Marico Innovation Foundation has announced eight new Finalists for its Social Innovation Acceleration Programme 2013. These finalists, chosen at the kick-off session in Mumbai held last week consist of three for profit models and five not-for-profit/hybrid models across India. These will receive highly customised and facilitated acceleration support through knowledge partner Innovation Alchemy over the next 24 months.

Mr. Harsh Mariwala, Chairman and Managing Director, Marico Ltd and Founder of the Marico Innovation Foundation expressed happiness at the role played by Marico Innovation Foundation (MIF). He said “MIF fuels innovation in India by playing a catalytic role. It facilitates large-scale adoption of innovation thinking. The Social Innovation Acceleration programme is a key initiative for us. It is our way of directly and meaningfully impacting social enterprises. This helps accelerate and scale up positive impact on under- served communities, through swifter progress in healthcare, employability, livelihoods, clean energy and waste management.”

The Finalists include Accion India, CLT India, Envirofit, Eram Scientific Solutions, Aglakadam, Safe Harvest, Sugha Vazhvu Healthcare and Society for Technology & Action for Rural Advancement (TARA).

MIF and Innovation Alchemy have worked closely over the past 2 years with Akshaya Patra, Yuva Parivartan, Waste Wise Trust and Fractal on their scaling up journeys.
•    Yuva Parivartan has grown five-fold in its reach of training for school dropouts. It is now in its second innovation initiative, to build a national employment exchange.
•    Akshay Patra is prototyping an enhanced hub-spoke delivery model that will reduce costs, increase efficiency and help them add breakfast for every child that they deliver food to. This has empowered them to reach their goal of feeding 5 million school children much sooner and even go beyond.

Marico Innovation Foundation (MIF) was formed in 2003 with the objective of fueling innovation in India. The Foundation has worked in several areas over the past 10 years.
•    Its research efforts yielded a bestseller publication – “Making Breakthrough Innovation Happen: 11 Indians who pulled off the impossible”. About 55000 copies have been sold so far, making this India’s First Best-Seller on Innovation. The Foundation has also recently launched a quarterly magazine “Innowin”- India’s first publications dedicated to innovation to continuously generate and disseminate knowledge on Innovation.
•    The Foundation instituted the biennial ‘Innovation for India Awards’ in 2006. This platform recognises breakthrough Indian innovations that have positively influenced lives. The tally of award-winning innovators is now 41.
•    Its Social Innovation Acceleration programme launched in 2010 provides customized capacity building, strategic advisory support and acceleration facilitation over an 18-24 month period, for organizations working on innovative social enterprise models and seeking to scale the impact of their work.

The Marico Innovation Foundation is steered by an eminent governing council chaired by Dr R A Mashelkar, National Research Professor, National Chemical Laboratories.

Innovation Alchemy (IA), is a Bangalore based firm that applies Innovation methodologies to scale up impact. IA leads the design and facilitation of this programme based on a proprietory methodology called Alchemize™. Parvathi Menon, Managing Director of Innovation Alchemy spoke on this occasion- “The difference in our approach is that we engage the entire organisation into the scaling up journey, not just the primary entrepreneur. We ensure a structured process of insights and prototyping is adopted across the team over 18-24 months. Innovation is the outcome of new insights and relentless execution aimed at achieving breakthroughs in impact”.