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Innovation Pathways: Insights from Prof. Ramesh Loganathan


True innovation is groundbreaking and disruptive; understanding customers, identifying their needs, and thinking creatively are essential for product success.

Prof. Ramesh Loganathan, the distinguished Head of Research Outreach at IIIT, presented a keynote at the Product Leaders Forum in Hyderabad. In his address, Loganathan explored the intricate pathways of innovation, referencing insights from his vast 25-year professional journey.

This forum witnessed an assembly of dedicated product managers, each eager to distill wisdom and insights. Loganathan commenced by tipping his hat to pivotal institutions like the Institute of Product Leadership and the Product Data Forum. Despite being momentarily subdued by the global pandemic, these institutions have demonstrated remarkable resilience, highlighting the undying spirit of innovation.

Diving into the core of his discourse, Loganathan underscored the varied spectrum of innovation. While startups often burst onto the scene with novel ideas, behemoths of the industry like ADP exhibit a more understated yet crucial approach to innovation. Their modus operandi serves as a reminder that innovation isn’t always about radical change; sometimes, it’s the subtle shifts that lead to lasting impact.

Drawing a vivid comparison, he showcased the contrasting tales of Apple and Nokia. Apple’s transcendent journey wasn’t just about introducing another mobile device; it was about redefining the entire user experience. From the unboxing moment to an intuitive interface with a single button, Apple’s innovation narrative revolved around the user. Nokia, once a titan in mobile communication, serves as a cautionary tale of what happens when innovation takes a backseat.

However, his insights weren’t restricted to product development. He emphasized the societal underpinnings of technological research. IIIT’s collaboration with NGOs, particularly the center in his honor, stands as a beacon of research’s broader societal impact. This center’s mission is to bridge technological divides, ensuring that solutions aren’t just innovative but also meaningful.

A significant segment of Loganathan’s address revolved around the relationship between pure academic research and its real-world implications. He candidly shared the challenges faced at IIIT in translating research into tangible products. The institution’s product lab was an endeavor to bridge this gap. By shifting focus from purely research-driven pursuits to a blend of product management and industry expertise, the lab aims to foster real-world innovations.

Concluding his profound narrative, professor left the audience with a compelling thought. While technology forms the bedrock of innovation, the true essence lies in understanding the world’s intricacies. As he puts it, the dance of innovation is choreographed by keen observation, understanding, and adaptability. The ultimate quest is to not only shape the present but to carve a path for the future, ensuring that innovations remain relevant, meaningful, and impactful.

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