Seminar - “Affordable Excellence”: How frugal innovations can turn into an engine for growth in India and abroad

© DWIH New Delhi

Event Information

November 28, 2017

New Delhi
Organizer(s): DWIH - German Centre for Research and Innovation New Delhi, German Embassy

Frugal innovations are increasingly becoming crucial for success in emerging economies and beyond, as current research at Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), conducted with support from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) 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.

Who should attend: Senior decision-makers from German and Indian companies with existing (or with interest in creating) product design & development activities in India.

Participation is free of cost however the seating is limited.


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 labor. Furthermore, he is a co-founder and member of the management team of the Center 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 Center 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 centered in the confluence zone of international business and innovation management and his current research primarily focusses on affordability-driven “frugal innovations” that fulfill 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 Rajnish 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.

Guest Speakers

  • Prof. Aravind Chinchure
  • Ruediger Schroeder (TBC)
  • Dr. Prashant Jha


Time Programme
09:30 h – 10:00 h Registration
10:00 h – 10:15 h Welcome Addresses
Dr Jasper Wieck, Deputy Chief of Mission, German Embassy, New Delhi
Ms Sonia Prashar, Deputy Director General, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC Delhi)
10:15 h – 10:45 h Introduction
All participants
10:45 h – 11:15 h Frugal Innovations and their relevance to the global competitiveness of companies
Dr. Rajnish Tiwari (CFI-TUHH, Hamburg)
11:15 – 11:45 h Frugal Innovation Pathways: Insights from India
Prof. Aravind Chinchure (Symbiosis International University, Pune)
11:45 – 12:15 h Coffee Break
12:15 h – 12:45 h Innovating for the Masses
Dr. Shyam Vasudeva Rao, Founder – Director Forus Health Pvt Ltd, RenalyX health care systems, Rx Digi Health Platforms, E Health Enablers Pvt. Ltd
12:45 – 13:15 h Frugal Innovation in Practice: Insights from Industry Projects at CFI
Dr. Stephan Buse (CFI-TUHH, Hamburg)
13:15 – 14:00 h Open Panel Discussion: Chances and Challenges of Frugal Innovations
Moderated by Mr. Björn Grözinger (German Embassy)
Discussion with speakers of the day
Thank you Note: Mr. Apoorv Mahendru, Director – Marketing, DAAD New Delhi
14:00 – 15:00 h Networking Lunch

Frugal Innovations

Science Circle Lecture


Registrations for the event are now closed.

Event Report

Read the event report here.