Saturday, November 15, 2008

Introductory Remarks by Sanjay Dalal at Design Innovation and Research Conference at University of California, Irvine

November 15, 2008
9:30 AM
University of California, Irvine
CalIt2 Auditorium

The Paul Merage School of Business at University of California, Irvine led by Dean Andy Policano boasts the number 1 EMBA program in Southern california. Since Dean Andy assumed the leadership role, the business school's endowment has grown 300%, and the school recently opened doors to its first undergraduate business class. The best part: the undergraduate class was totally oversubscribed - a few thousand applied to get in, and only 100 were admitted. Phenomenal indeed. The business school's mission is to be on the forefront of innovation and collaboration that fuels growth for new leaders. I am Sanjay Dalal, President & Managing Director of Innovation Index Group, and a proud member of the Dean's Leadership Circle at UCI. IIG or Innovation Index Group identifies, analyzes and invests in the most innovative companies in North America using the Innovation Index. I also provide Innovation Consulting and am launching the Innovation Bootcamp in December, 2008.

Professor Alladi, thank you for inviting me to speak at this exclusive Design Innovation and Research Conference. Invited Participants and guests, get ready to be enthralled by distinguished professors, researchers and executives on Design and Innovation from leading Universities and corporations from all over the world. Today's agenda is truly unique, and the wisdom and experiences by these esteemed presenters will prepare you to not only expand your imagination and but also help you lead creatively at your business.

We are in the midst of a global economic recession, one that we have not seen for decades. What started as sub-prime and cDOs quickly spread to banking, finance and real estate, and eventually engulfed in a wild fire most of the industries with it. The stock markets have crashed and have receded back to levels prevalent more than seven or ten years ago. Housing prices have dropped likewise to multi-year lows, and foreclosures are rampant and growing. There is a crisis of confidence. Unemployment is at multi-year highs and consumer spending is shrinking. How does our new president-elect Obama make sense of all these, and create new economic growth and instill confidence among the people? This question is foremost on everyone's mind.

However, behind every challenge lies a new opportunity. And new opportunities are created by you: innovators, entrepreneurs and creative leaders. For instance, the current energy crisis will lead to new forms of energy creation and give rise to alternative energy and Green industry. Higher Gas prices will lead to hybrids and fuel-efficient compacts - and you will be hearing about an innovative new car Nano today. The Financial mess will lead to new regulations that will create a more transparent, dependable, lasting financial system. The Housing chaos will lead to better checks and balances for new loans and result in better loan payers and loan payees. There will be a greater focus on sound, ergonomic and green design, and smart education. Cost-cutting may be the basis for survival in the interim, but in the longer term, the bold companies will invest into new technologies, new models, and new innovations. As a matter of fact, these bold new innovations will create growth and rebuild our economy. Time is the best answer.

So, I want to leave you with one question: What was the best U.S. innovation of 2007? is perhaps the best design innovation product that we have seen in many years. iPhone has changed the mobile industry for the better. iPhone has jettisoned Apple to the number 3 provider of cell phones with revenue of $4.8 billion in about one year. Apple will sell more than 12 million iPhones in 2008. And Apple has created this new revenue despite the struggling economy. This goes to show that if you can make innovative products that are captivating, useful and built with real ingenuity, sky is the limit.

Thank you! And get ready for a great conference.

Learn more about Sanjay Dalal here...

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