Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA
Innovation aimed at benefiting the society will be successful.An hour-long discussion over a few cups of coffee with Ganesh Srinivasan, Executive Director, Innovation at Bengaluru-based specialty chemical company, Resil brought out several valuable points on innovation. Yesterday, Ganesh Srinivasan visited the Nonwovens and Advanced Materials Laboratory at Texas Tech University to discuss some ideas for collaboration in advanced textiles field. His 25-years of experience in polymers and specialty chemicals fields and vast travel experience were certainly visible in his discussions. Ganesh began talking about innovation pipeline, which in his view is governed by 5-Cs. These 5-Cs are:
1) Customer need;
4) Community and
Creating a new product is a long-term endeavor. In a query from this scribe on how companies can survive and thrive, Ganesh responded by emphasizing the importance of customer need and communication. Effective communication about product’s application, benefits, etc. can take care of the cost aspect, which is an important barrier in a new product launch.
Innovation needs to be agile and open. Collaborating with academia and research establishments will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of projects, while keeping economics under control. This has been the practice in Resil chemicals and they have long standing collaborations with leading institutes like Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and other engineering institutions.
Ganesh also emphasized the importance of low interest financial support for product innovation by banks, as is the case in Japan. Utilizing proper resources and talents, with much needed financial support can lead to high delta innovation. Such developments will ultimately have long term impacts on the industry and consumers.