Posts by wp_mashelkar_admin

This follows my previous blog.

I will have the privilege of articulating the basic idea of ASSURED Innovation in Canberra on 19th April 2018, when I give the K R Narayanan Oration ( titled: “Dismantling Inequality through ASSURED Innovation”

In this oration, I would argue that ASSURED innovation can be a `single word’ national innovation policy for any nation that wishes to achieve accelerated inclusive growth. I will show how ASSURED innovation can enable corporates to shift to a new high-impact paradigm of `doing well by doing good’, from the old paradigm of `doing well and doing good’.

I feel specially privileged because both President Narayanan and I have something in common.

Both of us were born in poor families.

Both of us struggled to meet two ends meet.

Both of us got Tata scholarships, which gave us an opportunity to do higher studies.

Here is going down the memory lane.

Demonstrating an invention of a polymer based on research done by my team in National Chemical Laboratory. This magical super absorbent polymer could absorb huge amounts of water.

The demonstration was given to the then Vice President of CSIR, K. R. Narayanan (1982)

I, a Tata scholar, received Padma Bhushan (2000) at the hands of the then President, K. R. Narayanan, interestingly another Tata scholar.

Rising inequality is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Income inequalities create access inequalities in critical areas like education, health, and public services. This leads to social disharmony, which is becoming increasingly prevalent in the world today. However, reducing income inequalities can take decades.

So how can we create access equality despite income inequality? Most of you will guess correctly that we can achieve this through innovation. But not just any innovation – ASSURED innovation. ASSURED stands for the following:

A (Affordable)
S (Scalable)
S (Sustainable)
U (Universal)
R (Rapid)
E (Excellent)
D (Distinctive)

A (Affordability) is required to create access for everyone across the economic pyramid, especially at the bottom.

S (Scalability) is required to make real impact by reaching out to every individual in the society, not just a privileged few.

S (Sustainability) is required in many contexts; environmental, economic and societal.

U (Universal) implies user-friendliness, so the innovation can be used irrespective of the skill levels of an individual.

R (Rapid) refers to speed. Inclusive growth cannot be achieved without the speed of our action matching the speed of our innovative thoughts!

E (Excellence) in technology, product quality, and service quality is required, not just for the elite few but for everyone in the society, since the rising aspirations of resource-poor people also need to be fulfilled.

D (Distinctive) innovation is required because there is no use of creating me too’ products and services.

In recent times, India has witnessed two ASSURED innovations that have been truly game changing.

JAM – J (Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna), A (Aaadhar identification and authentication) and M (mobile telecommunications) created the fastest and largest financial inclusion in the world, with 300 million plus bank accounts opening up in record time.

Another game-changing innovation is Reliance Jio, which has catapulted India from the 155th rank in mobile data transmission globally to the 1st rank today! But importantly it has moved India from a jugaad ‘missed call’ innovation to ‘free voice call’ innovations.

ASSURED can be a ‘one word policy statement’ for India, helping it achieve accelerated inclusive growth. But the implications of ASSURED can go even farther – it can be used for judging an institution, an enterprise – it doesn’t matter whether it is a large corporate or a start-up.

Try it out on your ideas and innovations and you will discover how powerful it is!