The 20th century has witnessed more change than all the other centuries put together – change through innovations in many spheres-political, economic, social and technical. Moreover, the system of innovation has undergone a major transformation from innovations associated with individual technical inventors to a world where the search for 'newness' is not only for new products or inventions but by the Organization as a whole, planning and implementing new ideas, processes and systems across the entire span of their operations and covering all aspects of human endeavour. The ‘institutionalization’ of the innovative process of change has perhaps become the most indispensable part of any developmental effort.
Innovative Corporations adapt to change, to develop and create new products, processes, and systems important to sustain business. While in non-corporate areas, Governments, NGOs and others innovations are made to overcome problems of poverty and illiteracy, agriculture, social development and indeed in the processes of governance itself.
What is the Indian scenario? Many wrongly perceive the Indian society as one in which individuals may innovate but coming together as an Organization we tend to be conservative and change-resistant. The reality is different; India is rich in success stories of individuals and collective innovations in almost all areas of human activity. It is therefore important for us to celebrate innovations that transcend an individual to larger groups or Organizations.
In this context the EMPI Group of Institutions instituted the Indian Innovation Awards in 2005, perhaps the first of its kind in the country, to recognize Innovative Organizations in India, which have by their innovative actions impacted major changes. The Awards were launched as part of a larger movement “ Mission Innovative India by the highly inspiring then President of India, Hon’ble Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
The movement received further fillip since the year 2006, with the joining of the two top organizations in their respective fields: The Indian Express Group for their philosophy of serious and positive journalism that impact both policy and people and The Boston Consulting Group; a globally renowned organization in consulting management who also joined in as the Research Partner as Process Validator to strengthen the Awards process. The Awards have subsequently been re-christened as the EMPI-Indian Express Indian Innovation Awards.
Another milestone achieved in our second year was the release of the Inaugural issue of ‘Innovations-The EMPI Journal of Inter-Disciplinary Perspectives’, by Hon’ble Dr. Kalam at the Awards Function. The journal, the first of its kind in India with a globally renowned Advisory and Editorial Board, will include as a part of the journal, innovation stories of the award winners in the form of case studies and research papers.
So far more than 2500 organizations have registered for the Awards process leading to 52 organizations being awarded - 4 for National Innovation Stars Awrds; 29 for the Gold Award; 14 for the Silver Award and 5 Special Commendation from a wide spectrum of organizations including Government, Corporates, NGOs etc.