India’s Most Innovative Companies-2008

“The Most Innovative Companies don’t do different things, they just do things differently. And that seems to make all the difference.” Innovation is the life-saving drug for any company today.

With costs soaring, the market place getting increasingly cluttered, and customers becoming more demanding, innovation is bound to become every company’s single-most important business. Barriers to innovation remain, but the most innovative companies have realised that “innovation” is not just about developing new products and services but, more fundamentally, about discovering new ways to create value. Here are the some that must be known to every Indian:

1.Mahindra & Mahindra: Be it a soft-top, 10-seater rural transport vehicle (Commander), an urban utility vehicle (Armada), or a stylish and contemporary sports utility vehicle (Scorpio), and very soon the new MUV, Mahindra Xylo that was codenamed Ingenio Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has been innovating its way up in the auto industry…

2.Jet Airways: For two years, the airline worked on its award-winning first-class cabin on its long-haul routes. Jet Airways’ Chairman Naresh Goyal. “I am rarely satisfied, but I think with this new first-class suite, we will have many satisfied customers.”

3.Tata Motors: “A promise is a promise”. Tata Motors Chairman Ratan Tata gave India its newest ‘people’s car’ and rewrote global automotive history…

4.Maruti-Suzuki India continuously innovates to stay ahead of the other carmakers, now making India, a main R&D base …

5.HDFC Bank is India’s best bank (for the fifth consecutive year, according to a BT-KPMG ranking of banks) for a simple reason: it hasn’t let its rapid growth affect the quality of its assets or its profitability…

6.ICICI Bank: is a story of evolution from being a lumbering development financial institution to a private sector market leader in a matter of six years? By making innovation one’s way of life…

7.ITC: A persecuted tobacco company is today a conglomerate with a booming FMCG business and uts famous e-Choupal initiative. It’s because of ITC’s ability to constantly reinvent itself…

8.Dabur India: No more a chyawanpras or lal dantmanjan company. Its future strategy rests on three pillars: Expansion, acquisition and innovation…

9.Marico: You are an FMCG company, and a manufacturer of laser hair removal equipment approaches you for distribution. You: a) laugh at the proposal and turn it down, b) strike a deal to distribute the machine, or c) spot an opportunity to create an entirely new line of business…

10.Apollo Hospitals: Where is one of the world’s biggest telemedicine hubs based? It is in Hyderabad, courtesy Apollo Health City, an integrated healthcare facility that offers “totality of wellness”…

11.Aravind Eye Care: Despite treating seven out of 10 patients for free or at minimal charges (it screens 2 million patients and performs 2.7 lakh surgeries a year), Aravind Eye Care System operates on a 40 per cent profit margin. Thanks to big and small innovations…

12.Narayana Hrudayalaya: The Dr Dev Shetty-founded hospital performs 23-25 heart surgeries a day–one of the largest in Asia–simply because it has restricted the surgeon’s job only to surgery and not the entire patient process…

13.SRL Ranbaxy: God forbid, should the bird flu ever strike Delhi, the capital’s best chance of detecting and responding to it may start from the testing labs of SRL Ranbaxy…

14.Infosys Technologies: Innovation and improvement are constantly at work at India’s best-known IT services company Infosys, right from designs for its new buildings at its 80-acre HQ in Bangalore to new solutions meant to enhance employee efficiency…

15.Wipro Technologies: Successful innovative ideas at Wipro are usually spun off into centres of excellence. Wipro also has a mash-up portal, iGrid (innovation grid), to create a collaborative environment for innovation…

16.TCS: It’s a company that virtually invented the IT services industry in India and continues to be its flag-bearer…

17.Dr Reddy’s Laboratories: Our business is innovation, be it NCES (new drugs) or generics (copy-cat drugs),” declares G.V. Prasad, Vice Chairman and MD. “To create value in the generics business, you also need to be innovative, else you cannot do it,” he adds…

18.Sun Pharmaceutical: It’s not the biggest, but it is the industry’s most valuable. That in short explains how the Dilip Shanghvi-promoted Sun Pharmaceutical has been able to stand out and create superior value in a crowded industry.

19.Airtel: Bharti Airtel’s “least-cost business model”, where just about every activity from network operation to IT is outsourced, has got the global cellular phone operators sitting up and taking note..

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