Anil Kumar Gupta

Founder, the Honey Bee Network, Professor IIM-A

Anil Kumar Gupta is a scholar in the area of grassroots innovations. He is the founder of the Honey Bee Network and has been a Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Besides, he holds the Executive Vice Chair of the National Innovation Foundation. He is also a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. He was awarded the Padma Shri in the year 2004, for his contributions to management education.

His interests include ensuring recognition, respect, and reward for grassroots inventors and innovators at a local, national and global level and protection of their Intellectual Property rights. Amalgamation of formal and informal science, ethical issues in conservation and prosperity of biodiversity are some of his other research interests. Every summer and winter, in order to learn from grassroots teachers, he has been walking around 6000 km across India for over a week as part of Shodh Yatra for more than twelve years. In fact, Shodh Yatra, which is a second-year course, is one of the most popular courses taught in IIM Ahmedabad. Through the Honey Bee Network, he has demonstrated the pivotal role of innovative ideas and knowledge, possessed by economically poor people, in the sustainable progress of developing countries.

Gupta has been a professor in Centre for Management in Agriculture, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad since 1981. Various positions held by him in IIM-A include Chairperson of Research and Publications, Chairperson of Ravi J Matthai Centre for Educational Innovation and Kasturbhai Lalbhai Chair in Entrepreneurship. He is also the Co-ordinator of SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiative for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions). He was a speaker at TEDIndia in November 2009. Since 2011, he is an advisor on issues pertaining to innovation, environment, and sustainability to Fair Observer, an online magazine covering global issues.

Gupta wrote the book ‘Grassroots Innovation: Minds on the Margin are not Marginal Minds’ in 2016. Published by Penguin Books India, the book is a compilation of his empirical research, carried out through the Shodh Yatras, on ingenious solutions and innovations crafted by common individuals, targeting local problems faced by local communities.