Recently Business Today, the largest-circulated business fortnightly in India, featured Navroze Godrej (MDes 2013). In an interview with Ajita Shashidhar, Navroze Godrej, Executive Director, Strategy and Innovation, Godrej & Boyce, explains design in the terms he came to know it through his experience working at Godrej & Boyce since 2007 and at IIT Institute of Design.
"When you say design and innovation, people think of products, but it is much more than that. We do business design, we design the supply chain, the way it gets built and the communication around it. It's a much more holistic approach to design."
The Godrej & Boyce approach to design and innovation
Navroze describes Godrej & Boyce's goal to create a culture of strategic and innovative thinking. He is working with the senior leadership, setting up programs (some partnering with IIT Institute of Design) and having more strategic discussions at multiple levels. Leadership is forward looking and confidence has increased due to many new high-growth and high-potential businesses. This has given Godrej & Boyce teams freedom to make design and innovation part of their work.
Navroze is greatly interested in the cultural transformation of Godrej & Boyce. Through design and innovation efforts, the organization is building a common language and a rich work environment. Believing diversity will produce the best work, they are cross pollinating ideas through initiatives like the Sprint program. They are working to understanding user needs by immersing themselves in people's daily lives and using ethnography tools. They are disrupting traditional distribution and manufacturing processes. It's a very collaborative model looking at synergies across all Godrej & Boyce businesses.
The organization's culture has driven them to establish the innovation centre where internal businesses work on three-to-five year strategies. These are the projects that are further out, more speculative, and more research-driven. In addition, Godrej & Boyce has recently opened the Godrej Design Lab for independent designers to partner with the industry and create their own concepts.