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The secret sauce to create a winning innovation culture in the ER&D sector

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The secret sauce to create a winning innovation culture in the ER&D sector
Thu, 07/01/2021 – 10:55

Key highlights from the Expert Forums from the NASSCOM ER&D Showcase 2021 Session 1 conducted with Industry experts and leaders

Innovation is no longer an option but a necessity. The Covid pandemic has forced companies rethink not just innovation within their own companies, but rather the entire ecosystem itself. Innovation cannot be done in isolation. To develop on existing core competencies, while expanding towards new products and solutions, innovation has become a mainstay of the ER&D sector.


Why should a company have a culture of innovation and how should they drive it within the company?

Innovation is at the core of ER&D, and this includes technological as well as business model innovation. There can be two types of innovation – daily innovation, which focusses on improving day-to-day activities, and the other is disruptive or orbit-shifting innovation. One way to develop the culture of innovation within the company is to democratize the process within the workforce and encourage the workforce to innovate repeatedly.

Creating a Winning Innovation Culture

Companies should create an “Innovation Vector”. Innovation should have a direction, solve a particular crisis, and provide a definitive solution which either provides a competitive edge, creates an entry barrier, or improves the product or service experience. A strong purpose provides a strong vector in an organisation. Companies must create such an environment where employees are encouraged to take risks and continue to try. This coming decade is expected to witness deep tech innovations.


How can the stakeholders in the ER&D sector fundamentally foster innovation within their companies which enables India to emerge as the destination of choice for innovation for the global companies?


Foster innovation


  1. Innovation must be put into a context and solve constraints. Ideas should not just remain empty.
  2. Create “pseudo tremors” within the organisation to stimulate innovation rather than wait for an actual crisis or the next pandemic.
  3. Innovators should undertake “painstorming”. Identify, rephrase, and prioritise problems and focus on innovation to solve those problems.
  4. Reward failure within the company as that will encourage the innovators to take risks and change the status quo.
  5. Amplify stories of innovations within and outside the company.
  6. Identify and share the ideas already available in the company so that the employees do not reinvent the wheel and work and improve upon existing ideas.
  7. Increasing participation and magnification of events such as the NASSCOM ER&D Showcase, showcasing more innovations and increasing the visibility of these innovations.


As the ER&D sector is maturing, it is becoming increasingly vital to innovate, whether in products and solutions or processes. ER&D companies should actively promote, incubate, and accelerate new ideas and invest in newer ideas and solutions. Strong innovation should become a norm rather than exception for sustainability in the future.


To read more about the “The Impact Makers of Indian ER&D: Winners of the first edition of the NASSCOM Engineering & Innovation Excellence Awards 2021″, please check the following links below – 

NASSCOM Website –

NASSCOM Community –

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