International Research Colloquium 2022 Day-1

The first day of the IRC started with the opening remarks from Prof. Rishikesha T. Krishnan, the Director of IIM Bangalore, who is a Professor in the Corporate Strategy and Policy Area. He was a recipient of the Bharat Asmita Acharya Shreshtha Award from MIT Group of Institutions in 2017. SCMHRD is very grateful to him for his knowledge-packed session on the topic, ‘Leading Innovation in the digital era.’ 

Prof. Rishikesha emphasized the importance of frugal innovation by companies. He explained how the framework proposed in his book ’8 Steps To Innovation: Going From Jugaad To Excellence’ can be extrapolated to today’s digital era. He mentioned that the three major facets to be taken care of by businesses looking to innovate were building an idea pipeline, improving the velocity of the ideas, and the impact that the idea would have on the organization as a whole.

Prof. Rishikesha went on to dissect how leading innovation is different in this new digital era. He mentioned how the scope for a product, process, and BM innovation is increasing as we speak. He threw light upon the role of data in innovations across sectors through an interesting example of how Bajaj Finserv has sped up its loan process to be completed in seconds by making use of data to decide the viability of the loan. Also, it is critical for organizations to have an inclination to experiment. Convergent and divergent experimentation should both go hand in hand for organizations to truly understand the consumer, according to Prof. Rishikesha. 

Prof. Rishikesha also stressed how strategic experimentation through collaboration platforms has proven to be essential for the success of brands like Cisco in the past. Also, when it comes to IPs, they are a big part of the innovation landscape and also a sophisticated play which he explained through the Gillette vs. Dollar shave club example.

Diving deeper into the topic, Prof. Rishikesha also explained how India’s draft of the e-commerce policy could provide level playing fields for domestic players. He explained how there is a shift in

the nature of innovation in organizations from their respective domains to AI/ML. He also warned us about the ‘AI snake oil’ and how it is important to recognise flawed AI claims and pushbacks. Finally, he touched on how the role of a new-age leader should be that of a chief experimenter.

Before the session was wrapped, Prof. Rishikesha very patiently answered the questions posed by the students and the scholars. When asked how research in innovation should be approached going forward, he suggested three criteria for research to be impactful; the research should be rigorous, there must be a certain level of conceptual contribution and relevancy to the problems we face.

It was an impactful session and provided the students and scholars in the audience with a holistic view of frugal innovations in the digital era.

The second session of International Research Colloquium witnessed, Dr. Peter Kirchschlaeger full professor at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland teaching Theological Ethics. Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development is grateful to him for his session on “Societal and Ethical issues of Digitization”.

Prof Kirchschlaeger enlightened the participants on the significance of developing ethical efficiency not only in the economic and technological sectors but also in the political realm. He also discussed how AI and Automation have taken over the world in the sphere of digital transformation, not only making the world more efficient but also drastically reducing human labor. Dr. Peter stressed the need for ethical data management for firms that rely heavily on data.

AI and Machine Learning are being adopted on a large scale all across the world, from manufacturing to healthcare. Prof Kirchschlaeger provided evidence for the same, stating that automated driverless cars will soon take over the industry, reducing not just work but also time but needs to be suitably programmed not to cause any harm to human lives on the street. Simultaneously, he emphasized that there is a critical need for oversight on the ethical use of data; for example, AI can take takeover the role of caregiver and   continuously monitor health information but the same can be passed on external agencies without the consent of the patients. 

The IT businesses generate a significant amount of carbon footprint around the world, the need for constant surveillance was emphasized, as was the ethical use of data for technical developments. He also informed the audience on the International Data-based Systems Agency’s operations and how it keeps track of technology advancements. He also highlighted the adverse impact of digitization in threatening equality, inclusivity, and diversity

The Q&A session at the end witnessed the participation from our reputed Director, Dr. Pratima Sheorey, about the ethical status of the Big Four organizations and how their working standards as well as ethical adoptions not only has a substantial effect on the economic and societal but also the environmental factors.

-Management Committee, SCMHRD

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