By: Tuck School of Business Communications Posted: Sep 3rd, 2013

In his recent blog with coauthor, Srikanth Srinivas, Tuck School of Business Professor Vijay Govindarajan (VG) tells the tale of an unexpected innovator.   Shantha Ragunathan is from a remote village in Tamil Nadu, India.  Shantha, who has no formal education, found herself in a situation where she had to take the lead in earning her family’s income and supporting her two children.  VG and Srikanth describe how Shantha possessed the innovation mindset to change her situation, leading to a dramatically brighter future for her and her family.

While others in Shantha’s village thought the risk of microfinancing was too high, Shantha saw the opportunity and grabbed it. She started with just one cow, which provided milk as a source of income. Her business quickly expanded into sheep, goats and small corner stores. Over a 14-year period, Shantha converted that tiny microfinance loan into wealth and opportunity, including a home and college-level education for her children.

Shantha’s story is enormously inspiring and reminds us how we too can change the game by adopting the innovation mindset – whatever our challenge might be. 

Understanding the key concepts of innovation—and how to execute as a leader – is a necessary skill for many executives today.  VG and Marshall Goldsmith will lead the 2-day Tuck Strategic Innovation & Leadership program in Mumbai, India. The program will provide Indian leaders with a deeper understanding of how an innovation mindset can transform individuals and organizations.  , and even be the antidote for poverty of a nation.

Both Marshall Goldsmith and VG are Thinkers50 award winners


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Photos by Paula Sparks

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