SBAC 2017, the biggest and grandest SPJIMR Business Academia Conclave on Wednesday Jan. 25, 2017, brought together four leading CEOs, over 50 CXOs, faculty members, students and staff for an exchange of ideas around the theme of innovation. It was the single largest collection of industry and academia heads devoted to the theme of innovation, which coincidentally was held the very day India’s HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar elsewhere said that educational institutes must encourage innovation.
Said 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.”
The stage for SBAC was set in the morning hours, 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 power innovation and build for the future. The Three Box Solution is the title of his best-selling book: Box 1 builds on the current business models, Box 2 is about selectively forgetting older models and Box 3 is about investing for the future.
Dr. Govindarajan, 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 (now Chairman of Tata Sons); Sanjiv Mehta, CEO of Hindustan Unilever Limited; D.Shivakumar, CEO of PepsiCo India and ‘VG’.
The power packed panel of CEOs from leading Indian businesses meant that this was a high value interaction as businesses and academia learned from each other, marking the beginning of a longer term cooperation between the two under the leadership of SPJIMR. ‘VG’ commented often from an 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.
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: Dr. Ranjan Banerjee, Dean, SPJIMR, speaking a day after SBAC 2017 concluded.
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.
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 Thomas Puliyel, who is the former President of IMRB International.
SBAC 2017 moved on to discuss innovation in areas like sport, and how business could learn from these ideas. Joy Bhattacharjya, Project Director, LOC of the U-17 FIFA World Cup, who was previously a part of the IPL starting from 2008, and served as team director of the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise, spoke about innovation in sport. Prakash Iyer, noted author, speaker and former MD of Kimberly-Clark Lever, then summed up with more ideas on innovation, ending with the “PhD” route to innovation, where he said the acronym stands for being “Passionate, Hungry and Disciplined”.