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“Corporate Experiences: Managing Innovations”.

This panel discussion was conducted as part of convocation ceremony for batch 2010 on 26th February 2011 (Saturday) at Hotel Zuri, Whitefield, Bangalore. The discussion covered broadly four aspects:

What is Innovation? Dr Tagat moderator of Panel Discussion mentioned 7 Innovation secrets of Steve Job:

  • Do what you love
  • Put a dent in the universe
  • Kick start the brand
  • Sell Dreams not products
  • Say no to thousand things
  • Create Insanely great experiences.
  • Master the Message

Mr Chandran Natrajan, COO, Rave Technologies, said that Innovation should be based on simplicity and he also emphasized that Confrontation Is mother of Innovation. Confrontation implies that we are going to proximity of problem finding opportunity. We need to think on the feet, to get ideas and innovation should not become a complicated process.
Traits of Innovators
Mr Pavan Soni, Innovation Evangelist, Wipro Ltd, talked about following traits in an Innovator:

  • Have objective without any immediate ramifications
  • Be successful in your area
  • Socialize with people
  • Be fearless
  • Be Restless
  • Create your own luck

Mr Subramanium Joyce, founder of Compusol, added to this, people with fear of failure can never innovate. He cited examples of Steve Jobs and Abraham Lincoln and suggested that these personalities have faced a series of failures, but nothing deterred them from achieving what they wanted to and strived for. Today everyone knows them and their contributions. He also emphasized that most of the times, people don’t achieve what they as they don’t want to come out of their comfort zones and as a result. Mr Srikanth Chandru, Founder, eMart, said “Innovation is an attitude”. He differentiated between Inventor and Innovator and said Innovators are practical, passionate and have the charisma to effect change.

Ecosystem needed by companies to be Innovative
Mr. Vijay Ramachandran, Founder, Wisdomtap talked about how Innovation is important for survival of companies. He said it is a challenge for companies to having already proven models fetching billions of revenue to find new Innovative ways to generate revenues. He said it is quite difficult to give perspective to developers who are technically oriented to understand how revenue is generated. He also touched upon the fact that today employees are working in matrix Organizations where it is a challenge to measure innovation and time taken for an Innovative Idea to transpire. Mr Chandramouli, CEO, Starragheckert, emphasized that innovation in organizations need to be done a planned way and need to cover following aspects:

  • Try exploit horizontal deployment
  • Which part of Value Chain can be innovated?
  • Solve the problem of mass consumption
  • How to bring about Breakthrough Innovation by exploiting Innovation tunnel and Innovation funnel

Dr Reddy, Program coordinator, ISME talked about how they have made small changes to improve knowledge delivery. He said it’s a unique proposition, student are both customers and products. He talked about how they have brought in changes and innovation to undertake this challenging situation in 4 components of ISME namely:

  • Admission: has been improved by incorporating student feedback
  • Curriculum: Curriculum at ISME is unique and dynamic to meet corporate needs. and Industry Academia Interface is important aspect of the curriculum.
  • Administration: World class Infrastructure provided to students. Students are treated as customers.
  • Placements: Students are products and this is where the rubber meets the road. He emphasized that feedback from Industry is incorporated into the curriculum

Examples of Innovations Many of the panel members gave various examples of Innovation seen around, Mr Chandramouli opined Café Coffee Day as breakthrough Innovation. Mr Srikanth Chandru gave quite unique innovation ideas used like a dhabha in Amritsar which used washing machine to prepare lassi to meet the huge demand. He talked about a famous saying by Henry Ford, “If I would have asked people what you wanted they would have said a horse cart”.
Innovation can be small incremental changes in the process or products. Innovation is a mindset and should have become part of the organizational culture. Innovation enables organizations to survive and move up the value chain.

Author: Prof Sheetal Kalra