‘We can become a superpower of innovation'

Our Bangalore Bangalore | Updated on August 16, 2011 Published on August 16, 2011

Breaching beliefs: Dr H. Harish Hande at the BL Club Lecture

India needs trendsetters in business models too

India needs innovators not only in technology but also in business models, said Dr H. Harish Hande, Managing Director, SELCO Solar Light Private Ltd, here on Friday.

Delivering a lecture on ‘Spirit of entrepreneurship' organised by the Business Line Club and sponsored by Syndicate Bank for the MBA students of Christ University Institute of Management, he said if the students aspire to become social entrepreneurs, they must not look only at the barriers or hurdles as social entrepreneurship. Many a times there is a need for “breaching of myths and common beliefs”.

Mr Hande said that his company was started as an experiment to promote a sustainable model for rural electrification. It was conceived in an effort to dispel the myths poor people cannot afford and maintain sustainable technologies, and social ventures cannot be run as commercial entities.

The target customer base for the social enterprise was the rural areas. In the last 16 years, he said, the company has not only focused on creating products based on end-user needs but also on creating channels for end-users to afford systems based on their cash flow.

Mr Hande, the winner of this year's Magsaysay award, said “India offered fantastic opportunities”, and asked the students to look at the opportunities. “India is a paradox of over-developed and under-developed and it is the only country with such paradoxes. Hence, there are plenty of opportunities to innovate and we can become a superpower of innovation.”

He told the students to not think of their career immediately but to build foundations. “Use your education as the basic foundation and not as the main foundation. And, don't use your education for yourself but also to improve the life of others.”

He told the students to build sustainable business models so that other countries can replicate. “Try to differentiate between want and need and if you have confidence in your passion, you will surely succeed.”

Syndicate Bank, who sponsored the lecture, provided information to the students about SyndYuva and SyndVidya — products for the youth.

Published on August 16, 2011
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