November 12, 2021
Episode 13: Frugal Innovation
The major global banks still do not understand that risk capital is the crux of converting innovation into enterprise.
Professor Anil Gupta, PhD is a pioneer, educator, and visionary in the field of frugal or grassroots innovation. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture, a master’s in biochemical genetics, and a PhD in management. Dr. Gupta went on to be a professor at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, India’s top business school, for 36 years until he retired in 2017.
As a visiting professor, he still teaches a highly popular course in which he takes students to different parts of India to study knowledge systems in local communities. The course was based on his personal odyssey in 1998, when he began walking across the length and breadth of India over the next two decades, a total distance of more than 6,000 km, to talk with numerous grassroots innovators who created useful inventions despite significant resource constraints.
For his innovative work, Dr. Gupta was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s 4th highest civilian honor, by the President of India. He is a recipient of many international awards, a widely published author, speaker at TEDIndia and many major conferences, and founder of the Honey Bee Network, a volunteer organization that disseminates innovative ideas and traditional knowledge from local individuals and communities, while preserving recognition and fair compensation. Dr. Gupta also founded the National Innovation Foundation of India, the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions, and the Grassroots Innovations Augmentation Network. Professor Gupta is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and the Indian National Science Academy.
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