Harnessing India’s Innovation Potential: UVA Darden Global Innovators’ Roundtable Convenes in Mumbai

By Gosia Glinska

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business expanded its Global Innovators’ Roundtable to India, convening this month in Mumbai for an in-depth exploration of India’s untapped innovation potential and the most effective ways to harness it.

Professor Raj Venkatesan, second from right, led a group of political and business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors at the Global Innovators’ Roundtable in Mumbai.

Hosted by Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation the roundtable brought together top government officials, senior business executives, serial entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and angel investors representing 17 organizations from across the Indian subcontinent.

Led by Darden Professor Raj Venkatesan, roundtable participants examined the unique challenges facing India, such as uneven economic development of its 29 states; a culturally and socio-economically diverse 1.3 billion population; infrastructure constraints; lack of access to capital; underinvestment in research and development; stifling bureaucracy and regulations; and the education gap between an isolated English-educated elite and the rest of the population, which lacks the tools to affect change.

The Mumbai roundtable is part of an ongoing series of seminar-style discussions hosted by the Batten Institute that bring together senior executives from leading companies for conversations facilitated by Darden’s top scholars in innovation. The purpose of the roundtable gatherings is to share best practices and discuss common challenges of business innovation in an intimate, interactive forum. To ensure openness and candor, participants are selected from among non-competing firms and diverse industrial sectors.

This fall’s roundtable in India marked another significant step in Darden’s growing presence as a global thought leader and educator of innovation. “It positions Darden at the forefront of looking at innovation in this important part of the world,” said Venkatesan. “India is the sixth largest economy in the world and an important geopolitical player in the region. Darden brought together an impressive array of diverse participants and provided a unique platform for them to exchange ideas about the next level of growth for India.”

Darden is now exploring the possibility of continuing a multi-stakeholder conversation next year in India with a goal of delivering specific outcomes that would have a real and measurable impact on India’s innovation engine.

Organizations Represented at the Roundtable

The Global Innovators’ Roundtable in Mumbai assembled government officials, serial entrepreneurs, global business executives, venture capitalists, and angel investors representing the following organizations:

  • Biocon Research, Ltd.
  • Blume Ventures
  • EMMAY Entertainment and Motion Pictures, LLP
  • Entertainment Network India, Ltd. (ENIL)
  • Hey DeeDee
  • Hive Technologies
  • Husk Power Systems
  • Invest India
  • Nirvana Venture Advisors
  • Novartis India, Ltd.
  • Roche Diagnostics India
  • Seedfund Advisors
  • Square Finance | First Coffee Ventures
  • Tata Communications
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
  • Titan Company, Ltd.
  • Trifecta Capital

Read the full Batten Briefing: “Fostering Global Innovation in a Developing Economy: Lessons From India.”

East Asia, Asia-Pacific
About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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