Friday, October 30, 2009

N.K Subramaniyam - Intelligence warehoused

As we moved to the last session of the business conclave with everyone engrossed in their own worlds  reflecting on the various dimensions of innovation, Mr. N.K Subramaniyam Executive Director Saksoft limited took the stage. He introduced the topic Business Intelligence and Innovation and told the reasons why he chose that topic.

He started with what is Datawarehouse and Data Mart and how these are concepts have found a commertial viability in  current business scenario. Then he discussed more about the evolution of Data Warehousing (DWH) architecture. The first generation of DWH which started in 1980s gave way to the contemporary and the next generation atchitecture with increasing data security and data intelligence techiniques. The DWH technique has found immense applicability in the banking, manfacturing and marketing sector where its used for Data mining, for making business decisions and for helping in coming up with newer business strategies.The information management is an important concept which helps to develop more intelligent, accessible, high quality and integrated data marts which are much more efficient than its predecessors. He told that the future holds lots of oppurtunities in this domain with memory analytics and  cloud computing already creating a buzz.

Mr.Subramaniyam ended his lecture stressing on the fact that business intelligence would be the top priority requirement in the near future therefore that is the place to be.

David Koilpillai - Rembrants in your attic

Dr. David Koilpillai, Professor, Electrical Department, IIT Madras spoke on the technical challenges in  innovations and the entire innovation process. He spoke on the need to have domain expertise in order to make any progress in the filed of innovation once wishes to target. Only when one is faced with real life challenges does the need arise. Vice-versa is true very rarely. He gave an example of the power switching used in mobile phones when they are in motion.

He stressed on the need to understand the overall system in order to recognize technology gaps and service gaps. The pressing need to achieve breakthrough drives the spirit of innovation. It is here that an organization decides to either "buy" or 'make" a technology. Innovative ideas must be developed into the "proof of concept" stage to check for interoperability with the whole system. It is only after this phase that a company decides to scale up or productize the innovation. The final product in marketing terms would incur expenses on marketing, sales and advertising, customer support and technical support. It therefore becomes increasingly important to have a solid plan for the entire life cycle of the product.

He linked the scenario to the proverbial "Rembrants in your Attic". Technology protection is riven by patents and it is necessary in today's competitive world. He gave exciting insights into the future of wireless technology by explaining cognitive radio and sensing smart devices.

Murugavel Janakiraman - Matrimony begins here

Mr. Murugavel Janakiraman, CEO, Consim group (Bharatmatrimony group) showed spectacular insights on innovation at Bharatmatrimony and how he made it synonymous with the mainstream matrimony business in India. He spoke about the incremental innovation being practiced in Bharatmatrimony, wherein each innovation is progressively built into the system.

The innovative features that he explained included horoscope generation and matching, verification of profiles by third parties, reference checks, voice matrimony service, video profile and health profiling. very recently, a feature of facial search has been incorporated in the search parameters. He talked about the different business models where he could segregate the customer based on income, religion, caste and language. Bharatmatrimony today boasts of over 19 portals catering to these needs. The group also organizes virtual matrimony meets, that is an innovative way of speed dating over the net. Mr. Janakiraman's company has tried taking matrimony to the houses through DTH nad even mobiles. This was done with an intent of capturing the mass markets. To capture the "not-so-tech-savvy" segment like old parents, they have established offices in various cities.

He emphasized the business idea based on the "blue ocean strategy" where in the requirements are built in a cyclic manner into the product. He stressed on the need for not waiting for any "breakthrough ideas" but going forward with passion, which in turn would automatically drive the ideas.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rajaram Venkataraman - Innovate or Die

Mr. Rajaram Venkataraman, chief innovation Architect, Infosys talked on the topic of process innovation and the role of ICT (the innovation wing of Infosys).He started by giving some statistics on how many companies survived the test of time. Only 2 stood out from the Forbes list of top 100 companies in 1917. Only 12 companies remained liquid out of S&P's list of 500 companies in 1957. All the rest in both the above cases went out of business.

He mentioned the cliched saying "the only thing that is constant is change" and connected it to the philosophy of Infosys to adapt to change. Change is directly related to the market conditions, the products/services one offers and the complexity of the business. He discussed the constant, consistent innovation throughout the organization which he termed as "diffused innovation". He brought out his points very clearly by discussing the case study of Toyota, a company that mastered the art of innovation and which is the creater of several key industry practices in today's business world. "The best never rest!" is the guiding mantra for them. He beifly discussed the innovation done by great names like Wal-Mart, DHL, Zara, Tirupati queuing and the Tata Nano.

