Innovation Catalyst and Disruptive Techpreneur
Topic: Embracing emerging Mega-Trends & New Paradigms where ““Simplexity” & “Experiation” drive the next wave of global “Collabovation” @ the intersection of Disruptive / Exponential Technologies
Anuraj has worked in the mobile telecommunications industry for over two & a half decades across several parts of the value web and devices ecosystem including leading Mobile Network Operators, Device Manufacturers, R&D Centres, International Trade Bodies, Consultancy Firms, VAS Developers/Providers, Disruptive Tech Startups, Wireless Technology Retail and Network Solution Vendors on five continents – Australasia, North America, Europe, Asia & Africa. He has worked from hands-on technical roles to senior executive management positions (from Chief Dreamer to President/Group Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer) and well regarded as an industry visionary. Some prominent companies he has worked for include: NASA/JPL, SingTel Optus, Logica/Aethos, T-Mobile, Orange, GSM Association, Sharp, Siemens mobile, Spice, Ericsson, MTS, Globacom. He has spearheaded several innovations in the advanced as well as grass-root level mobile domain in mature and emerging markets. He focuses his efforts on value creation via strategic business development and nurturing breakthrough concepts leading to game changing and disruptive/radical innovation. He is currently authoring a book with a working title of ‘The Philosophy of Innovation – from mindset to heartset’. Anuraj is a valued advisory board member of several organizations globally, involved with mentoring various start-ups, advising and leading select innovation projects with both small & large organizations along with teaching as adjunct faculty. Anuraj has been actively involved in the evolution of key mobile standards. Several ideas he conceptualized are now global standards, stated below along with some achievements and contributions to the mobile industry:
- NITZ – Network Identity & Time Zone ETSI standard.
- COW (Cell-on-Wheels) using satellite transmission for rapid network deployment anywhere (implementing a complete GSM network in a ‘shipping container’).
- Pioneering the development of an Outdoor(Tropical) self-contained Base Station (BTS) with Nokia Telecommunications.
- Universal Charging / Data Connector for mobile devices global standard.
- Integrally involved in launching the Global Certification Forum (GCF) where he awarded the first mobile phone to pass through the regime (Nokia 6210).
- Instrumental in launching the first integrated camera-phones outside of Japan packaged with a leading operator based mobile data solution (Sharp GX-10 with Vodafone Live!) – won the most innovative handset award in Cannes.
- Key stakeholder on the Nortel Orbitor project (predecessor of the iPhone).
- Launching Australia’s first mobile digital Fax & Data Services along with piloting several celemetry (M2M) applications.
- Co-developed Australia’s first GSM handset with Voxson.
- Co-chairman of OzNUG: Australian Apple Newton (predecessor of the iPad) User Group.
- Help spearhead one of the first digital mobile TV devices (based on DVB-H).
- Launched one of the first Augmented Reality apps – a game called Mozzies (a first for Symbian OS) and a real time language translation (German<->English) solution prototype.
- Helped with the development of the first BlackBerry licensed twister QWERTY keypad phone (Siemens SK65) which won several design and innovation awards.
- Assisted with conceptualization of future technology & innovative showcases at trade shows like MWC, CeBIT, IFA, CES, CTIA, Ceatec, ShowStoppers e.g. first projector phone, pen phone, rollable, flexible (e-newspaper), wearable 3D displays, hybrid solar energy solutions.
- Strong contributor to the development of IoT and it’s ecosystem with smart home, transportation, cities and more so its manifestion via new-age devices such as Wearables.
- Advisor and co-founder of World Handset Forum series in Asia, Americas and Europe.
- Co-founded Cambridge Wireless HSIG (Handset Special Interest Group).
- Launching the world’s lowest cost mobile phone (People’s phone) including a variant for the blind.
- Launching the first blue laser micro-drive based Movie phone (with Vmedia).
- Brought on board at Ericsson a game changing offering (Novatium) based on a highly affordable personal cloud / grid / utility computing for the masses transforming a PC into an appliance.
- Conceptualize apps and holistic concepts in the Mobile Wellness convergence domain.
- Key advisory and help evangelise the world’s lowest cost indigenous mobile tablet (‘Aakash’) launched as a LCAD (Low Cost Access Device – project ‘Sakshat’) aimed essentially for education.
- Led a project (for Tata Elxsi) on designing (from inception) a game changing ‘tablet type’ device for emerging markets with several vertical domain adaptions from household to enterprise.
- Nurturing a low cost surface based HD multi-touch smart table with compelling applications and vertical use-cases across domains.
