4 Strategies Propelling R&D Leaders to Achieve Business Growth

4 Strategies Propelling R&D Leaders to Achieve Business Growth

To stay relevant and sustain their businesses in the current entrepreneurial milieu, transformational leaders need up their game. One way is to create operating models that focus on innovation and productivity. In fact, almost 60% of the R&D expenditure in the OECD economies is incurred by businesses, suggesting that leaders understand this need. 

Other catalysts are the aftereffects of the recent pandemic and the looming threat of recession. These have made innovation the primary driving force behind recent entrepreneurial growth, so much so that R&D leaders spend half their time in crisis management. 

Sanjiv Bajaj, Chairman and Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv Ltd., in his speech at the World Economic Forum annual meeting, also highlighted the importance of building a product-market fit. “Technology has become a big enabler for companies like ours in terms of providing the right products and services to customers”, he said. 

“The world is looking at India’s leadership in this area. Amidst global geopolitical uncertainty and inflation, there lies opportunity for the Indian Industry. He said that India could be one of the major manufacturing hubs of the world. The increasing adoption of digital technologies could also transform the Global Value Chains”, he added. 

Many Indian entrepreneurs are leveraging their R&D capacity to develop creatively. But how are they pulling this off? Read on to find out.

  1. Situating Innovation and R&D in Modern Businesses 

Research and development (R&D) investment has become an integral part of companies’ operations today. For instance, in 2019, companies around the world spent around $2.3 Trillion on R&D initiatives. This amounted to almost 2% of the global economy. Not just that, the expenditure on these initiatives has also grown by 4% annually on average in the past 10 years.

Top business leaders in India are also focusing on enhancing the R&D abilities of their companies in the recent past. As per GE’s Annual Global Innovation Barometer, India is the world’s sixth most innovative country. The Indian Engineering Research and Development (ER&D) was also set to grow to $10-11 Billion in 2020.

  1. R&D Transformation Pyramid: Building a Resilient R&D Strategy

Resilience in R&D ensures that transformation encompasses the whole of the firm’s innovation strategy. The first essentiality for this transformation has robust leadership at the top defining their aspirations and key focus areas. 

The second stage of transformation includes preparing a blueprint identifying which innovation strategies can bring the highest value to the company and how to employ these strategies most efficiently. 

Lastly, when operating inside the framework of new ways of working. Transformational leaders that have led the charge understand this pyramid. They also know to breed cohesion as a part of building resilience. In certain firms, R&D teams must collaborate across the company for the best chances of success. However, not all teams make the cut, and those that aren’t are best to stay away from them to avoid friction. 

  1. Improving the R&D Adoption Rates

While investment inflow towards R&D initiatives has grown steadily over the years, almost half of the R&D leaders say that the new products or solutions they developed for the market were not adopted. 

In order to take their newly-developed solutions to the marketplace, aspiring Indian entrepreneurs need to build confidence and work to increase the desire to accept their new products. 

The ‘test and learn’ strategy can benefit R&D teams in determining valuable projects. These teams can showcase to the stakeholders the impact of their project on business growth and their suitability as per the customer needs. 

In addition, this allows them to scrap the projects at early stages if stakeholders feel that they do not add much value to what the company already offers.

  1. Hyper Fixating on Growth 

The R&D sector is driven by the existing stock of knowledge, which acts as an impetus for growth. The nature of cumulative knowledge sharing also facilitates vertical collaboration within the industry and association with the academic space, such as universities. 

In addition, R&D teams and transformational leaders are also adopting novel solutions in different industries to expand their scope of business. Hence, knowledge-sharing from parallel industries is also vital in businesses achieving more sustainable growth. This is a mindset and enabling model that fixates on growth.  

Donning the mantle of growth-enabler, businessmen of today are driven by the ‘true north’ concept. This simply means that the path that gets businesses to this point may not necessarily take it where it needs to go. 

Hence, it is prudent for companies and top business leaders in India to realise their R&D’s full potential. Building for tomorrow starts today, and transformational leaders like Sanjiv Bajaj have proven that a long-term vision supersedes short-term gains.

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