Muktesh Bhatte: “The IBA Academy has been a unique experience”

Lys Mehou-loko
By on July 11, 2016

Muktesh Bhatte is a ‘graduate’ of the recent online bootcamp on Inclusive Innovation with Siemens Stiftung and Engineering For Change. After submitting all the assignments and given his particularly active participation, he won an individual coaching session with Nicolas Chevrollier to improve his innovation. He tells us about his experience and plans to apply the tools and knowledge gained.

Muktesh BhatteTell us about yourself and your Inclusive Business goals
“I am an Industrial designer who wants to mitigate the risks related to global ecological threats by contributing in areas like recycling, food security and sustainable development by using my professional skills. Currently, I am collaborating with my cousin on a project named ‘Green Terra’ that promotes the importance of green spaces inside urban apartments and recycling daily plastic waste like bottles by using simple Do-It-Yourself ideas. I am also working on my project that involves small landholding farmers of India.”

How did you experience the ’Inclusive Innovation’ bootcamp and what are your main takeaways?
“I am from a designer background where we either work on needs of a specific user or try to create a universal design which accommodates the requirement of an entire user group. But a simple and tangible approach in the ‘Inclusive Innovation’ bootcamp has helped change my perception about base of the pyramid consumers from a user group with special or specific needs to a user group that needs to be removed from isolation and be connected to the mainstream commercial market through adaptable and impartial yet sustainable business, design and manufacturing processes.
Discussion on topics like the involvement of base of pyramid consumers at every stage in my innovation and having a multi-contextual approach with critical variations that highlight the regional needs of a large base of the pyramid demographic have helped refresh my mindset.”

Interview Muktesh
Muktesh participated in the recent Inclusive Innovation Bootcamp

After the bootcamp, you won a one-on-one session with BoPInc expert Nicolas Chevrollier. How is that conversation going and how did it help you to improve your innovation?
“I am very happy that the conversation with BoPInc expert Nicolas Chevrollier has been open-ended. Nicolas has given crucial inputs like the importance of local stakeholders’ networks, how to adapt my approach to deal with the base of the pyramid consumers’ conservative mindset which is created by their low income and what are the weak links in my business model.
And yes, in the last few weeks I have realised that establishing a dialogue with the local stakeholders is the toughest yet most gainful part of the innovation process. It has given me a chance to interact with local multidisciplinary experts who have decades of experience helping these consumers through their organization.These experts are playing a vital role in helping me deal with base-of-the-pyramid consumers.
An open consumer mindset is fundamental to leveraging innovative business models, value chains, products and services among the base of the pyramid communities.”

What Inclusive Business projects are you working on at the moment, and what problem are you trying to solve?

“I am currently working on encouraging sustainable soil nutrient management practices among the smallholder farmers in India to help maintain soil fertility and help improve the sustainability of crop‘s yields over a longer period of time.
As the population increases, the number of small landholding farmers will increase and so will their share in the crop production output of India. Smallholder farmers are also the ones who don’t have access to knowledge on innovative farming practices and are also resistant to adopting new technology or farming methods due to their lower income. Hence, I am trying to work on methods that will bring a change in farmers’ mindset which will help them adopt sustainable soil nutrient management practices.”

You are also participating in other bootcamps. What has been your experience of the IBA Academy?

“Yes, by participating in ‘Design and manufacturing of BoP Products’ and ‘Introduction to inclusive business’ bootcamps I am beginning to get a better idea about what inclusive business is and how it needs to be executed.

It‘s very difficult to attend many seminars and workshops in person held by ‘Start-up entrepreneur’ groups in my country. Hence, getting a chance to hear from experts across different continents and share opinions via live chats on an online platform has been a unique experience of IBA Academy.”

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