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Innovation Summit 2006
si Team
Friday, March 31, 2006
Innovation is addictive and flows from what one is passionate about. This message came out strongly at the Innovation Summit held under the aegis of ‘The Smart Techie’ magazine, a sister publication of siliconindia. The Summit was held on 22nd February 2006 at Bangalore.

Most of the ‘Top 10 Innovators of Indian IT’ featured in the December 2005 inaugural issue of The Smart Techie magazine attended the event. They were awarded ‘The Smart Techie Innovator Trophy’ by Dr Bobby Mitra, MD, Texas Instruments (India) and Sri Hosakote, Director Routing Tech Group, Cisco. Around 250 professionals attended the deliberations.

“It is not the manager who decides how innovative a product is. It is the customer who decides the usefulness of innovation and to that extent it is called ‘customer centric innovation’.” These were the opening lines of Mitra while addressing the first keynote address. He dwelled upon the fact that a single factor that did correlate with the innovativeness of a company was its Gross Profit Margin (GPM). The customer ultimately decides which company has a higher GPM. There is a link between GPM and shareholder value. The customer hence drives value and ultimately drives innovation.

The innovators who attended the event were Gopi Krishna Chebiyyam, Technical Specialist, McAfee; Jignashu Parikh, Senior Software Engineer, Yahoo! Bangalore; Venkat Pullela, Senior Manager, Internet Systems, Cisco; Ajay Gupta, Director, HP Research Labs; Kalyan Muthukumar, Engineering Manager, Intel and Sriram Sethuraman, Technologist, Ittiam Systems.

The panelists comprising of the innovators shared their experiences and advice on innovation driving a technology professional’s career and spoke their mind on how the management of any organization must recognize and reward innovation.

While Mitra spoke on GPM measuring innovation, Hosakote in the second keynote address said innovation is measured by productivity – that is doing more with the same resources. He added, “Innovation dies if there is bureaucracy within the company and leaders must watch out for the tell-tale signs.”

Leaders and managers need to connect and create a cool environment to foster innovation.
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