Frugal Approach to Innovation – 2 Day International Conference at FORE School Delhi Attracts Emissaries from Various Fields

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FORE School of Management

FORE School of Management, New Delhi once again brings back the focus on ‘frugal innovations’ and hosts 2-Day International Conference with the theme – ‘Frugal Approach to Innovation‘ at the Center for Research and Innovation in Frugal Technology Management (CRIFT). The 2 day International Conference attracted more than 100 delegates and subject matter experts from academia, business and government. Total 26 research papers were presented and an array of 35 speakers and thought leaders participated in the conference.

Prof. Anil Kumar Singh, Faculty, FORE School and Co-Convener of the conference, introduced the theme of the conference followed by Welcome Address by Dr. Jitendra K. Das, Director, FORE School. Honorable Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and Chief Guest of the Day, Shri Suresh Prabhu spoke to the participants in a video address. 

Frugal Innovation refers to the development of innovations that are cost-effective, sustainable and can be scaled in an economically affordable manner. As explained by Dr. Das, “Frugal innovations are extremely relevant for a nation like India as the approach can result in solutions that are simple, resourceful, creative, and accessible for masses in rural areas making it commercially feasible. For business and social entrepreneurs, a low pricing can help them reach out to an untapped rural market, which is highly price sensitive, while offering highest value potential for social, economic and rural environment.

Eminent  speakers and delegates viz. V. Ramgopal Rao, Director IIT Delhi; Prof. M. Balakrishnan, Professor & Ex-Deputy Director (Strategy & Planning) – IIT Delhi; Dr. Sujata Bose Sinha, Director of Data – Sinhatech, Mississippi, USA; Antarpreet Singh, Director – Digital Learning, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad; Atul Bhatnagar, Ex-COO – National Skill Development Corporation currently Director – SunMoksha; Dr. Sarita Ahlawat, Founder & Head, Phase Laboratories, IIT Delhi; Dr. Koumudi Patil, Professor  Department of Humanities & Social Sciences; IIT Kanpur; Dr. Ayesha Chaudhary, Manager – Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, Government of India; Dr. Balakrishna Rao, Professor – IIT Madras; Dr. Peter Knorringa, Director – Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa (CFIA); Seema Sekhri, Nidhi Gupta, Professor – Lady Irwin College, Mahendra Joshi, Professor – Seidman College of Business; Ms. Orly Goldschmidt, Head of Public Diplomacy – Embassy of Israel in India; Sadegh Sajedi & Santosh Jagtap, Bleking Institute of Technology, Sweden; Clara Aranda-Jain GSMA UK; Dr. Sumon Kumar Sinha, Founder & President – Sinhatech, Mississippi, USA; Gautam Dutta, Sr. Director Marketing – Siemens PLM Software India and others deliberated on various aspects of frugal innovations and practices. 

Dr. Vinayshil Gautam, Senior Adviser, TRIFED; Chairman – D K International Foundation; Guest of Honour, Mr. Snehashish Bhattacharjee, Global CEO and Co-founder Denave, Noida, India and Guest of Honour Ashwani Lohani, Chairman & Managing Director, Air India also addressed the august gathering.

Resource is infinite and frugality is not a factor of resource utilization, it is innovative initiatives and thinking of solutions where people do not spend more than necessary,” said Dr. Gautam.

Mr. Snehashish Bhattacharjee Global CEO and Co-founder Denave, Noida, said frugal approach is necessary for developing a nation as it brings in affordable solution to a problem.

Some of the areas identified where frugal approach can result in the development and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals

  • Improvement in India’s Massive agriculture sector which employs about 60% of the population yet account for only about 17% of GDP.
  • Healthcare as 22 million populations pushed below poverty line annually due to healthcare expenditure & 750 million people live in areas where almost no healthcare system exists.
  • Security – which is a major concern area in India.
  • Energy – Renewable a big issue as not much land availability in India.
  • Water crisis – India has only about 4% of the world’s renewable water resources but is home to nearly 18% of the world’s population.

A vote of thanks was presented by Shailendra Jaiswal, Principal Executive Director, DRDO and Member, Advisory Committee, CRIFT. Prof. Anill Kumar Singh, Convener of Conference thanked all participants, delegates and speakers for their support and interest on ‘Frugal Approach to Innovation‘.