotal and crucial in shaping cognitive and thinking mind.

“Coding is very important. It doesn’t need to be taught before 12 years. You don’t get to a stage of symbolic reasoning until you are 12 years old. Some people get there early, but most people at 12, and that’s why algebra can’t be taught till you are that age.”

Of late, it kind of shaped into a vogue for new age parents to impart coding skills to their wards at a tender age as coders are one of the highest pay pursuits in India.

Woz goes on connecting deep connections between algebra and programming, “ Coding can be taught only when you are ready for algebra. The real advantage of learning how to code is that you learn how to solve large problems with a lot of steps. The steps add up to a solution. That’s true of everything in life.

Wozniak also candidly answered queries on his co-founder Steve Jobs. He summed up – Jobs was one who told the world why it needs a computer and virtually created a market for it.

Read the entire interview here.

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