Celebrating the spirit of innovation across the Group
Innovation begins with curiosity and is fuelled by creativity. Seasons 1 and 2 of the RPG Innovation Festival were held in March 2019 and 2020, respectively. They were designed to Unleash Talent from all corners of the Group’s companies and provide a platform to recognise and advance innovations across products, processes and business models.
From the inauguration of the Digital Wall by the Chairman Harsh Goenka in Season 1, to a Top-30 innovation showcase in the successive seasons, visitors were treated to a range of ideas reflecting a rapidly changing mindset within the RPG Group. The events were a phenomenal success, seeding the ground for the third season of RPG’s flagship festival.
Covid-19 has been the most significant catalyst for digital acceleration across companies globally. Companies have adopted innovation as a technological and strategic tool to develop an agile culture and effective business and operational processes. They have been the ones to not only survive but also flourish in the extenuating conditions.
With a foundation firmly rooted in modern and digital processes, RPG Group pivoted seamlessly to a 100 per cent work-from-home (WFH) setup when the pandemic and lockdowns kicked in. Today, a large part of its global workforce continues to WFH. The Group has embraced the digital way in functioning across businesses, functions, and people.
Over the past few years, the Group has continued to imbibe an innovation-driven mindset and encouraged people to think out-of-the-box to solve any business issue. It stems from the desire to make a positive impact on business and lives.
The RPG Innovation Festival, an annual mega-event, celebrates the Group's innovative culture and spirit. This year the Group hosted Season 3 in its first-ever digital avatar with the theme 'Inspiring Innovation'. The event showcased RPG’s best innovations and rewarded its most innovative minds.
Season 3 of the festival proved to be a grand affair, with over 280 entries from across the Group. After a rigorous shortlisting process, the top 30 entries came together under one virtual roof to dazzle attendees and onlookers with their avant-garde solutions. The tone for the day was set by a stimulating keynote address by Shantanu Deshpande, Founder & CEO at Bombay Shaving Company. He highlighted the nuanced approach undertaken by the company to raise its innovation quotient since its inception.
Various teams showcased their exhibits through interactive digital booths. The exhibits proudly showcased the innovation ecosystem that fits snugly within RPG’s internal innovation framework. The Chairman, GMB members, and the Chief Guest were guided through the innovations with the help of interactive chat features, curated videos, in-depth demonstrations, and eye-catching posters. The exhibited projects included,
The ultimate winner of the Chairman’s award for innovation this year, comprised a blockchain-based system improving visibility in the hire-retire functions of the subcontractor.
The team from CEAT presented a new, single-step and continuous methodology that mixes, coagulates and dries rubber formula in one go sans the use of additional chemicals. It makes processes more cost-effective, less tedious and environment-friendly.
The initiative validates the presence of good quality CEAT Shoppe boards with the company’s 40,000+ sub-dealers by simplifying warranty and claim registrations, eliminating manual interventions, and using image-based CEAT Shoppe audits. This is truly made in CEAT, for CEAT.
By transforming manual QC processes and digitalising the system, the project saves more than 300 kg of paper, eliminates the need for handling and storage spaces, and saves time and effort.
By identifying underlying uncontrollable factors, this entry from the Top-30 showcase breaks barriers and brings a game-changing proposal to the pharma industry.
A web-based support service, the project is a breakthrough concept in a Covid-battered world.
The project increases efficiency by eliminating the testing rejections in gas meters.
The event culminated with the Innovation Awards, where winners and runners-up from each company were felicitated. This was followed by the grand prize of the event, the Chairman’s Award, presented to the best idea of the event.
An innovative aptitude does not appear in isolation. It is usually sketched on a profile with certain essential traits that talented recruiters can spot while hiring. Are the candidates responsive to customers, account managers, and sales teams? Do they possess an in-depth understanding of the organisation's and the team’s strategy and capabilities? Are they willing to go above and beyond, to adopt the customer’s perspective, and to break internal barriers in the service of long-term success?
Samip Mutha, Head of Digital, RPG Enterprises, commented, “All our participants have a history of meeting and exceeding expectations. I don’t verify accolades and certificates as the level of their entries testifies to their calibre, which we hone through frequent interactions. We are more interested in knowing whether they’re committed to cohesive teamwork, coaching and listening to what needs to be done.”
Inspiring Innovation – Season 3 was my first glimpse into RPG’s flagship event. Albeit a virtual one, this easy-to-navigate and innovativity-filled platform displayed a year’s worth of progress in the world of innovation and a lifetime’s worth of commitment to excellence. Lest the name strike you as a mere headline, let me share what i2 truly represents in terms of an innovative mindset. It fosters an environment that promotes creativity, providing an annual gallery to showcase ideas that have taken roots from not just facts and data but also mere intuitions or hunches. i2 challenges you to think from multiple perspectives instead of merely accepting new ideas.
Orchestrating an event of this scale isn’t an easy feat to pull. Yet, we have done it for the third year running. The ground-breaking ideas haven’t stopped pouring, year after year, revealing the extent to which we can grow to break our own glass ceilings. After visiting all the booths at the virtual event, it dawned on me that at least 80 per cent of the ideas could be implemented — and not just in the companies that proposed them. That is when it struck me – people, in general, are immensely gifted. As an organisation, we only need to ensure that the atmosphere is conducive, amiable, and happy!
Season 3 of the Innovation Festival marked the end of yet another success story for RPG. The platform does more than recognising innovators and facilitating cross-company sharing of ideas. It underscores that innovation is the cornerstone for any organisation. Innovation helps organisations stay relevant in an ever-mercurial world and accelerates them on a trajectory of rising profits and revenue.