Frugal innovations offer high customer value (core functionality, durability, ease of use) as well as significantly reduced costs of ownership compared with standard products and services. The phenomenon of frugal innovations was initially observed in emerging economies and the scholarly discourse still largely focuses on this context. Now there is increasing evidence that frugal solutions are also diffusing in the economically developed nations. It is, however unclear, to what extent frugal innovations are relevant for industrial economies such as Germany in economic and socio-political contexts.
(clock-wise: Kaushik Roy, Stephan Buse, Rajnish Tiwari and Cornlius Herstatt; at the All India Radio in New Delhi. Photo courtsey: All India Radio)
Recently, on a visit to India, the External Services Division of the All India Radio (AIR) expressed interest in speaking to Prof. Dr. Cornelius Herstatt, Dr. Stephan Buse and Dr. Rajnish Tiwari, to discuss the avenues of Indo-German collaboration in the field of technology. The time of the talk could not have been more appropriate as the German Chancellor Angela Merkel was then on an official visit in India leading a large delegation. There was a keen interest being expressed in the public space about Germany and Indo-German collaboration.
The resulting interview, of about 22 minutes‘ duration, and touching on different aspects of collaboration, was broadcast on Sunday, 11th October 2015, in the program „Dateline Delhi“.
Recently, the Times of India (Pune edition, July 4th, 2015) carried out a report on avenues of Indo-German partnership, especially in the field of startups and research. The article, titled „Indian startups, research ideas catch Germany’s eye“ was written by Ms. Roli Srivastava, who was „in Germany on the ‚Media Ambassadors India Germany‘ fellowship programme of the International Media Centre and Robert Bosch Stiftung“. Ms. Srivastava paid CFI a visit and talked with Dr. Stephan Buse and Dr. Rajnish Tiwari on various aspects of Indo-German relations and especially on „frugal innovation“. One aspect of this talk centered on a partnership that CFI has forged with Prof. Aravind Chinchure, chair professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at Symbiosis International University in Pune (India). Her visit to CFI was preceded by a talk by Dr. Rajnish Tiwari to the group of „Media Ambassadors India Germany“ at the International Media Centre of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, on the following theme „Partnering in the technical field: Current status and future scope for Indo-German relations“.
The following excerpts are from Ms. Srivastava’s report:
Frugal & efficient usage of resources gets into focus in the maritime industry
By: Rajnish Tiwari
Hamburg Port (Photo: R. Tiwari)
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal (June 3, 2015), „A new study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development suggests that operating cost benefits to ocean carriers may not be as valuable as originally assumed for the new round of megaships […]“ The report raises the question whether „container ships [are] getting too big, too fast to justify the savings that shipping lines expect from economies of scale?“ The OECD study was apparently presented at the 29th World Ports Conference in Hamburg. Main themes of interest underlying the conference are efficient and sparing usage of resources, surface areas, and energy, reports German newspaper Die Welt (3.6.2015):
„Hauptthemen der Konferenz sind der effiziente und sparsame Umgang mit Ressourcen, Flächen und Energie.“
Prof. Dr. Cornelius Herstatt and Dr. Rajnish Tiwari, co-founders of the Center for Frugal Innovation, were interviewed by Insight Asia Pacific, the house magazine of OAV – German Asia Pacific Business Association, a renowned institution that, in its own words, „strives to promote stronger bilateral economic relationships between Germany and the Asia-Pacific region. Through its extensive corporate and institutional network, the OAV supports German companies and their ambitions in the Asia-Pacific region.“
The German-language interview spread over two pages was published in the issue 01/2015. The questions covered issues such as the reasons behind creation of R&D centers by German firms in Asia and the opportunities and challenges associated with them, the question of patents and the safety of intellectual property rights, and the potential of frugal innovations in the emerging economies of Asia. A PDF version of the interview is provided here with the kind permission of the publishers.