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.