Former CSIR director emphasizes on inclusive innovation during 13th foundation day lecture at IFHE

Raghunath Anant Mashelkar delivered a lecture on “Dismantling Inequality by the Magic of Disruptive Inclusive Innovation” at ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education.

CSIR former director delivers 13th foundation day lecture at ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education (Image: ICFAI group official)CSIR former director delivers 13th foundation day lecture at ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education (Image: ICFAI group official)

Team Careers360 | February 16, 2024 | 03:12 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Raghunath Anant Mashelkar, former director general of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) delivered the 13th foundation day lecture at ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education, Hyderabad. The director delivered a lecture on “Dismantling Inequality by the Magic of Disruptive Inclusive Innovation”.

"An inclusive innovation leads to affordable access to quality goods and services, which helps create livelihood opportunities for excluded populations on a long-term sustainable basis. And play a huge role in dismantling inequality,” Mashelkar said.

During the lecture, the former CSIR director stressed upon the need of a policy to promote inclusive growth and equality; explained types of innovation; and talked about the role of business houses, CEOs, government, and scientists.

Mashelkar said, in order to overcome the inequalities, comprehensive policy interventions that promote equitable and inclusive growth for all segments of the society are necessary. This is where inclusive innovation comes into play. Referring to the challenges, Raghunath mentioned the difficulty of not only achieving ‘inclusive growth’ but achieving ‘accelerated inclusive growth’.

The director general went on to explain the meaning of incremental inclusive innovation and disruptive inclusive innovation by giving examples. He emphasized that the objective of disruptive inclusive innovations should be to harness sophisticated science and technology know-how to invent, design, produce and distribute high performance technologies at prices that can be afforded by the majority of people.

Inclusive innovation

Commenting on the role of business houses, the DG said, business houses must move towards affordable, functional but high-quality products, besides aiming at technologically sophisticated performance rich products. Rather than the ‘technology push product out’ approach, they must move to a ‘customer centric market based’ approach. Furthermore, business houses need to shift from ‘current markets-old money mindset’ to ‘new markets -new money mindset’, he added.

Speaking on the role of CEOs, he highlighted the major qualities the CEOs must develop. First, a deep commitment to inclusive growth; second, they should be clear on the cost structure; third, they must have clear vision with a human dimension; fourth, they should be able to evaluate the impact of reduced prices of the products on the company; and fifth, CEOs must force project teams to work within self-imposed boundaries that stem from a deep understanding of consumers.

Mashelkar also highlighted the role of the government as an inclusion enabler. He suggested that the government approach could be based on three pillars: First, the government could act as the `first buyer’ and an ‘early user’ for small, innovative firms and manage the consequent risk; second, it can set up regulations that can successfully drive innovation, and third, it can set standards that can create market power by creating demand for innovation.

He further mentioned the role scientists can play as a frontier to inclusive science. He urged that scientists will have to be given special charters to work on cutting edge science that leads to inclusion, a mandate of creating products ‘affordable excellence’ and back it up with systems and processes that will create acceptability and accessibility in rural masses.

In his welcome address, L S Ganesh, vice-chancellor, ICFAI, said that innovations are a separate phenomenon and there are many unsung innovations around us. He said that innovations could be used to tackle the virulent challenge of inequality which the world faces.

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