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Collaborative Innovation for Sustainable Growth

Collaborative Innovation for Sustainable Growth

Dr Arun Jaura,
Managing Director & Founder,
TRAKTION Management Services Pvt Ltd;
Member, Board of Directors, SAE International;
and Chairman, Automotive Board, SAEINDIA

Innovation is an integral part of our business and enables consumer aspirations. For a sustainable growth, innovation is to be phased in through a powerful trident of Ideation, Incubation and Implementation. It is about collaborating and steering each of these elements to bring in growth of a business organically and an organisation culture change. In recent years in India, collaborative innovation is starting to make headway with the participation of vendors upfront with OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). OEMs have become nodal agencies as system integrators to define product design specifications in partnership with the vendors.

The expertise and knowledge base of the vendor partners is immense as they crank out millions of units of their components and systems in the market place. The vendors also have the advantage of working with multiple OEMs so they are able to step up their game in ideas and execution excellence. Early participation of vendors in product development brings in global perspectives and provides the competitive advantage. In addition, the development of components and systems has better chance of being first time right with such collaborative participation.

Collaborative innovation between OEMs and vendors is necessary for integrating technology trends at an affordable cost to stay ahead of the curve.

Synergies in technologies can be effectively harnessed through innovation and empowering change through knowledge management. The horizontal deployment of technologies and knowledge base competitively priced and prevalent in mass-market personal mobility can be scaled up by collaborative innovation. Ideation is a phase where ideas are solicited, generated and consolidated individually or in a group through various techniques. At this stage, stakeholders put in a lot of time and energy into shaping their thoughts and customer inputs. Ideation is also about effective costing, hiring processes, training, joint venture integration, or marketing channel expansion. It is about cross-functional participation and an inclusive thought process. In the Indian ecosystem focus is shifting gradually to capture intellectual property and opportunities that will meet changing consumer aspirations.

Incubation follows Ideation – an interesting on-the-ground artillery phase when stakeholders spend resources for pilot launches, sample customer clinics, sampling to test their hypothesis, exploring adaptability and flexibility, gauging the mindset of stakeholders: consumers, investors, employees and others in the ecosystem. The collaboration between vendors and OEMs helps gain confidence about a prospective idea’s success. The share of risk and responsibilities of all stakeholders is equal at this phase. The success of collaborative innovation is majorly dependent on implementation. A successful implementation is possible through effective program management and stakeholders’ commitment. The sub elements of implementation include but are not limited to the scalability of the incubated idea, flexibility, resourcing, ramp-up of supply chain, risk management and mitigation.

OEMs and vendors have to collaboratively spearhead the paradigm of open ideation platforms for a seamless exchange of knowledge based experiential solutions and implementation opportunities. Smartly driven processes to synergise technology trends create a vibrant consumer culture, boost employee morale and lead to organic growth.

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