Meet the eight innovators who won at the seventh Marico Innovation Foundation Awards


The Marico Innovation Foundation Awards nurture Indian innovation by shining the spotlight on breakthrough innovations that hold the potential to generate large-scale impact. 

The seventh edition of the Marico Innovation Foundation Awards, held at NSCI in Mumbai on Friday, recognised the pioneering work of eight organisations in the business, social, and startup sectors at a national and global level. These include IdeaForge, Rivigo Logistics, Tonbo Imaging, Incredible Devices, Forus Health, Ecolibrium Energy, IndiaStack, and Reliance Jio.

Harsh Mariwala presenting an award to one of the eight innovators

Organised by Marico Innovation Foundation (MIF), the not-for-profit, CSR arm of FMCG major Marico Limited, which is also founded and helmed by the latter’s Chairman Harsh Mariwala, this gala is held biennially to bring breakthrough innovations to the fore across four categories - Business, Social, the newly introduced Startup, and Global Game-Changer categories.

“This year, we received an overwhelming number of applications that reaffirm that India is blessed with innovators who possess the potential to be changemakers. Looking at our Award Winners we can see a strong theme of ‘product innovations’ surface. They are all technologies developed in India and are going global. It’s India’s contribution in a way – to the world. The MIF Award Winners are the new and young breed of innovators aligned with MIF’s ethos of ‘Inspire, Impact and Involve’. My heartiest congratulations to them,” said Harsh Mariwala.

The applications, amassed from across the country through an extensive outreach programme, were judged on four parameters - uniqueness, commercial viability, scalability, and impact generated. They were vetted with the help of leading global management consulting firm, A.T. Kearney.

The winning innovations, in their respective categories, are:

The Business Innovation category

IdeaForge: The pioneer in drone manufacturing in India, IdeaForge holds 95 percent market share. Their drones are built for India’s wide range of terrain (hilly, mountainous, plains and plateaus) and weather conditions, and are the only ones in India that have vertical takeoff and landing abilities, with 60-minute in-flight endurance – more than any other across the globe.

Rivigo: Transforming the logistics industry in India, Rivigo has kept truck drivers (pilots) their system’s key focal point. Truck drivers can now go back to their homes every night as opposed to staying away from their families for 25 days in a month, through their driver “relay” model. They have reduced lead time of delivery by a whopping 40-50 percent.

Tonbo Imaging: Tonbo designs and builds high-tech cameras and imaging systems that are used by the defense industry currently. They will be used in the future by commercial industries like driverless cars and autonomous mining trucks. They are the only non-NATO supplier to the US military.

The Social innovation category:

Incredible Devices: They have come up with the only Catheter Reprocessing System in the world that cleans and makes catheters suitable for re-use with 100 percent accuracy. This, in turn, reduces the cost significantly for hospitals as well as patients. Cost reduction for patients could go down to as much as 99 percent - considering new catheters cost Rs 2,500 and upward, while recycled catheters from their machine cost Rs 20 per use.

Forus Health: They have built an extremely light, portable device that is 1/4th the cost of its nearest competitor – to detect ROP (retinopathy) in pre-mature babies. Pre-mature babies face a huge risk of going blind after a few months/years of being born. This device helps prevent that situation, and alerts the doctor right after the baby is born if an eye surgery is needed. They have gone global with this innovation with more than 7 countries already using their product.

Startup innovation category

Ecolibrium Energy: Building systems and devices on the back of machine learning and IoT, Ecolibrium provides predictive maintenance of huge machinery in factories. Their systems will alert factory managers 15-20 days before a machine could possibly shut down, helping factories plan downtime in advance and improve productivity.

The Global Game-Changer Awardees, for bringing a seismic shift in their respective industries, were IndiaStack and Reliance Jio.

Dr RA Mashelkar, Honorary Chairman of Governing Council, Marico Innovation Foundation, said that these innovators hold the distinction of being first not just to India, but to the world.

“The MIF 2018 Award Winners are wonderful examples of how innovation can alter the trajectory of businesses and society, not incrementally but disruptively, by being not merely first to India, but by being first to the world, not being exclusive to privileged few Indians, but by being inclusive, thus making a difference to every Indian,” Dr Mashelkar said.



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