NGOs, social sector cos bank on innovation

MUMBAI: Innovation — perhaps the most-discussed C-suite topic for global businesses — has till now largely been associated with IT, finance, manufacturing and various consumer-led businesses. But as scale takes a vantage seat, even non-profits and companies in the social sectors are driving change and impact through innovation.

The primary touch points of social sector like health, education and livelihood are slowly but surely incorporating measures to drive results that can be transformative. Disruption has spread across several levels to address challenges of cost, hiring, scale of operations and the issue being addressed. Strategic cost management can help NGOs access new sources of revenue, expand their service footprint dramatically, and reduce resource hurdles to growth.

For example, one of world’s largest eye care provider — non-profit Madurai-based Aravind Eye Care — has reduced the cost of cataract surgery by applying a host of strategies including better utilisation of surgeons’ time, cost reduction of consumables, and setting up a manufacturing facility for intra-ocular lens and drugs at Aurolabs. Aravind’s cost of intra-ocular lens is $2, as against a global price of $80-100. “Around 60% of the 4.5 lakh cataract surgeries done yearly are free, of which 1,00,000 are done through 3,000-odd camps across Tamil Nadu through the hospital’s innovative outreach programme,” Dr P Namperumalsamy, chairman emeritus, Aravind Eyecare System, told TOI.

Source: The Times of India