On March 10, 2010, Government of India declared 2010-2020 as the Decade of Innovation. Need for innovation is indubitable in times when economic growth rates are going down. Only innovative methods and processes do not help, they need to be sustainable in order to achieve substantial results. When civil societies, government and industry come together on one platform, co-creating a more sustainable future for the nation can be achieved.
According to a report on ‘How India Innovates: The promise of sustainable and inclusive innovation’ released at the Confederation of Indian Industry-ITC’s 8th Sustainability Summit, 79% companies in India innovate with radical solutions while 71% innovate with incremental or radical solutions. Companies have also identified exploiting green growth opportunities and reducing environmental impacts as important factors to innovate. However, the bottom-of-pyramid market is still not an important driver for companies to innovate. Innovation was classified into four categories, viz. reactive, incremental, radical, and transformative, based on combined scales of business and sustainable benefits.
This study was conducted as part of the partnership between GIZ India and CII-ITC- Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, and with the objective to provide the innovation ecosystem with information on how business in India innovates and the promise it sees in Sustainable & Inclusive Innovation (SI2). This partnership is aimed at strengthening sustainable and inclusive innovations and to support the dissemination of knowledge and the scaling up of successful SI2.Seema Arora, Executive Director, CII-ITC-CESD believes that awareness on sustainability issues has come a long way in the last 30 years since the Brundtland Commission, with leading companies taking proactive steps towards building a more secure, sustainable and equitable future. She adds, “Regardless of whether it is called climate change, responsible business or CSR; the message today is clear – sustainable business is here to stay and industry must change the way it operates.”
The business leaders and government have to work in sync aligned to the larger goal of reducing disparity and still growing economically to attain a sustainable future.