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Padmashri Anil Gupta – Founder, Honeybee Network – Part 2

14 November 2011 No Comment

Hi All,

Part 1 of the interview with Padmashri Anil Gupta, founder of Honey Bee Network can be found here. Let us continue with the part 2 of the interview today.

Anil Gupta’s TED talk on India’s hidden hotbeds of invention can be found here.

Me: Sundar Rajan G S
AG: Padmashri Anil Gupta, Founder of Honey Bee Network

Me: The way I see Honey Bee Network is that.. it is trying to build an ecosystem to facilitate grass root innovations.. Sustainability of such ecosystem would require an organization in the ecosystem.. which ensures the quality of the goods & services meets a certain minimum standard.. Do you have such players at all.. How do you ensure that the goods and services created are of good quality?

AG: Fair point.. For example, take a food product.. We will not accept a lower quality product just because it comes from them.. We have to meet the minimum standards.. This is where we need institutional support for testing the product.. But what is happening is that.. testing of quality and regulatory requirements are quite expensive.. Many innovations cant afford these.. For example, a small tractor innovator cannot afford the same price for testing as a big tractor.. While the standards to be met have to be the same.. the cost of testing have to be different..
I keep writing about this to various authorities.. reading it in council.. I am sure someday a solution will come.

Me: In the polycentric model of innovation.. do you see the concerns of reinventing the wheel across different groups.. What I mean is.. there are going to be same innovations being made.. same mistakes being made at different parts of the world! How often do you see this? Do you see challenges in knowledge seeping through from one set of learners to another?

AG: Yes, we share ideas.. I do walks across different parts of the country to share ideas from one region to the other.. Recently, I was in Meghalaya… I have walked in Assam, Andhra, Kashmir.. in 22 states of our country.. And all we do there is to diseminate ideas from different parts..

To increase the diffusion, we work with ICAR – the agricultural research centers.. These can be science centers where people can come and see various ideas in action.. I do believe in the need for large scale trial and demonstration..

Me: How do you think common man can contribute towards increasing innovation and thus improving the lives of the people behind such innovations..

AG: I think every person irrespective of place & profession can contribute to this ecosystem.. Say for example, if you work in Govt office in Tamil Nadu, when you get free time in the evenings.. you can translate the information in tamil .. or translate the information from tamil to other languages.. This way.. his or her community can get the information.. You can send CDs to villages.. to the village school you have come from.. do a video conference to school children.. one person can reach many many school students that way.. so there are many ways one can contribute.. So, one can help in dissemination of information and inspiring people.. inspiration is also very important..

For example, you are can be a illustrator.. I have seen your cartoons on the website.. You can probably help in propagating ideas through comic strip…

If you are scientist.. engineer.. or a website maker.. spanish person.. german.. anyone can contribute.. You can get the ideas across to the different parts of the world! There is no one who cant contribute to this ecosystem..

Me: What is your message for Indian youth..

AG: I would say please identify & empathize with problems of people in this world! This as a global citizen.. Dont be interwined in your own world! Make this world a society which is empathetic.. Experience the pains of others and not just live on your own..

Please make an effort to overcome habitual inertia.. In Rajasthan, a 7th std student Md. Anzar came up with a tool to sort rice.. He lives in slum and had seen his mother do this.. This saves a lot of time, effort & energy..

Sow the seeds of impatience and contribute to the larger good of the society!

Me: Thank you very much sir. Thank you once again for your time.

Readers, hope you enjoyed this conversation with Mr. Anil Gupta. Previous interview with Padmashri Anandha Shankar Jayant – Renowned dancer and figher of breast cancer can be found here.

All interviews can be found at: Coffee With Experts.



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