Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fifth India Innovation Summit '09- Day 2- Session-2

Bangalore as an Innovation Cluster was the theme for talks on the second session of the day. Here the speakers were:
  • Marcel Hungerbuehler, CEO, Bangalore International Airport Ltd
  • Arundathi Nag, Creative Director, Ranga Shankara

The Bangalore International Airport leaves people with mixed feelings. But by no means that innovation was at backseat here. Marcel started with description of the Bangalore aerospace journey. Began with Bangalore’s aviation history: that began in 1941 with Valchand Harichand setting up HAL. Then the follow through of Space Research and other organizations into Bangalore ( DRDO, etc ). Another critical component being the founding of the Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc) by the Tatas.
Moved on to the aerospace industry. India is just entering it. The work needs to move to design. This is essential because all the companies who sell aerospace related items to India are obliged to offset the 7 Billion USD earned by executing this work in India. There is about 1.3 Billion USD till 2020 in manufacturing related outsourcing.
The work that can be done is in testing, manufacturing and repair of aircrafts. The requirements from companies are that they need land, regulation framework, tax related aspects and predictability in the environment.
Moved on to BIAL itself. Currently, the company employees 6000 people – directly, via operators and via partners.. And indirectly: Via advertisers, food and utilities. Some of the innovations from here are:

  • Common User Terminal Equipment (no need to have dedicated check-in counters for optimal utilization)
  • 2D Bar Code Compliant (that become the passenger boarding pass sent to a mobile phone or hand held)
  • Fully Wi-Fi (first in country to provide free Wi-Fi)
  • Common Use Self Service (self service check-in kiosks)
  • Baggage Reconciliation System (helps ground personnel to track, monitor and match passenger baggage)
  • E- Konfer (a web based emergency alert and group communication system)

So that's a lot of good money earned and spent within the city.

Arundathi begun with the history of Bangalore. How it was intended to be a market city. That the “boiled beans” tale around the city is a legend. Bangalore has a culture that has absorbed all this and made it into its own. And has a many faceted personality. Look at the phrases such as “adjust madi” and “one by two” to reflect the accommodate and sharing culture of Bangalore and not something to look down upon.
The core of her message was that Culture is not defined by language, religion etc – but by human connect. How we interface with each other. How we interact with each other. We should learn to greet and be with each, know how to interact in public spaces.
Innovations and improvements in a city should retain the identity of the city, the unique appearance and feel. How sensible is it to erect anonymous glass buildings that could be anywhere. For example – why is green suddenly such a hype? And even then – we should look at our own backyard and pick up good green practices.

In her view:

  • The industry must not progress such a way that people are divorced from being humans
  • Its important to keep the human being going. Everything is not just about money.
  • We must preserve our culture and for our children to inherit it sometime.

The session followed by quick round of Q&A and then over to lunch.

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