SPJIMR’s Business Academia Conclave discusses how India can become the innovation capital of the World

Mumbai: SBAC 2017, SPJIMR’s annual Business Academia Conclave this year, brought together four leading CEOs, over 50 CXOs, faculty members, students and staff for an exchange of ideas around the theme of innovation.

SPJIMR Dean Dr. Ranjan Banerjee, “We have identified two words that we want to own: ‘innovation’ and ‘social sensitivity’. The catalyst will be events like SBAC. SBAC will let the world take notice, it will showcase what we are doing and from SBAC will begin a series of conversations, which will be followed by co-creation to take us to a far larger audience.”

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The stage for SBAC was set in the morning hours on January 25, when Dr. Vijay ‘VG’ Govindarajan, a leading authority on strategy and innovation, arrived at the SPJIMR campus and spent almost two hours speaking to students in the SPJIMR auditorium. VG, regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on strategy and innovation, is the Coxe Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business and the Marvin Bower Fellow at Harvard Business School.

Citing examples from a range of businesses and dipping into sport, Dr. Govindarajan laid out his simple but powerful ‘three box solution’ to innovate and build for the future. ‘The Three Box Solution’ is the title of his best-selling book: Box one builds on the current business models, box two is about selectively forgetting older models and box three is about investing for the future.

Dr Govindarajan and SPJIMR faculty members with students and staff then moved to the Grand Hyatt for SBAC 2017 – which saw on stage R Gopalakrishnan, thought leader, author and SPJIMR’s Executive-in-Residence in conversation with N Chandrasekaran, CEO of Tata Consultancy Services; Sanjiv Mehta, CEO of Hindustan Unilever Limited; D Shivakumar, CEO of PepsiCo India and ‘VG’.

The panel exchanged experiences and shared ideas on innovation in the Indian context, an interaction that SPJIMR said marked the beginning of a longer term dialogue and cooperation between business and academia. ‘VG’ commented often from a business and academic perspective, and R Gopalakrishnan as the moderator gently steered the panel to discuss how India could possibly become the innovation capital of the world.

The panel was preceded by a keynote by VG about innovation, in which he covered his time as the Chief Innovation Officer of GE, and how Indian businesses like Narayana Health (formerly known as Narayana Hrudayalaya) were taking innovation to developed markets. He spoke of adopting ‘next practices’ rather than studying ‘best practices’.

SPJIMR Dean Dr. Ranjan Banerjee and faculty member Dr. Snehal Shah, Chairperson of SPJIMR’s Fellow Programme in Management presented a white paper that discussed innovation in Indian companies. The paper was based on a survey of Indian corporations led by SPJIMR’s faculty member Thomas Puliyel, who is the former President of IMRB International. The paper offered a strategic framework for ‘co-opetition’, a balance between cooperation and competition in leading innovation in businesses.

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