HP corporate research director emphasises the need for local observation
Prith Banerjee, Director of HP labs, speaks in McKinsey Quarterly about wedding innovation with business value. Amongst other critical success factors he emphasises the need to be in the local market context to feel the problems that customers are facing and come up with innovative solutions.
Banerjee says: “moving a researcher from Palo Alto to India […] has nothing to do with cheap labor. It has to do with the researchers in India trying to tap into the talent in India. And the researchers in India are actually working on projects that are relevant to that context […] I strongly believe that it is not very easy for researchers sitting in Palo Alto to imagine the problems for the billion people in India, the vegetable vendors in India. What kind of cell phones, what kind of PDA devices would they need to solve their day-to-day problems? […]So the researchers in India are actually working on precisely those problems.”
A powerful reminder that observing is the mother of discovery skills.
You can watch Prith Banerjee’s video at McKinsey Quarterly.