Frugal Innovations 2018 - “Affordable Excellence” How frugal innovations can turn into an engine for growth in India and abroad

© DWIH New Delhi

Event Information

December 14, 2018

Organizer(s): DWIH - German Centre for Research and Innovation New Delhi; Indo German Chambers of Commerce; Hamburg University of Technology

The world increasingly needs innovative solutions that combine qualitative excellence with both monetary and ecological affordability. Depleting natural resources and the growing consumption necessitate out-of-the-box solutions that can ensure resource efficiency while catering to the aspirations of the billions of new consumers. The spectrum of such “affordable and green excellence” may span from radically new concepts and architecture for innovative products, services and processes to disruptive technologies and digital-based business models.

Frugal innovations are increasingly becoming crucial for success in emerging economies and beyond, as ongoing research at Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) shows. India is not only a highly attractive market for innovative solutions connecting high quality with affordability. Research shows that India is also a lead market for frugal solutions that are able to diffuse in other markets with socio-economic similarities. Many products succeed even in industrialized countries, where a growing demand for affordable, excellent and resource-efficient solutions can be observed (“reverse innovation”).

This seminar intends to showcase how frugal innovations go beyond mere low-cost solutions and that affordable price is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for success. Experts from Center for Frugal Innovation at TUHH, together with local partners from India, will present best-practice examples from German and Indian companies about implementing a successful frugal innovation strategy. The examples will also demonstrate how firms can use the potential of Indo-German collaboration for enhancing global competitiveness.

Target audience: Senior decision-makers from German and Indian companies with existing (or with interest in creating) product design & development activities in India, Researchers and Academicians from Technology and Management and others interested in the topic of Frugal Innovations


Key Speakers

Dr. Stephan Buse

Dr. Stephan Buse is the Deputy Director of the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) at Hamburg University of Technology and co-leads the research programs “Global Innovation ” and “Mobile Commerce “. In addition, since 2007 he has been the program-coordinator of the international Joint-Master Program “Global Innovation Management” which he also co-founded. His main research and teaching activities are in the fields of Global Innovation Management and International Business Strategy, particularly questions regarding internationalization and the international division of labour. Furthermore, he is a co-founder and member of the management team of the Centre for Frugal Innovation at TIM.

Dr. Buse is also responsible for the industry-related service portfolio of TIM. In 2007, together with other institutional players he co-initiated the series of India Weeks in Hamburg and continues to be a member of its steering committee. In honorary capacity, Dr. Buse is the deputy head of the Hamburg Section of the German-Indian Round Table (GIRT). Besides this, he is a member of the German Academic Association for Business Research (VHB), the Academy of Management (AOM) as well as the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM).

Dr. Rajnish Tiwari

Dr. Rajnish Tiwari is a Senior Research Fellow and Program Leader at Institute of Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) of Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), currently pursuing his post-doctorate. At TIM, he co-leads the research program on “Global Innovation” that includes work on frugal innovations. He is one of the founding members of Centre for Frugal Innovation (CFI) and a part of its management team. Additionally, he is a member of the Advisory Circle of ITA, a program imitated by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

His research is centred in the confluence zone of international business and innovation management and his current research primarily focusses on affordability-driven “frugal innovations” that fulfil high quality standards (“affordable excellence”) and are responsible in its usage of resources. An alumnus of the Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS), Dr Tiwari has received several awards in the pursuit of his academic career, e.g. the “Market and Customer Orientation” prize by Vodafone Stiftung fuer Forschung for his study of Mobile Banking, and a post-doctorate scholarship by Hamburg-based Claussen Simon Foundation in 2014.

Dr Tiwari is also a co-initiator of the series of India Weeks in Hamburg and continues to be a member of its steering committee. In February 2010, he was invited to lead the Hamburg section of German-Indian Round Table (GIRT) and is a member of the Indo-German Society and a member of its Advisory Board.

Dr. Aravind Chinchure

Dr. Aravind Chinchure holds a PhD in Physics, and has an experience spanning 25 years in R&D, business strategy, intellectual property, innovation, venture investment, consulting and teaching. He was a part of Indian and global organizations in diverse technology areas, driving innovation in technology as well as leading intellectual property-driven assets creation at workplaces.

Dr. Chinchure is a founder of QLeap Academy ( focused on creating 21st century professionals and leaders. Previously, he has worked with Reliance Industries Limited, Honeywell and General Electronics. He is credited with designing and implementing India’s first two-year residential and experiential MBA course on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Pune. He has been advising large MNC and Indian companies. More information on him on


Time (hrs) Programme
09:00 h – 09:30 h Registration & Networking Tea
09:30 h – 09:45 h Welcome Addresses
Ms. Heike Mock, Director, German Centre for Research and Innovation, DWIH New Delhi
Ms. Sophia Nebel, Manager, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, Pune
09:45 h – 10:15 h Introduction of all participants
10:15 h – 10:45 h Frugal Innovations and their relevance to the global competitiveness of companies
Dr. Rajnish Tiwari and Dr. Stephan Buse, Co-Founders, Centre for Frugal Innovation, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Hamburg
10:45 – 11:15 h Frugal Innovation Pathways: Insights from India
Prof. Dr. Aravind Chinchure, CEO, QLeap Academy and Chair Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Symbiosis, Pune
11:15 – 11:45 h Coffee Break
11:45 h – 12:15 h Frugal Innovation Strategies: Corporate Perpective from India
Mr. Ravi Arora, Vice President, Innovation, Tata Sons, Pune
12:15 – 12:45 h Frugal Innovation Strategies for Healthcare (Young Innovators)
Dr. Rahul Chaudhari, Chief Technology Officer, Module Innovations, Pune
12:45 – 13:30 h Open Panel Discussion: Chances and Challenges of Frugal Innovations
Discussion with speakers of the day
Thank you note
13:30 – 14:30 h Networking Lunch
End of the event


Registrations for the event are now closed.

Event Report

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