Archive for June, 2010

Beyond Business and Innovation – views from Kiran Bedi, Sudha Murty, Shashi Deshpande and Raj Khatri IAS

June 18, 2010

As part of CII Innovation Summit in Taj Residency, Bangalore, there was a session moderated by Kris Gopalakrishnan of Infosys that was simply amazing.

Well-known police official turned social worker Kiran Bedi talked of “raising resources” guiding her from Day 1; she used innovation to use corporate sector to supplement the minimal budget; for example using 16 cranes to “tow away” and “fine” those violating parking rules with “fines” paying for crane charges (interestingly one of the towed away cars was that of the then Prime Minister Mrs Gandhi!) She talked of starting a “Gali School” to educate the children of Police Staff; that Nav Jyoti School became a Community College on this very day (June 17, 2010) was very satisfying; she alluded to taking help from Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India to create “online complaint” of incidents anywhere in India and providing computer education to the children of Police staff. Of course, she did mention the pioneering effort to educate prisoners using used text-books and empowering educated prisoners to teach! She made an interesting point that the work Police force is one of social engineering!

Accomplished computer engineer turned social worker (and wife of iconic Infosys Founder Narayana Murthy) Sudha Murty talke of “being impractical” (starting from marrying NR Narayana Murthy and giving all her savings of Rs 10,000 to start Infosys, though both paid her huge dividends!). She talked of pursuing things with passion; she talked of she studying epigraphy these days! She made an interesting observation that if you run after Lakshmi (wealth), Lakshmi runs away; but if you pursue your goals with passion Lakshmi will follow you! Later during Q & A she talked of the need to combine discipline with creativity; talking of Infosys Foundation work she said all (rich or poor) only get 24 hours in a day and discipline ensures best use of her time. Her secret of success “do not mix up – when she does Foundation work she does not discuss other things; when she is out giving talks or visiting friends there is no Foundation related talk”

Noted writer Shashi Deshpande talked of the writer ‘being “all by oneself” with little support from most parts of the Society though the writer is studying and writing about the Society all the time! She made an interesting point as to how dull the world will be if there is no record of the society (no writers, no literature)! She talked of “long term” view (she has been writing for 35 years but in the first 15 years nobody took her seriously! Her secret of success “I have something to say till this day”and I keep a clear distinction between personal and professional life”

Beueuracrat Raj Khatri talked of the need to persist and be convinced that though you can get away doing nothing (in fact get punished for doing anything) in Government,  there is a joy of doing the right things! He talked of the Global Investor meet (GIM) that concluded just 2 weeks back, and how effective planning made a huge difference. Quoting very impressive figures, he was humble enough to talk of the challenges of converting the commitment into reality

It was late in the evening 7 – 830PM and the hall was overflowing! That shows the quality of the Session. Hats off to Kris for pulling through such amazing speakers!!

What does GenNext expect from Innovation for India

June 18, 2010

CII has been engaging with NextGen over the years.

  1. In 2000 there was “Breakfast with British Prime Minister Tony Blair” for “25 of those with age less than 25” in Bangalore.
  2. In 2005 it was Young Indian Summit.
  3. In 2010 Kris Gopalakrishnan the Chair of 6th Innovation Summit decided to have a Session on ‘In what way GenNext expects Innovation to change India”

I had to moderate the Session (6-7 PM on June 17, 2010) at Taj Residency.

I empowered them completely and they did a great job.

IIMB Director Prof Pankaj Chandra & I were to coordinate the Session.We had written to 30 colleges in May; 11 colleges had participated; we had about 15 student teams participating. We met with them, briefed them; they made a self-selection; 7 members of the Rainbow team and their coordinator Glin Anto.

Vinit Ranjan talked of “organizing the agriculture” and stressed on the need to shift to “organic farming” in about 6 years, with government playing an enabling role; interesting indeed

Prithvi Acharya wanted corporate sector to send the message across that they value not B Techs and those with 70% marks alone, so that students can pursue what they are good at, a very interesting view

Shubha MG talked of private public partnership in making Indian cities clean; she emphasized an interesting twist; making cities clean might significantly increase employment opportunities and increase revenue from tourism

Saranga Sharma wants “Elections to go the Smart Phone way” to save on costs, ensure fairness and make it more inclusive; truly GenNext idea!

Reshma Sundar talked of renewable energy powered trailer wagon to clean up the rather dirty railway track all over India! very interesting thought

Akhila Mathur talked of virtual reality and second life giving a virtual identity that can lead to “virtual rehabilitation” of sections of the society like those who went to prison for petty crimes, those affected by serious illness . Again an out of box idea!

Finally, Karan Sobti talked of the need for creating an Innovation hub with Government creating a space, corporate sector dipping into the pool and venture capital funding it. Again it talked of innovation going all over India, an interesting thought indeed

All in all, it was an enjoyable session with GenNext truly taking charge!