An acclaimed new book on innovation published by Cambridge University Press was launched in Pakistan: Frugal Innovation – Models, Means, Methods. Author Dr Yasser Bhatti completed a two long book tour and presented to business leaders, government officials, policymakers, start-ups, faculty and students in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. He shared lessons from the book on how businesses in Pakistan can pursue strategies that harness innovation and technology to profitably serve customers and promote inclusive and sustainable development.
Dr Yasser Bhatti is a Strategy and Innovation expert having studied and worked in the USA and the UK. He is the first and thus far only Pakistani to have been awarded an MSc in Entrepreneurship and PhD in Innovation from the prestigious Oxford University’s Said Business School. He is also recipient of the Oxford Leadership Prize.
The book tour spiralled through Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad with presentations delivered at IBA Karachi, NED University, Barrett Hodgson University, Arthur Lawrence, CEO Summit, Management House, Akhuwat, Rural Support Programme Network, WeCreate and Ignite. Copies of the book were presented to the Governor of Punjab – Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar; Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Social Protection – Dr Sania Nishtar; Chairman of Higher Education Commission – Dr Tariq Banuri; CEO of Ignite – Mr Yusuf Hussain; Advisor to Chief Minister of Punjab – Dr Salman Shah; Former CEO of Philips and AmanTech – Mr Shahid Zaki; CEO of Rastgar & Company – Mr Maqsood Zulfqar; CEO of Management House – Mr Ijaz Nisar; and the libraries of the British Council and of Barrett Hodgson University.
Dr Bhatti stressed that as Pakistan is going through testing times, the key aims of all businesses and organisations should be to assess the viability of innovative approaches and solutions that address the challenges faced by society, organisations and indeed the planet. He explained that frugal innovation has evolved over the last decade as a means to address local and global challenges associated with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The audience heard about real-life examples of innovations that are doing the impossible, i.e. providing high quality solutions at a fraction of the cost such as ReMotion Knee, Odon Device, and Arbutus Drill Cover, all of which were identified from the need to solve problems in developing countries.
Dr Bhatti stressed: “Pakistan has long looked at developed countries for solutions and innovations. Yet, these countries are now increasingly looking to developing countries to give them new insights into how to better solve global challenges.
There exists a huge opportunity in Pakistan to foster globally useful innovations. Multinational organisations in Pakistan, local businesses, social enterprises, National Incubator Centres and ORICS at Universities can equip students with the skills and resources for thinking critically about the role of innovation in social justice and sustainable development.
The Government’s Ehsaas programme with the launch of Solutions Innovation Challenges for livelihood creation and social protection is an important step towards generating local frugal innovations.”