Simple Solutions to Complex Problems

R K Dhanvada

He is passionate about empowering people and help them create a pull value.

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People with simple innovative ideas have been able to bring about huge changes in the lives of others around them. These unsung heroes are seldom talked about in the mainstream media. Here, the author defines intelligence, quoting Prof. Baba Prasad, and tells us how change is possible.


The very definition of intelligence has undergone a sea change in the last few decades.

  1.  For besotted parents and peer pressure children are the academic score.
  2.  For some to flaunt their latest Mobile or a SUV. Having a 6-wheel vehicle will not take them to reach destination faster. Unless one cannot hold an intelligent conversation, is the mobile model of any consequence?
  3.  For some a 6BHK penthouse or an independent 12-room villa is the parameters of success. Those houses will not be a ‘home’.

Meet Prof Baba Prasad of Wharton School. He presented an excellent Q/A session at Manthan, Hyderabad, defining intelligence. It was in a flavour that we all know about but seldom observe.

Intelligence is all about being adaptable to any circumstance and challenges. Be it in career shift or a new job. Be it financial distraught or moving to new town. It’s about sustaining the financial or legal stress or business cycles.

It’s a proven fact that those at the bottom of the pyramid have amazing intelligence as per the new definition. Middle class and upper class do not have that resilience, with exceptions in all section of the society

But being mere adaptive alone does not make a person an intelligent. It should have the component of agility. The speed to adapt is very critical to qualify as intelligent.

Prof Baba Prasad’s book Nimble is full of case studies from across the globe that how intelligence with adaptability and agility are able to sustain any challenge in moments of turmoil.

He went on to elaborative there are different flavours of intelligence, namely Communicative Intelligence, Analytical Intelligence, Innovative intelligence and Operational Intelligence. Most of us have these in different shades.

But what was conspicuously missing was the Visionary Intelligence. When the case study of Dabbawaala in Mumbai came, they just wanted to give the experience of homemade food in office. Yes business is to reap the profit. It was there but that was the secondary purpose. The same with Apple giving the joys of design experience or Bill Gates in his book The Road Ahead wanted to touch every human being on earth. That he did from DOS to Windows. So also Tesla doing with zero fuel sport cars or Mark Zuckerberg with his wants to deliver the free broadband across the globe through his solar powered aircraft to beam down 80 Mbps to mobiles anywhere on earth. Japanese Mitsubishi is doing the satellite based free energy from solar source for free, across the globe. Right to Energy and Right to Broadband are the vision to become part of the UN resolution perhaps.

There are many unsung heroes with visionary intelligence that the mainstream media does not talk about. These are the Different Truths that inspire us. They provide the role models that we look up to.

  1. Syed Nadeemuddin is a Hyderabad-based sports and health consultant. Coming from a small town of      Tirupati, he went on to play for the Indian Hockey Team. He later became the fitness trainer for Tata  employees. Focusing on top and senior management health care with personalised attention. Then he  moved to the Apollo Hospital Group. Now, he is an independent consultant and his company has a  simple agenda:

i. Reduce the medical and hospital bills by 50 per cent

ii. Increase company profits proactively with preventive medical care

His case study and experience is about the amazing simple things that many of us know or something that  our mother would have said. But Nadeem gets into the discipline mode to capture the data first and  monitor to see that analytics are there for proper intervention.

  1. Rishi Raj Singh is an ex-Navy Commander, who joined Google Hyderabad to now having homemade  steaming food delivered across Hyderabad, Bangalore and Noida/Gurgaon. He is empowering some 300  housewives with excellent culinary skills from different parts of the country. All of them work from  home. All the team of ‘Kitchen India’ does is delivery and payment logistics. He has made complex things simple. It is not some menu based restaurant like. All the home chefs display their ready-to-serve skills. The site opens at 10 am for booking. Stock status is online. Delivered in 60 minutes. Payment is online. Prices are so competitive that no food outlet can offer it. The variety is huge. It’s a sheer wish list of range! He has also empowered the customer to criticise the chefs to help them improve. The deserving ones are complimented.

Many more case studies of the ‘intelligent’ people, unsung heroes, will follow. They are the faces in the crowd. We seldom pause to appreciate the huge impact that each of them made doing simple things. Watch this space.