Session on Quality, Innovation and Collaboration to SME entrepreneurs of Baroda, India


Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in India face number of challenges.  They work under severe resource constraint and in highly competitive environment.  Makarpura GIDC (Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation) industrial estate, located in the western Indian state of Gujarat is one of country’s leading industrial estates with more than 2500 industrial members.  Most of the members are manufacturing organizations falling under SME category.  Major manufacturing activities in the estate are in engineering, machine tools, fabrication, foundry, forging, food-processing and packaging.

To help these entrepreneurs gain competitiveness, Makarpura GIDC Association on 9/March organized a half day seminar titled ‘Growth Drivers for Small and Medium Enterprises’.  Seminar focused on strategic areas of growth for SMEs ranging from HR to innovation.  More than 50 selected entrepreneurs participated in this unique seminar.

As part of the seminar, Hardik Vachhrajani, shared his experience on the topic of ‘Quality, Innovation and Collaboration: SME perspective’.   Presentation covered key areas of quality, innovation and collaboration for SMEs.  He also discussed about the significance of partnership for the growth of SMEs. He covered cases of partnership. The presentation was followed by lively question and answer session where entrepreneurs disused about their specific problems and they were guided by seminar panel members.

“Hardik knows DNA of SMEs of India.  I really enjoyed his presentation”, said Kaushal Mandalia, fellow presenter at seminar and leading HR consultant.

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Co-authored work receive ‘Best Paper Award’ at International Conference

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DSCN4487Gujarat Technological University(GTU)’s new swanky campus on the border of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar became venue for 3rd International Conference on “Business Ethics, Governance and Sustainable Enterprises” on 8th and 9th February 2013. This annual conference organized by The Post Graduate Research Centre for Business Ethics and CSR of GTU has over the years become one of the most sought-after gathering of sustainability and ethics professionals from across the country.

After stringent review, organizing committee selected 30 papers for presentation during two day conference in four different tracks of Business Ethics, Governance, CSR and Sustainable Enterprises.  One of the selected paper for presentation under ‘Business Ethics’ track was paper authored by Kaushal Mandalia and co-authored by Hardik Vachhrajani.  The paper critically reviewed the literature on factors affecting sales ethics for life insurance sector of India.  The paper comprehensively  presented literature available in the domain and also highlighted the existing gap in literature from the perspective of practice and research.  The paper presentation was followed by interactive question answer session.

The paper won ‘The Best Paper Award’ under ‘Business Ethics’ category.  Judging panel included Dr. Ramesh Shah from Germany and Dr. S. O. Junare from India.  Authors received certificate of accomplishment and GTU trophies.  The paper is also published in conference special issue of ‘Sankalpa : Journal of Management and Research’ having ISSN No. 2231-1904.

See Presentation Sales Ethics_Mandalia & Vachhrajani

See Certificate of Achievement



Hardik Vachhrajani to visit Deakin University, Australia to study collaborative networks and innovation

Hardik Vachhrajani will visit Deakin University, Melbourn, Australia from 23/November/2012 to 8/December/ 2012 as part of cross national research project to understand collaborative networks and the innovation performance of SMEs.

The project is funded by Centre for Sustainable and Responsible Organizations (CSaRO) of Deakin University. Hardik Vachhrajani will work with Deakin’s Prof. Paul Couchman who heads School of Management and Marketing.

Innovation is problematic for SMEs due to resource constraints. Collaboration networks have been proposed to address this problem, but have been little studied in Australia and India. The proposed study will address this knowledge gap by investigating the role that collaborative networks play in facilitating innovation within participating SMEs; said Hardik Vachhrajani while explaining the project in brief.

“The entire project team here is excited at Hardik’s visit and we all look forward to working with him”, said Prof. Nava Subramanian who heads CSaRO.

Deakin University is an Australian public university with nearly 40,000 higher education students in 2010. It receives more than A$600 million in operating revenue annually, and controls more than A$1.3 billion in assets. The University was named after the leader of the Australian federation movement and the nation’s second Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin.


Innovation Strategies for Startups – Talk with India’s budding technology entrepreneurs

On 19/July, budding technology entrepreneurs from across India went online to listen to talk by Dr. Hardik Vachhrajani on ‘Innovation Strategies for Startups’.  The lecture was attended by startup entrepreneurs from more than 15 Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) from across the country as part of Connect One project.

The project Connect ONE (Online Network of Entrepreneurs) is a joint venture of National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) and Amrita University to bring together entrepreneurs from various TBIs and help them to establish and become successful start-ups. NSTEDB is a part of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India.

The lecture focused on innovation strategies which startups can pursue.  Dr. Vachhrajani explained different sources of innovation and how sources of innovation for startups differ from that of large organizations.  He also shared innovation strategies followed by successful startups.  The lecture was followed by question and answer session where entrepreneurs from different TBIs like Technopark Trivandrum, Vellor Institute of Technology and VelTech raised questions faced by them.  TBI of Technopark Trivandrum raised the issue of challenges of obsolesce of technology.  Another TBI asked Dr. Vachhrajani’s opinion on areas from where he believed maximum innovations are likely to come.

