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Institute for sustainable enterprise takes off

Raghuvir Badrinath  |  Chennai/ Bangalore 

An innovative concept to promote green technology and support entrepreneurs to build a sustainable business on this much needed space has taken shape in Bangalore. Indian Institute for Sustainable Enterprise (IISE), promoted by some well known global and Indian personalities has kicked off its operations and is set to launch its post-graduate certificate programme in sustainable enterprise shortly.

A key member of this institute is Stuart L Hart, a senior professor at Cornell University and better known as the one who co-authored the seminal - ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’ along with globally renowned management guru C K Prahalad. Partnering him are Bangalore-based entrepreneur Premchandra Sagar, who runs the Dayanand Sagar Group of Institutions, Shekar Narsimhan, a US-based serial entrepreneur and investment banker and former well-known bureaucrat from Bangalore K S Jairaj.

“Increasingly, competitive success will hinge on driving innovation from the bottom up, by incubating new, clean technologies and business models, starting in the underserved space at the base of work income pyramid,” said Hart, while speaking to Business Standard.

“Serving the BoP sustainably requires leapfrog green innovation. Ultimately such ‘Green Leap’ innovation might trickle up to the top of the pyramid, presenting enormous growth and profit opportunities which is now being called reverse innovation,” he added.

IISE aims to increase the rate and success of Green Leap innovation, both through corporate initiatives and new ventures. “To realise this, IISE has assembled an ecosystem including an education platform, incubator, investment fund, technology bank, cluster (social) network, learning laboratory and field support system,” he said. Further Hart added that while basic business literacy is necessary for Green Leap innovation, it is by no means sufficient. “Rather than placing emphasis on functional core material and other classroom-based instruction on the management of existing businesses typical in MBA programmes, the IISE programme focuses on the next-generation knowledge, skill and capability crucial to success in incubating clean technologies in underserved communities,” he detailed.

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First Published: Thu, August 23 2012. 00:50 IST