He elaborated on Infosys' innovation  practices and the kind of business units that have been created to cater to innovation. He spoke about the GDM, PSPD modelling, ESOPs, the campus style environment and the famed SPARSH portal that provided a fertile ground for the seeds to innovation to germinate into business ideas.

He also gave the students an idea of what is going to come in the future times. The audience were left fascinated by the endless possibilitis of innovation in the fields of SAAS, PAAS, Cloud computing, SAP/Orale based transformation in businesses.

Naveen Kulkarni - The ENT gene

Mr. Kulkarni, Diretor, Business Development, Philips was the keynote speaker for sampark '09. He started his talk by saying that entrepreneurial traits are in the genes, which he referred to as the "ent" gene. He described the morphological traits of a budding entrepreneur and his/her ideas. The idea should be commercially viable, but may not be appreciated by all. The person concerned should be brave enough to be called "crazy" by the people around them. He then explained the demographic factors that influence the growth of entrepreneurship in India. He stressed on the "India advantage". He also warned the students to be beware of not going for small them benefits with their entrepreneurial ventures. He sighted the bureaucracy as a major hurdle in the country. Mr. Kulkarni very clearly brought out the theme of innovation when he said that an entrepreneur needs to be extremely innovative. He actually showed the anatomy of an entrepreneur which had "Knowledge in the brains", "Passion in the heart" and "Fire in the belly".

He then went on to talk about the stuff being done differently at Philips and how innovation happens in a corporate scenario. He appraised the audience of how venturing worked at Philips. Philips was a place where there was "outside-in" innovation happening with the market demand driving it. He emphasized that we should stop talking about innovation and actually start doing it. He very succinctly brought out that need for the balance between exploration and exploitation. Existing businesses find it difficult to innovate because of being myopic on their areas of operations.

He described the innovation process at Philips and the various stages that make it up. They follow a 3 step approach of evaluating the current scenario, brainstorm on the dilemmas and problems and then finally come up with a solution. This is what makes Philips, one of the leading companies in healthcare, consumer lifestyle and lighting.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Interview with the HOD

Excerpts from the interview with the HoD -Dr.C.Rajendran on the first Business Conclave - SAMPARK.

Q:  Why "Innovation" as theme for the first Business Conclave of DoMS?

A: We wanted to start off with a very relevant theme for the first Conclave and "innovation" is the most obvious topic.We are very pleased to announce that we have been able to rope in speakers from organisations who have proved their mettle in terms of "innovation" in their respective industries.

Q:  What is the possible impact you foresee as the result of this initiative?

A: I personally feel that "innovation" is a poweful tool which has come to the rescue of Business entities whenever the times were tough.We have been going through one of the worst economic downturns and this platform will enable the students to get a deep insight into the way the "successful" organisations tackle the challenges posed by these difficult times.

Q:  What can we expect from this event in coming years?

A:  We hope this edition gets an overwhelming response.For the next year,we are definitely looking at inviting a few speakers from companies abroad to get an international perspective.Also this platform can be ideal to build a strong academia-industry collaboration.

Contributed by:
Team DoMS Interface

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sampark '09: Innovation Quiz

On the eve of Sampark '09, the Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras is hosting a quiz. It is aligned with the current theme of "innovation".

The quiz will be an online event and is conducted in association with our online media partner: "". We thank our sponsors Karur Vysya Bank and the BusinessLine-Club for their patronage. Students from all B-Schools across the country are invited to participate and experience the spirit of "innovation".

The details of the online quiz are mentioned below:

Date: 23 October 2009
Time: 10.00 PM

The quiz is poised as an individual event and the duration will be communicated on the spot.