“Dr. Vachhrajani’s talk was really very exciting” told Abhay Ramesh, program coordinator of ConnectONE.  “  Entrepreneurs liked the talk and have thanked Dr. Vachhrajani for coming on the platform to share his experience”, he added.

“When we discussed with TBIs, they all appreciated Dr. Vachhrajani’s interactive session. In fact TREC STEP, Tiruchirappalli conveyed to us that his session was quite informative. IITM’s Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) mentioned that Dr. Vachhrajani’s session was very knowledgeable to their team/start-ups, with a lot of pointers on how to innovate in an organization especially how startups can relate to innovation without considering innovation as a big word involving laboratories and R&D departments.”, said Mr. Shine Pavithram of ConnectONE program

The talk was broadcasted across the TBIs of India via A-View platform developed at Amrita University (


“Small is Innovative” – Keynote at Silver Jubilee Government College, Kurnool

“Small companies are innovative, they are just not copy mills. Correct your facts.” was the first message Hardik Vachhrajani delivered to audience of almost 200 participants gathered at auditorium of Silver Jubilee Government College in Kurnool, in souther Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. He was delivering a keynote address at National Seminar on ‘Globalization : Emerging Trends in Indian Entrepreneurship’ organized by Department of Commerce of the college.  The seminar was sponsored by University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi.

Silver Jubilee Government College is a unique state – level autonomous Government Degree College with complete residential status, emerged as a gift to state of Andhra Pradesh by the Government of India during Silver Jubilee Celebrations of Indian Independence in 1972 and conceived on the model of Cambridge University, to offer quality Higher Education to the brilliant students selected through an Entrance Test from all over the State. Its eternal quest for quality has been time and again proved by the success of its alumni occupying prominent positions in both public and private sectors all over the world. It is accredited with “A” grade by NAAC and recognized as “College with Potential for Excellence” by UGC.

During his presentation, Hardik Vachhrajani explained strategies small entrepreneurs adopt to attain innovation advantage and how their strategies are difference from their large counterparts. The presentation was followed by question and answer session where he answered numerous questions from students on innovation, process of entrepreneurship and challenges faced by small start ups in India.

“Dr. Vachhrajani’s style of explaining the strategies was really amazing. He used simple, real life examples from India and especially from South India, with which we can relate, to make us understand the concepts.”, said a final year undergraduate student after his presentation. “We really liked his presentation. It was interactive and informative ”, added Prof. S Shashikala, Reader and coordinator of the seminar. “The seminar was a great success and everyone including me liked Dr. Vachhrajani’s address. We look forward to welcoming him again to our college”, said Prof. T.G.R. Prasad, principal of the college.

Kurnool is the gateway town to Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. It is located on the banks of beautiful and historical Tungabhadra River. From 1 October 1953 to 31 October 1956, Kurnool served as the capital of Andhra State.


Hardik Vachhrajani delivers keynote at 11th Quality Managers Conference at Tehran


On 18th January, 2012; Dr. Hardik Vachhrajani delivered a keynote address at 11th Quality Managers Conference at Tehran, Iran on special invitation of Mr. Hamid Saraidarian, secretary of Iranian Society for Quality Managers. (

The keynote was attended by more than 900 participants from across Iran. Dr. Vachhrajani talked about the importance of integrating quality and innovation for SMEs. He shared his own consulting and research experience and stressed that SMEs going for quality initiatives must try and integrate basic practices of innovation. We really liked the perspective he shared, said Mr. H. Nourian, Management Quality Representative at International Systems Engineering and Automotive Company, Isfahan; who also was a key note speaker.

“Dr. Vachhrajani’s presentation gave us some very important insights on innovation”, said Elina Lahal; participant from Tehran. The address was simultaneously translated in Pharsi. At the end of the conference, all participants received certificate signed by Dr. Vachhrajani and other key note speakers.

The Conference Venue in Tehran was one of the most spacious and modern conference halls in the city. The venue was situated in the north-west of Tehran with a beautiful view to the Mountain Alborz, a branch of the Himalayas. 


Appointment to the Editorial Board of International Journal of Information Systems and Social Change (IJISSC)

Dr. Hardik Vachhrajani is appointed to the editorial board of prestigious International Journal of Information Systems and Social Change (IJISSC) published by IGI Global ( IJISSC is an official publication of Information Resources Management Association (

IJISSC examines current, state-of-the art research in the areas of information systems and social change, and the interactions, linkages, applications, and support of social change using information systems. This journal encompasses theoretical, analytical, and empirical research, comprehensive reviews of relevant research, technical reports, book reviews, and also case studies emphasizing the use of new frameworks, principles, technologies, methods, and techniques. The journal is indexed in Bacon’s Media Directory, DBLP, Google Scholar, INSPEC, MediaFinder, The Standard Periodical Directory and Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory.

