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When there is any discussion regarding technology, one tends to think Nuclear, IT, E-Business, E-Commerce among the more common areas of technology usage. On further thought we find Technology defined as the ‘application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry.’ With the advancements in technology, be it medical, business, health or arms and energy, I sometimes feel we are at the far end of technical discoveries and of the ones we have already in hand, how much we have used for critical human needs?    Technology and Innovation   Another buzz word today is “Innovation”. What is innovation? I like to...

India has received much fanfare for its financial inclusion efforts in recent years. A few weeks ago we declared it our Financial Inclusion Country of the Year for 2015 in recognition of the major steps it took, which resulted in achieving the greatest improvement in its Global Microscope score between 2014 and 2015. It recently granted new bank licenses that dramatically diversify and grow the country’s services landscape, widely applied new cost-saving technologies like biometric identification, and rolled-out historically ambitious public programs like PMJDY that dramatically reduce the portion of the population that is unbanked.   “Never waste a good crisis” said...

In the Global Innovation Index ranking 141 economies across the world on innovation capacity and efficiency, India’s ranking has further slipped – 81 as compared to 76 in 2014. The ranking takes into account factors such as policy, decision-making, political environment and ease of doing business.     While the findings may reflect public perception and the relative inactivity in the making of innovative policy decisions, one of the key transformative events is the Innovation for India Awards (IIA) 2016 by Marico Innovation Foundation. Now in its sixth edition, IIA 2016 recognizes the greatest innovations within the Indian business and...

Established in 2003, MIF aims to foster innovation within the business and social ecosystem in India. This Award is an opportunity for innovators and entrepreneurs to showcase their innovations, receive acknowledgement and build a culture of innovation and learning. The winners will have a chance to showcase their innovation in front of an audience comprising of leaders from India Inc. leading entrepreneurs and innovators from the business and social ecosystem, heads of various private equity and seed funds and academia associated with the innovation ecosystem in India. The ceremony will be held on March 16, 2016 in Mumbai. The last...

Member of the Ennovent Circle, the Ennovent Impact Investment Holding, closed an investment round in Rajasthan based healthcare provider Karma Healthcare. The company had earlier raised money from Ankur Capital.   This investment in Karma is the ninth investment facilitated by the Ennovent Circle – an exclusive group that collaborates to accelerate innovations for low-income markets – since its launch three years ago. It is also the fifth investment made by Ennovent’s Impact Investment Holding.   Healthcare services in India have improved over the last 25 years, however significant challenges still remain, especially in rural India. Access to healthcare, healthcare financing and...

Access to land is one of the key obstacles in our path towards true sustainability, and without a radical shift in land policies, a moneyless society will remain what it is today – a philosophical one.   But if you do want to become communally-sufficient and moneyless, you’ll first need access to a piece of land. While this is not a problem in the Hammersmith of William Morris’s News from Nowhere or Thomas More’s Utopia, within today’s society it usually means the land needs to be bought, even if just as a one-off payment to free a piece of enslaved...

‘Mentorship’ has its origins in Greek mythology. Mentor was a friend of Odysseus. Odysseus placed Mentor in charge of his son Telemachus and his palace when he left for the Trojan War. Goddess Athena visited Telemachus disguised as Mentor to hide herself from the suitors of Telemachus’ mother Penelope. As Mentor, Athena encouraged Telemachus to stand up against the suitors and go out to find what happened to his father. Mentor’s relationship with Telemachus and Athena’s encouragement and practical advice for dealing with personal dilemmas, led to the name Mentor being adopted in English as a term to describe someone...

Let’s ask any entrepreneur the question: Why does your business exist? Their answers will get bucketed in only two Justplainandsimple™ reasons and in this order: 1) Creating Value for the customer: Only if the customers see value, will more of them buy your products and services (n); more frequently (f) and pay you more (p). The cumulative product of these is Revenue (R) i.e. n X f X p. So, value creation is a necessary condition !! 2) Creating ROI for the Owner: If the entrepreneur does not make a return on his/her resources, there is no reason for them to be in...

I graduated from the Government Medical College in Guwahati (Assam) in the summer of 2007 as an ophthalmologist. I was confident that I would start a successful eye care practice in Upper Assam, in my hometown Jorhat. But, starting an eye care practice requires considerable investment, so I opted to start in a corporate hospital at first. The patients were rich, could afford anything, and my paycheck was not something to complain about. It was not long, before I realized that treating high profile patients was not always a piece of cake. Many times, you not only treat the patient, but...

Fourteen innovative social ventures have been selected as the winners of the 2014 NSDC Innovations for Skills Challenge (NISC), a national competition that aimed to identify and support sustainable and scalable entities that will positively impact the skill development space in India. In addition to the opportunity to receive funding up to, but not limited to, Rs. 3 crore through debt investment, the winners were rewarded with introductions to industry experts and business leaders, access to discounted working spaces, a six-month mentorship with TiE and national visibility.   The NISC 2014 received an overwhelming response with 172 applications from different parts of India....