“Doing well by doing good”: New opportunities for Indo-German cooperation?

Report in Germany Contact India, 5/2011, p. 17:

“Doing well by doing good”: New opportunities for Indo-German cooperation?

Last few years have seen the rise of several new and dynamic paradigms in innovation management, especially at the bottom of the population pyramid. These seek to motivate companies to develop affordable and good-quality products for rural and poor customers especially in developing economies.
Such ideas, though admirable in their own right, have in many instances failed to fully appreciate and utilize the power of innovative ideas and the rich heritage of traditional knowledge passed down the generations and are lying largely untapped.
Many local users in rural areas come up with inventions that are not only innovative and useful but also less expensive than the usual solutions available in the market. Other important features of these so called grassroot innovations are that they are environment friendly and in sync with the given infrastructural conditions. Examples of such innovations include water-based cooling systems that do not require electricity or non-sticky frying pans made of earth (clay).
The idea of grassroot innovations has been popularized by Professor Anil Gupta of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad. Grassroot innovations are being fostered by institutions like the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) and the Honey Bee Network in India. The Institute of Technology and Innovation Management at Hamburg University of Technology (TIM/TUHH) has recognized the potential of this paradigm, both, for the practice of innovation management in firms and for giving an impetus to Indo-German cooperation in fields of science, technology and business. There are several studies currently under progress at TIM/TUHH to survey the potential implications of grassroots innovations.

TIM/TUHH, together with the German-Indian Round Table (GIRT), will hold a workshop during the India Week Hamburg 2011 to explore and demonstrate the vast cooperation opportunities for German companies, especially small and medium-sized ones, to assist the inventors with technical and marketing know-how. Mutual benefit can be found, for instance, in the giant domestic Indian market as well as in international marketing of such products in other corresponding markets of Africa, Latin America and Asia. Anil Gupta is scheduled to deliver the keynote address and to participate in a panel discussion. Other cooperation partners include India’s National Innovation Foundation (NIF) and the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce.

(Source: Germany Contact India, 5/2011, p. 17)

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