Removing Barriers and Promoting Triggers to Innovation: Dr Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, Welingkar Education

Dec 01, 2011 | Posted by admin in Events & Happenings   No Comments »

If recession becomes so frequent a visitor to the global economy  then definitely it is high time we gave our polices a  rethink. We need to  delve  deep into the folds of the economy, study the reasons: where have we faltered ? Is something amiss with our training and grooming of entrepreneurial talent who to some extent orchestrate the economy? Are they equipped with relevant skill sets and perspectives to meet the volatility of market forces and  in turn a turbulent economy?

Dr Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, Welingkar Education offered some priceless insights into the prevalent innovation scenario as he outlined the bottlenecks and the possible pathways. Here are few excerpts taken from his address at 3rd Global Innovation conference by AIMA at Taj Palace,  Mumbai, on 22-23 Nov, 2011. Dr Salunkhe was chairing a session on ‘Pathways to Democratization of Innovation: Removing Barriers and Promoting Triggers to Innovation’ The other speakers on the dais were Mr Arvin Baalu, Director, Harman International India Pvt Ltd and Mr Raghu Gullapalli, Senior Consultant at Accenture Ltd.

Drawing a comparison of the old economy with  the new, bringing out the radical transformation it has gone through, Dr Salunkhe  highlighted the intense need of the educators, corporates and the leaders of our society to be more creative, farsighted and imaginative. “The present economy thrives on change, unpredictability, technological advances, innovation and design. Somewhere we have become anachronistic in our approach; what worked yesterday is not sure to deliver today. We need to rethink how we train our workforce; will it help them sail through the dynamic world they are going to operate in.” he said.

“We have to remove the fear of failure or aversion to unknown from the psyche of our modern workforce. We as academia, corporates and leaders have to buffer our talent pool against the fear of failure, rejection or punishment. Let us not snuff out the creativity and innovation of the young creators and risk takers; we need to stand by them when they show a willingness to create something new.

Most of us avoid the prospect of failure to such an extent that we at times forego attempts of success, instead settling for a life of mediocrity. If we can ingrain the philosophy of being the best or quit the field, it will make a tremendous sense. It is not that the we need only the top players but yes, the thought and spirit to be the top players will make the players strive for the best.

Besides, our entrepreneurs should be beware of siloed existence since such confined existence stifles smooth interdisciplinary transactions with related domains and stakeholders. Very brilliant domain knowledge but unsatisfactory interdisciplinary skills make for a lopsided professional persona. We should make sure that our managers have domain knowledge with sound interdisciplinary approach. After all, no business thrives in isolation.

Mentioning of the team spirit, he said that  in the best of times and worst of situations, it is the team spirit which keeps one going. But sadly, Indians are very individualistic in this context. As global citizen managers we should develop a strong  team spirit in multiple areas. Many leading players have realized this drawback and are already working on it. We can devise out educational clusters and with various faculty and branches under one roof; we are trying to do that in Mumbai University. We have already signed up with TISS for Social Service, Industrial Design Centre of IIT- Mumbai for design point of view and VJTI for engineering.

Before wrapping up the session, Dr. Salunkhe stressed the significance of the role of teacher as a leader.  “ If the head of the institution has leadership qualities , the same get passed  on to the  students and it works wonders to their overall professional personae. Considering the same, the teachers have a  challenging task before them of transforming the young talent into global citizen managers ready to take up their roles in the respective domains”


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