The prizes for the event are: 1st place: Rs. 2500; 2nd place: Rs. 1500; 3rd place: Rs. 1000

In Association with

Profile : Rajaram Venkataraman, Chief Innovation Architect, Infosys

Mr. Rajaram Venkataraman has more than 23 years of professional experience in the IT industry in various roles starting as a developer to the role of Technology & Delivery head in various leading IT organizations as well as offshore start-ups of US based companies.  He has worked with several fortune 500 customers in India and Abroad and has experience in handling both Greenfield and Brownfield operations. He brings about strong understanding of quality and process models like ISO, CMM, Six Sigma and holistic business excellence frameworks like Malcolm Baldridge. He is also trained on Blue Ocean Strategy concepts and techniques. Apart from the offshore services delivery using Global Delivery Model, his rich experience includes Consulting, Product & Solutions Strategy Development, Architecting Innovation, Delivery Center Management etc. Some of his domain specializations include Insurance, Banking, Capital Markets, Utilities, Telecom etc. He has keen interest in Innovation and has brought about Innovative practices in Employee engagement, Enablement, Customer co-creation on effecting Technology Consumption Savings and in embedding Innovation mindset among teams.  

Currently at Infosys, he is a Principal Research Analyst with the Innovation Lab. He is responsible for promoting innovation as a culture within the organization as well as benchmarking with World’s most innovative organizations and preparing an Industry agnostic model for self-assessment of innovation capability and maturity for organizations.     

B. E (Computer Science), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
MBA from Open University Business School, UK

Professional memberships
Life member of SPIN, Chennai
Past Member CSI, Lions Club Technocity, AMCHAM

Profile : N K Subramaniyam, Executive Director, Saksoft Ltd.

Mr. Subramaniyam is a Masters of Technology from IIT, Madras and he started his career as a scientist at ISRO. He established the banking and financial services line of business at Birlasoft where he was the Chief Technology Officer. He brings with him vast knowledge of Technology, domain and the industry. He has the experience of being involved in product development and implementation, managing a large multi-vendor implementation project, training, software quality assurance and managing large teams.

He has held varied positions ranging from a consultant in Citicorp to senior VP in Citibank, Orbitech solutions and  Polaris software.

Profile : Murugavel Janakiraman, CEO, Bharatmatrimony group

A Master’s Degree Holder in Computer Science from the University of Madras, Murugavel Janakiraman, started his career at the Chennai based Nucleus Software, from where he moved to Singapore for a brief stint. He has also worked as a consultant in the U.S for leading companies on software projects. It is here that he acquired valuable insights on Internet technologies. Murugavel has been honored by the Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce as one of the Top 5 Asian Indian Businessmen in the United States (US) below the age of 35. He was also honored by the India Today Group as the “Business Icon of the Year”. Murugavel leads an ever-growing work force of over 300 people at Gifted with an entrepreneurial mind & innovative business sense, Mr. Murugavel believes in maximizing the opportunity Internet has to offer. Mr. Murugavel is keen to build a diversified business model for the group by leveraging the strong base laid by

All of just 34, Murugavel is happily married to Deepa and the couple is blessed with a 3-year-old son Arjun. He loves travelling, listening to music, playing tennis and spending time with his family.

Profile : Naveen Kulkarni, Director, Business Development, Philips

Educated at the Queensland Institute of Technology, Brisbane, Australia Naveen did his Masters in Life Sciences. He is well known in the life sciences industry and has been an entrepreneur. Previously , he did his B.Sc from Bangalore University. He founded Polyclone Bioservices and led the company as a CEO and successfully forged Drug discovery alliances and developed markets for Genomics and Proteomics services.In charge of overall strategy & leadership, Naveen is a life science professional with an experience of over ten years in the drug discovery industry having successfully combined Molecular Biology research experience with entrepreneurial skills. Previously he also worked as a Principal Consultant, Life Science at SysArris and brought his experience to his current position at Philips.
Within a short span of time, he has risen from being a bench worker at a research centre to heading a strategic business unit of a life science solutions organization.He has conceptualized and helped in the development of  novel solutions to accelerate drug discovery processes and has successfully directed teams consisting of experts from different domains ranging from Chemistry, Proteomics and Systems biology. Currently he heads the business development unit of Philips as the director.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Sampark is a business summit conceptualized by the Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras. The summit would deal with a wide range of issues that matter to the success of businesses and would act as a unique forum to meet thought leaders, present path-breaking ideas, establish new networks, and showcase managerial talent.

The core objectives of Sampark are:
  • To invite top managers from companies operating in diverse domains to engage with the students 
  • To provide a common platform for exchange of ideas on contemporary management issues
  • To empower students to become productive citizens

Date and Venue:

24th October 2009 at DoMS, IIT Madras 0930 onwards.

Team DoMS Interface
Batch of 2011

The Speakers