IndiaGBnews profiles: Dr Dishant Mahendru, of Honeycomb Global Ltd, a highly specialised high-tech manufacturing cluster development firm, based in Cambridge, UK
What are your main responsibilities? I oversee Honeycomb Global’s sales and marketing operations. Along with expanding our business in India for both public and private sectors, I am also involved with developing our thought leadership for stakeholders and enthusiasts in technology manufacturing and innovation clusters.
What are your company’s Unique Selling Points (USPs) in India? Firstly, our access to Cambridge and Manchester university networks put us at the forefront of technological and commercial innovation. We interact daily with top researchers and experts from within our global knowledge network and know what works in the marketplace to enable the pioneering of best practice to maximise the long-term sustainability of our clusters. We don’t just have this world-class scientific expertise at our disposal, we integrate it with extensive real-life experience of business strategy.
Secondly, we stand apart from the competition by focusing on implementation. Our strategies are not hypothetical as they are the starting point for real progress. Industry is built from the ground up. By bringing top-end innovation to emerging nations’ established industry, we allow everyone to benefit from the infrastructure of the cluster. Bringing local SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises) into the fold lets them develop and thrive, raising the overall skill level of the region and driving social development. A better educated and skilled workforce drives a more mobile society, an aspect which is critical to emerging nations.
What achievement are you most proud of? In the present chapter of my life, I would have to say the current stages which both Honeycomb Global and Cambridge Innovation Consulting have reached since co-founding them during the first years of my PhD.
What would you still like to achieve (in life, leisure or business)? In respects to my personal life, I would like to travel to all 196 countries around the world and then retire to set up various charitable foundations aimed at treatment of stray animals, technology innovation for global problems and free education for those who don’t have access, or aren’t able to afford it.
With regard to my professional career, I would like to achieve the complete bridging between academia to industry. To allow the fast and effective knowledge transfer between the smartest minds in the world to those driving technology innovation and industry. Before retirement, I would also want to publish a book on identifying and developing niche business opportunities through a focused sales and marketing strategy.
What do you think makes India an attractive destination to do business? India is considered to be a creative and entrepreneurial nation with a desire to accelerate economic growth. In addition, central and regional governments are expanding industrial operations into a variety of diverse sectors such as automotive, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, electronics systems and renewable energy. In order to attract exceptional FDI, ironclad policies have been developed to provide subsidies for companies who wish to invest into India.
What sectors do you think will thrive in India and the UK in the coming years and why? In the coming years both India and the UK will thrive in certain sectors of manufacturing. UK will aim to become a global leader in specialised high-precision manufacturing services using disruptive technologies such as robotics, 3D printing, and additive manufacturing.
One of India’s main objectives is to become a world-class leader in the global electronics industry. As the Indian consumer electronics demand continues to increase, it is expected to grow to US $400 billion by 2020. This creates opportunities for ESDM companies to cater for the exponential Indian demand and prepare facilitation for exporting at a global level.
What is the best business advice you have ever received? Start simple with your core strength. Aim big.
Favourite destinations in India and why? Favourite destinations in the UK and why? My favourite destinations in India are Kashmir (for the snow, mountainous views and boat rides) and Goa (for the sandy beaches, green forests and fresh seafood).
My favourite destinations in the UK are York (for the gothic architecture, cobblestone streets, and hog roasts) and Peak District (for the breathtaking views, crisp fresh air, and hiking experience).
Favourite restaurant in India and UK? In the end, I don’t have a favourite restaurant. I prefer street food markets which provide me with international variety. London’s Leather Lane and Camden Lock Markets have some of my favourite street food stalls.
When it comes to India, my favourite market would be Bengali Market in Delhi. It provides the best Masala Dosa and Paneer Tikka.
Describe your character in five words? Persistent, optimistic, empathetic, inventive, adaptable.
What are your hobbies? Reading about science, technology, politics and cultures; basketball; architecture; photography; drawing and films.
What five items would you take to a desert island? Swiss Army Knife, hammock with a tarpaulin rain cover, flint fire-starter, “Cooking for Geeks” book, LifeStraw water filter
What public figures do you most admire and why? Malala Yousafzai – the youngest-ever Nobel Laureate, human rights activist for female education, survivor of a Taliban attempt. She shows that intimidation can successfully be conquered with education and peace. Her achievements in the past 18 years of her life are truly inspirational and is one of the reasons to why I call myself a feminist. As she said: “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”
Bill Gates – In both entrepreneurship and philanthropy, Bill Gates represents an individual who never gave up on his dreams no matter what risky obstacles lay ahead. The creation of Microsoft and charitable efforts of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation speak for themselves when it comes to using technology research and innovation to improve and evolve our way of life. As he said: “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”