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Tuesday, Nov 09, 2004

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`Managers should seek innovation at every stage'

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Students of the Department of Management Studies, Pondicherry University, interacting with Mr S. Ramachander, Advisor to senior management in strategic marketing, at the inauguration of the BL Club at the university. -- T. Singaravelu

Pondicherry , Nov. 8

THERE exists considerable potential for innovation at every stage of design, delivery and after sales services, which should be tapped by managers.

After inaugurating the `BL Club' at the Department of Management Studies, Pondicherry University, last Friday, Mr S. Ramachander, Advisor to senior management in strategic marketing and organisational change, emphasised this point while addressing students on the theme `Ascending the value spiral - Insight to innovation.'

He said that to deliver high quality in anything one had to go beyond the mere value chain idea to one of continuous improvement and thus up the spiral to successively higher levels of customer value.

Referring to the key issue for top management and source of discontinuity of business, he said that it could be technology-driven breakthroughs such as e-mail, e-business and data mining or market insight-driven breakthroughs such as design, packaging, pricing, retailing, servicing and post purchase interaction.

In the process of innovation no stimulus or nothing in the world was irrelevant and one should have creativity and insight to make the connection.

Mr Ramachander said that the secret of successful innovation through insight was uncritical observation, along with a willingness to try and a readiness to learn from dissimilar environments, he said.

One should keep one's antennae open to learning on a continuing basis. Emerging business opportunities in concepts such as supply of potable water and community kitchens for busy two-income households, for example, needed the ability to be aware of one's environment and interpreting it insightfully, he added.

The Head of the Department of Management Studies, Mr R. Panneerselvam, was among those present. Mr N. Krishnan, Regional Manager (Circulation) of The Hindu, highlighted the fact that the BL Club was meant to provide a forum for the students to have interaction and exchange of views and promotion of vibrant acquaintance with emerging trends through interaction with corporate stalwarts at the programmes.

The Chairman of the Society of Management (constituted by the students of the Department), Mr A Balamohan, and another member of the society, Mr Biju, were among those who spoke.

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