MUMBAI: In a first-of-its-kind initiative, CNN-IBN, in partnership with Infosys, recognized 14 exemplary innovations that have not only transformed the lives of millions of Indians but have also made indelible impressions globally. At a prestigious awards ceremony held on 28th March, 2014 at the JW Marriott Hotel in New Delhi, the people behind these innovations were felicitated. Chief Guest Mr. Narayana Murthy, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Infosys and the Guests of Honour Mr. Kiran Karnik, the former president of NASSCOM & Mrs. Tessy Thomas, India’s Missile Woman graced the event with their presence.
These special awardees have been working tirelessly to make themselves valuable partners in India’s progress. The 14 innovations, awarded for their significant business and social impact, were as follows:
- Aurolab: For creating the world’s cheapest intraocular lenses.
- GE Healthcare: For introducing MAC 400, a low-cost ECG machine that has profoundly impacted clinical guidelines and ECG standards, and made ECGs available to every physician, every patient, everywhere.
- Amul: One of the most successful business innovations that came out of our country and helped India emerge as the largest milk producer in the world.
- Cipla: For emerging as a world leader in the generic drug market and for making life-saving drugs available to those who need it the most, at an affordable cost.
- Hindustan Unilever: For Pureit Water Purifiers, a breakthrough innovation developed and designed locally for low-cost domestic water purification.
- Godrej & Boyce ChotuKool: A compact small fridge that runs on both electricity and battery for the mid- and low-income urban and rural markets.
- BrahMos Aerospace: For developing BrahMos missile which is the world’s first supersonic cruise missile that can be maneuvered while still in flight.
- Jain Irrigation: India's largest and world's second largest micro irrigation company that pioneered a green revolution through micro irrigation technology, impacting the lives of over three million farmers with sustainable agriculture
- Akshaya Patra Foundation: Runs school lunch programs across India distributing freshly cooked, healthy meals daily to almost 1.3 million underprivileged children in 9,000 government schools through 20 locations in nine states across India.
- Dr Devi Shetty, Chairman and Founder of Narayana Hrudayalaya: Made cardiac surgery affordable to even the poorest in our society.
- Bunker Roy, social activist and educator: Founded the Barefoot College that educates illiterate village women, often grandmothers, to assemble and maintain hi-tech solar panels for use in their own villages and for others.
- Pratham: The largest NGO working to provide quality education to the underprivileged children in India.
- Jaipur Foot: For providing world-class artificial limbs, rehabilitation aids and other appliances, free of charge, to physically challenged individuals below the poverty line.
- Ela Bhatt, Founder, Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA): For running one of the largest women-led social business enterprises for poor, self-employed women workers.
Speaking about the series, Sagarika Ghose, Deputy Editor, CNN-IBN, said, “The world has experienced commendable changes over the years on account of brilliant minds that have introduced several innovations across verticals. As we continue to progress, it gives us immense pride to honour top innovators who have helped our country and other nations prosper. ‘Innovating for a Better Tomorrow’ is a one-of-a-kind-initiative that aims to salute the brilliant minds that have helped our country prosper in the race for development.”
N R Narayana Murthy, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Infosys, said, “Innovation is all about devising new methods of using existing knowledge to make the lives of people better. Societies that have embraced innovation have enhanced productivity and grown their economies rapidly. I think in a developing country, like India, there is both a need and huge potential to innovate in every sector. Innovating for a Better Tomorrow is our attempt to recognize individuals and groups who have changed thousands of lives with the power of their ideas.”