In the heart of WION’s headquarters, a remarkable conversational show, ‘Trailblazers’, brought together accomplished industry leaders hailing from diverse sectors. The eminent panellists were K. Ganapathy Subramaniam, VP & Head of Marketing at LT Foods; Rammohan Sundaram, Ph.D., President of Integrated Media at DDB Mudra Group; Sukhleen Aneja, CEO of Good Brands Co; Damyant Singh Khanoria, CMO of OPPO India; and Puneet Kumar Vidyarthi, Head of Marketing at CASE Construction Equipment.
With a wealth of experience, Jasper Reid – the host of the show ensured that the discussion revolves around one of the most critical subjects in today’s business landscape—innovation. Each industry stalwart offered a unique perspective, providing a comprehensive view of the innovation landscape and its transformative potential:
Damyant Singh Khanoria – The socks that sparked innovation and nurturing innovation through curiosity:
Damyant Singh Khanoria narrated an interesting journey that began with a simple pair of socks. The story centers around the iconic cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who, in 2007, found himself in need of an upgrade for his sports socks. Ganapathy responded to this challenge in a way that showcases how some of the most groundbreaking innovations stem from relevant questions and everyday needs. The result was an extraordinary high-performance sock designed to enhance comfort and durability. The underlying message here is that innovation often originates from addressing the most ordinary, yet essential, needs.
He also shared his journey of innovation, drawing from a diverse background. He highlights the role of continuous improvement, curiosity, and an unwavering commitment to learning as fundamental elements of innovation. His experiences, ranging from frequently changing schools as a child to adopting the concept of “divine discontent” borrowed from the All Blacks, emphasize the importance of evolving and questioning the status quo.
Ganapathy Subramaniam – Stay curious
Ganapathy Subramaniam emphasized on the significance of adopting a consumer-centric approach in the business world—understanding how consumers interact with a product is of greater value than focusing solely on its production. He also highlighted the importance of celebrating beloved dishes, highlighting that true innovation arises from unlearning preconceived notions and wholeheartedly embracing what you genuinely believe in.
Sukhleen Aneja – The power of understanding consumer needs and motivations:
Drawing from her rich experience working with consumer-focused companies, she underscores the importance of deeply understanding consumer needs and motivations. Sukhleen also highlighted on how that effective innovation starts by immersing oneself in the consumer’s world and asking the right questions to extract the essence of their needs. Her insights reveal that consumer awareness can drive innovation and revolutionize products and experiences.
Rammohan Sundaram – The Intersection of research, technology and innovation:
Rammohan Sundaram takes the audience into the intricate intersection of technology, mobility and innovation. He introduces an innovative product that masterfully merges technology with the background while effectively serving its intended purpose. Reading, researching and refining it becomes a part of an impactful solution for consumers.
Puneet Kumar Vidyarthi – Innovating infrastructure for rural India:
Puneet Kumar Vidyarthi offered a unique perspective, focusing on the role of innovation in rural marketing and community development. He discusses the infrastructure requirements in India, emphasizing the need for innovative machinery and solutions to meet the nation’s growing needs. Puneet shares his endeavour to create entrepreneurs and livelihoods through innovation, transcending the realm of construction equipment to encompass other fields like agriculture and fisheries.
The latest episode of WION Trailblazers works as a reminder that innovation starts with an idea, but it thrives through action and a commitment to meeting the ever-evolving needs of our world.