Frugal, Reverse and Sustainable Innovations: Strategies and Implications for Asian and European Businesses

Global challenges like environmental degradation, income inequality, resource scarcity, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic have put increased pressure on businesses to adopt sustainable business practices. Not only are regulations becoming stricter, but consumers are also becoming environment-conscious and socially responsible, requiring businesses to reduce their carbon footprints, minimize waste, and operate more responsibly.

Sustainable innovations are broad in scope and encompass economic, social and environmental sustainability. An increasing number of businesses from Asia and Europe are adopting sustainable business models and offering value propositions focusing on environmental sustainability. Such value propositions revolve around green energy, biodegradable packaging, eco-friendly products, reducing-reusing-repackaging of materials and circular solutions, and waste management. Notable among them are Ecotricity (UK), Ecover (Belgium), Grundfos (Denmark), BYD Auto (China), Selco Solar (India), Neste (Finland), Vestas (Sweden), Fairphone (Dutch), among others.

Sustainable innovation also involves frugal innovations emphasizing social and economic sustainability by doing more with less. Such frugal innovations are becoming increasingly crucial for inclusive development in a resource-constrained environment. Emerging markets in Asia play an essential role in frugal and reverse innovations. Initiatives of businesses like Aurolabs (India), Aravind Eye Care (India), Aarong (Bangladesh), Amul (India), Dabbawalla (India), and Grameen Shakti (Bangladesh), among others, are exemplifying business models for scaling up solutions of community-driven frugal innovations. Such innovations from Asia can lead to reverse innovation and new global products. They also show how European MNEs can localize their operations and portfolio to successfully offer sustainable value propositions in Asian markets.

The conference theme, “Frugal, Reverse and Sustainable Innovations: Strategies and Implications for Asian and European Businesses,” will call for a deeper understanding of the dynamics of such innovations and their strategic implications on long-term profitability and sustainable competitive advantage of businesses operating in Asian and European continents. Cross-continental collaboration between Asia and European businesses is essential for accessing diverse markets, sharing knowledge and combining resources. Understanding best practices, challenges, drivers, ecosystem components, and associated aspects of such innovations will help both emerging and developed economies by creating new areas and sustainable competitive advantage.

Conference Tracks

We invite submissions with focus on following areas: Frugal innovation: How businesses across Asia and Europe can do more with less in resource-constrained environments, and this can create high-quality and affordable products and services for diverse customer groups. Reverse innovations: How innovations originating in emerging markets can be adopted and adapted by businesses in developed countries and vice versa. Sustainable Innovations: Exploring strategic implications of sustainable business practices, eco-friendly innovations on long-term profitability and corporate responsibility. Conference tracks include but not limited to:
  • Building and sustaining an innovation focus: lessons for Asian and European businesses
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation models for sustainability: Insights from Asia and Europe
  • Cross-cultural issues, leadership, and people: Managing sustainable, frugal, and reverse innovation in Asian and European firms.
  • Cross-continental collaborations between Asia and Europe for sustainable, frugal, and reverse innovations: joint ventures, research partnerships and technology transfers
  • Government policies and regulatory frameworks: barriers or facilitators to innovations in Asian and European contexts
  • Strategic management in MNEs: supply chain management, green manufacturing, circular economy practices in Asia and Europe
  • Global value chains: Implications for Asian and European businesses