“Dr. Vachhrajani’s professional involvement will greatly benefit the success of IJISSC”, said Prof. John Wang, Editor-in-Chief of the journal. John Wang is a professor in the Department of Management and Information Systems at Montclair State University (USA)

As an editorial board member, Dr. Vachhrajani will review manuscripts submitted to the journal. He will also work on expanding the journal in South Asia region and work on bringing quality contributions from sub continent.


Invited to deliver lecture on Quality and Innovation at 11th International Conference of Quality Managers at Tehran

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I am invited to deliver special lecture on Quality and Innovation at 11th International Conference of Quality Managers organized at Tehran, Iran during January 2012.  I will have honor of lecturing alongside world’s leading quality strategists like Dr. Antony Turton, Ian Rheeder and Andrew Brough.

“The eleventh conference of quality managers aims to introduce the “innovation management” as the golden progress and success path for companies and aims to attract the attention of all managers and provident organizations to it.”, says a note by Hamid Saraidarian, secretary of the conference. I will present my work on creating integrated model of Quality and Innovation for SMEs.  SMEs are critical both for Indian and Iranian economies and creating a model which can combine best practices of both quality and innovation is essential.

Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) International Conference Center (IICC) in Tehran, the venue of the conference, is one of the most spacious and modern halls in the city. It is situated in the north-west of Tehran with a beautiful view to the Mountain Alborz, a branch of the Himalayas.

The conference is considered as one of Asia’s largest quality gatherings and is supported by quality societies of more than 20 countries along with companies like BSI, SGS and DNV.

Download Conference Broucher (in Farsi) : 11ISQMConferenceBrochor


“Innovation is not a rocket science” – Talk at IBS Software Services, Trivandrum


On 17th October, I was invited to deliver a talk at IBS Software Services Pvt. Ltd., Trivandrum  (  IBS is a leading provider of IT solutions to the Travel, Transportation and Logistics (TTL) industry. A specialist in the domain, company offers a range of new-generation solutions that manage mission-critical operations of major airlines, airports, oil and gas companies, seaports, cruise lines and tour operators world-wide.  IBS is based at the impressive Technopark in Trivandrum and also operates from other locations across the globe. (

The session was organized as part of the ‘Young Leaders Program’ at IBS.  Participants were selected mid management and senior management employees of the organization who have shown the potential to be future leaders.  Many of them were people managers with 5-100 people reporting.

The key emphasis of my talk was on how to promote innovation in teams.  I shared management techniques which outperforming team leaders use to promote innovation.  I shared apparently simple looking initiatives which can have profound impact on overall innovation performance of the team.  I supplemented the points with examples from my research which focuses on innovation strategies adopted by outperforming small and medium enterprises organizations.  I also shared global perspectives and practices based on my experience.

Participants from Cochin, Bangalore and London attended the talk via live webcast.  The presentation was followed by an open house session. Participants asked their questions and also shared their experiences with innovation.  More emphasis was given on experience sharing.  One of the participants leading a project team said that “Innovation often takes backseat in hectic routines of the day”. Another participant, appreciating the presentation, shared that “You explained innovation in very simple terminology and we had great learning to take back to our teams.”

“The session was very informative and I am very happy that participants opened up at the end of it”, said Mr. Dileep Choyappally, Managert Human Resource at IBS who coordinates the program.


Seminar on ‘Innovation in Education’ at Shri M.D.Shah Mahila College of Arts and Science, Mumbai

On 6th September 2011, Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) of Shri M.D.Shah Mahila College of Arts and Science, Malad (W), Mumbai; organized a one day seminar on ‘Innovation in Education’ at Surajba Hall of the College.

I was invited as resource person for the seminar.  In my presentation I covered areas of need of innovation in education, views of teachers and teaching, methods and mechanisms of innovation in education.  Presentation also covered aspect of next practices in innovation.  I also inaugurated news bulletin of the IQAC, elaborating on quality related activities conducted by the organization.

Seminar had more than 100 participants which included educators from various educational institutes of Mumbai, IQAC members and student representatives of IQAC.   Presentation was followed by almost one hour question and answer sessions where I answered the queries of faculties related to quality assurance and innovation in higher educational institutes.

Key invitee of the seminar, Shri Mohanbhai Patel, ex-Sherrif of Mumbai and leading industrialist said that there is no better time to conduct such a seminar like this.  He emphasized on key differences in innovation approaches taken by western colleges and Indian colleges based on his years of international experience.

M.D.Shah Mahila College of Arts and Science is a unique women institute where large number of students comes from economically and socially under privileged background.  The college is affiliated to SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai and is a Gujarati minority institute.