CESBI

CESBI Launch

MYRA’s Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Business Innovations (CESBI) was formally inaugurated on January 6, 2013 by Dr. Ganesan Balachander, Executive Director – Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE).The centre provides a world-class platform for entrepreneurs, academic researchers, students, policy-makers, NGOs, and corporations to collaborate and conduct groundbreaking research on issues of social entrepreneurship, sustainability and corporate responsibility.

As part of the launch, a Mini-Workshop was held which brought together eight industry experts from various disciplines (energy, education, housing, agriculture, finance) to present and discuss issues related to sustainability and business innovation. The workshop had over 50 attendees and was moderated by Jay Pullur, co-Founder of Pramati Technologies and MYRA Governing Board Member.

In the closing remarks, Dr. Abhinanda Sarkar, Associate Dean of MYRA, stated, “Our goal in launching CESBI was to bring people together. And today’s speakers have given many different and valuable interpretations to the words sustainability, business, and innovation. It is now time to accomplish things together – whether it be in business, in research, or innovation in a social context, or innovation in whichever way we wish to define it.”

The Mini-Workshop was immediately followed by a MYRA Distinguished Lecture on Reverse Innovation by Dr. Vijay Govindarajan, the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, USA.

Dr. Ganesan Balachander

Dr. Ganesan Balachander

Dr. Ganesan Balachander(ATREE) formally inaugurates CESBI by lighting the lamp as Jay Pullur(Pramati Technologies) looks on.
Alex Densmore (Simpa Networks)

Alex Densmore (Simpa Networks)

Alex Densmore (Simpa Networks)gave aninsightful run-down of the current energy situation in rural India and showcased his company’s efforts to make energy affordable toIndian households by using a Prepaid Mobile Payments Platform for clean energy.
Melissa Densmore

Melissa Densmore

Melissa Densmore (Microsoft Research) gave examples of sustainable projects she had worked on such as Babajob.com (social networking for jobs in informal sectors), Digital Green (community based platform for instructional videos by farmers and for farmers), and a physician’s social network in collaboration with Operation ASHA.
Vishnu Swaminathan

Vishnu Swaminathan

Vishnu Swaminathan (Ashoka) gave a talk which focused on low-cost high-quality housingsolutions for the poor and discussed how Ashoka mobilizes partnerships between citizens and companies and facilitates the approval of loans.
Krishna Kumar

Krishna Kumar

Krishna Kumar (CropIn) shared with the audience his company’s web-based and mobile farm management technology which helps rural farmers connect and collaborate with other participants in their supply-chain – and monitor farm produce and consignment status in real time.
Moumita Sen Sarma

Moumita Sen Sarma

Moumita Sen Sarma (Isha Foundation), a former corporate executive, spoke about scalable initiatives for education reform in India, highlighting an approach which works within the structure of government schools in Tamil Nadu by ensuring quality teaching, access to remedial classes, and well-being programmes.
Shivram Malavalli

Shivram Malavalli

Shivram Malavalli (eHealth Technology Business Incubator) shared his wealth of experience in entrepreneurship. He gave a general overview of the need for innovation in India and described the tremendous funding opportunities available for sustainable ventures.
Nikhil Nair

Nikhil Nair

Nikhil Nair (SELCO) discussed how SELCO is improving access to solar energy amongst all segments of Indian society. He shared case studies on low-powered computing, a solar e-bus computer lab which brings computer and technology to the rural poor, and Student Light an incentive programme for students which allows rural students to charge solar batteries using school infrastructure and take them back to their houses.
Over 50 industry experts

Over 50 industry experts

Over 50 industry experts attended the inauguration of CESBI and the Mini-Workshop, which was held in Maya – the world’s first Floating Classroom.