- Help spearhead the creation of a unique innovation thinking lab (iZone) that incorporated a world-first (EEG based neuro-feedback tool to measure & enhance ‘creativity’ with a 3D Idea Generator tool). He has been honoured with numerous innovation awards both on the personal front and for products he helped develop and bring to market (e.g. Sharp GX10 for most innovative handset by GSMA at MWC2003 in Cannes, Siemens SK65 with integrated BlackBerry/twister keyboard form-factor). He has extensive experience in the areas of Solution & Product Portfolio – Planning, Design, Strategy Development, Management and Technology – Strategy, Innovation, Vision, Marketing, New Business Development, Trends Management, VAS, Smartphone development, etc. His expertise & focus has primarily been around the mobile device / terminal value web and its growing ecosystem especially in the mobile data space. He has been focussing on mobile content, media and entertainment (multimedia) convergence along with new age gadgets / emerging devices – smartphones/tablets/
superphones/phablets/ wearables, Internet of Everything/Things (M2M), HNI (Human-Nature Interface) and seamless (/multi-modal) access as a part of the connected world. He has published several articles, has been a frequently invited speaker to a variety of international forums/conferences, judging global innovation competitions, spearheaded innovation showcases and featured on several prominent Television shows. Anuraj is an adjunct faculty member and lecturer at SP Jain School of Global Management, UTS (University of Technology, Sydney), NU (NIIT University) and a few other global educational institutes. He has been passionately nurturing a holistic set of ideas and concepts on “wireless meets wellness”. An example is a ‘spiritual’ mobile device (to help reduce stress & bring about holistic balance) with sensoric interaction that harnesses mind power incorporating Natural User interactions. His ideas gained widespread interest and he was also previliged to present to H. H. Dalai Lama. Anuraj is valued for his in-depth experience on the evolution of mobile devices, convergence, multimedia applications and infotainment services. His strengths lie in harnessing consumer insights and industry trends to develop robust product plans and business cases for new products and services. He has been integral to developing several new mobile device concepts ranging from kids, movie, sports/fitness, outdoor/ruggedized, fashion, wearable tech, ultra-low cost for BOP/MOP, music, gaming, golden ager phones to wellness devices. He believes in driving Innovation and ‘Simplexity’ (a term he coined over a decade and a half ago) to optimize the value proposition and enable clear end user benefits via quality solutions deploying strong use cases with relevant user scenarios. An area close to his heart is building foresight and nurturing future product and solution ideas/concepts e.g. 2020 where several new categories of devices and embedded M2M will prevail. He has been promoting innovation as a mindset (more so a ‘heartset’) along with the need for a well structured and systematic innovation management process and discipline. Core to this is an open innovation philosophy (integral to pre-strategy) where ecosystem collaboration (‘collabovation’) and co-creation/curation with relevant stakeholders will be key in getting rapid & positive impact. He is well known for sparking, dreaming/incepting and incubating new ideas. He strongly believes and involved in trend scouting, ethnographic research & experimentation using rapid prototyping methodology so we can ‘fail faster to succeed sooner’. He has extensive experience in applied end-to-end design thinking, transforming blue-sky research and strategy into near term tangible products and services. He is a strong promoter of ESP (Emotional Selling Propositions) in addition to USP and applying new-age 3D multimedia story-telling (incorporating AR/VR – MR or Mediated/Mixed/Merged Reality) as a key constituent to innovation marketing for deep empathy driven experiential solution design. He has spearheaded development of global innovation centres/hubs (polycentric innovation) for co-creation of novel solutions, building innovation strategy/roadmap with multiple stakeholders from R&D, Academia, Vendors, Customers, VCs, etc. devising new ecosystems and business models. He is passionate about developing frugal innovations for helping bridge the digital divide (transforming it into digital opportunities) and empower under-privileged communities using ICT. Anuraj has an honours degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering with specialization in Telecommunications from the University of New South Wales (Australia), a micro-eMBA from Oxford (UK) and also completed an executive leadership excellence program from ISB (India). On a personal front Anuraj is an avid traveller, enjoys being in nature, loves racquet sports & soothing music. Some key influencers he had the fortune of spending valuable moments include: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, H.H. Dalai Lama, Richard Banson, Nandan Nilekani, Martin Cooper, Ratan Tata, Swami Chinmayananda, Ray Kurzweil, Ela Gandhi (granddaughter of the great Mahatma), Guy Kawasaki, Sai Baba, Swami Chidananda Saraswati (Muniji).