Ep 1: More With Less Podcast – Intro and Season 1 expectations
In this episode, Venkata and Jaideep discuss what listeners should expect as the podcast goes live. They both go into detail to discuss the why behind the podcast, the guest list, topics, business sectors, and regions that would be covered. They also give a sneak peek at a list of guests that will be interviewed on Season 1 of this podcast series.
Key moments timestamps
[1:00]–The global economy and what significant challenges we will be facing in the next few decades
[2:02]- Businesses and their role in dealing with these challenges
[3:27]- The “why” behind the podcast
[5:13]- Business areas and regions the podcast will be focusing on
[7:38]- Social Impact and its role in sustainability
[8:37]- Sneak peek at our guest list for the season
[9:45]- Various platforms where the podcast will be available
The whole sustainability issue as I see it, obviously, I believe it’s not just about environmental sustainability. There is a social angle, there’s social impact, and an environmental impact. – Jaideep Prabhu
There are so many stories that need to be told from those places as well, particular sectors. we’ve been listening about how these oil companies such as Exxon, Shell with their shareholders and the board members being more activistic pushing their executive management teams to diversify into renewable energy. – Venkata Gandikota
As a business school, Professor, I tend to focus on the role of companies and there are, of course the large companies and also startups but I think a really good place to start is to look at the world’s largest companies because, in a sense, they’re the ones who account for most of the economic activity. – Jaideep Prabhu
[00:00:00] Intro: Welcome to More with Less, the podcast that looks at how businesses balance financial growth with sustainability. I am Venkata Gandikota and I’m Jaideep Prabhu.
[00:00:25] Venkata Gandikota: Hello. All I’m Venkata Gandikota.
[00:00:28] Jaideep Prabhu: Hi, I’m Jaideep Prabhu. Welcome to this podcast entitled more with less. This is our pre-launch podcast episode.
[00:00:37] Venkata Gandikota: Let’s start with this Jaideep. Within this past year, we have had the IPCC report that came out talking about climate change. And then we have also had the United Nations sustainable development goals for 2030 has been part of the conversation. But we also see, there is a lot of uncertainty in the world with high inflation, the talk of global recession et cetera. In this context, can you talk about the global economy and what significant challenges we’ll be facing in the next few decades?
[00:01:06] Jaideep Prabhu: Yeah, absolutely. We are facing unprecedented challenges. And if you think about the global economy I think, if you step back, there is a very big challenge which is essentially on the one hand, how do we meet the needs of 7 billion people on the planet growing to about 9 billion by 2050?
Many of these people are in emerging economies and don’t have access to some of the basic kinds of needs and necessities. So how do we meet those needs, sustain life for 9 billion people, but equally do it in an environmentally sustainable way, given that we simply don’t have the resources to meet those needs in the way that we used to meet those needs in the past.
[00:01:48] Venkata Gandikota: So those are great points. What I also think is the need for multiple sets of actors, like corporations, startups, and other type of new ventures to step up. And then on the other hand, there are also consumers. Can you talk a bit about these actors and their role in the process?
[00:02:04] Jaideep Prabhu: Yeah. So clearly a lot of different people are involved, many different organizations or types of organizations as well. Clearly of course, governments have a role. Consumers have a role. But as a business school professor, I tend to focus on the role of companies and there, of course, you look at the large companies and startups and smaller ones, but I think a really good place to start is the world’s largest companies.
Cause in a sense, they’re the ones who account for most of the economic activity, but they’re also responsible for most of the emissions. The use of energy use of scarce resources. So to me it’s very interesting to see how large companies, many of which are listed and face, really rigorous, short term pressures from investors to get a return and so on, but also need to think long term because they want to be around in 5, 10, 20 years, they want to be successful and thrive.
So it’s really interesting to me to look at large companies even though of course, startups and others also have a role.
[00:03:02] Venkata Gandikota: And I guess that’s what the first season of our podcast is going to be. It is the role of large global corporations and how they’re balancing social and environmental impact onto their current sustainability roles. So those are good points.
[00:03:17] Jaideep Prabhu: And actually Venkata, I wanted to ask you, because this was your idea initially. Why did you want to do a podcast? And why a podcast on this particular topic?
[00:03:27] Venkata Gandikota: Yeah. So this has been in my brain for a while, as I have been a proponent of frugal innovation, but with an emphasis on sustainability, social impact and impact investing over the last 10 years through our organization InnoFrugal, one of the things we have conversations, especially at our annual conferences is the link to sustainability. Outside of communicating at our annual conference, I realized more and more people are listening to podcasts. So I thought like, why not use this medium to explore more? For example, take the IPCC report. And then, all the climate conferences that were held within the last six to eight months with world leaders gathering, and then, with the warnings about exceeding the 2.5 degrees Celsius for global warming. if we are able to reach this UN sustainable development goals by 2030 or not. And in this context, what are companies doing at this moment and what should governments be doing? So these were the thoughts that were in my mind. And what type of regulations and incentives do these organizations need to foster collaboration between businesses and governments and how does one increase competition as, and when needed. So I was thinking like, how is this scene from a developed world perspective, but also from a developing world and emerging markets perspective and how one approaches these things is something I thought our podcast should explore and the person I thought that I should do with was you Jaideep and so I reached out to you and then here we are.
[00:04:56] Jaideep Prabhu: Yeah. So that’s been wonderful. I’m so delighted that you had this idea and that you wanted to do it with me. What about the sectors that we think we should focus on? Do you think there are any particular regions, any particular industries that we should be looking at?
[00:05:12] Venkata Gandikota: I’ll come to the regions. Initially, when I thought about it, the immediate thought that came to my mind was the Nordics and you are located in the UK, I’m here in Finland, but so we thought like a European focus, but we also probably can look at something from a American perspective.
And then there is also maybe not in the first season, but maybe in the follow up episodes and seasons we could also think about India, the African continent, the south American continent, and so on. There are so many stories that need to be told. From those places as well. Particular sectors, we talked a bit about this. There are so many sectors that are out there, and I think I will put this back to you later on. But maybe something like, I would say energy, education, et cetera.
[00:05:57] Jaideep Prabhu: Yeah, certainly energy. That’s an obvious sector, but I’m sure there are many other sectors we can think of that where sustainability is important. Health education, consumer goods. I think looking at big companies that are reliant on non-renewables and fossil fuel based solutions I think those are going to be interesting to see how they transition their roles.
[00:06:18] Venkata Gandikota: Exactly. That’s right. And then, we’ve been listening for about how these oil companies such as Exxon and I think yeah the one based in Netherlands, what was it? I forgot. Shell. Exactly. Yeah. Shell and, they’re shareholders and their board members. They’re being more activist in a sense nudging their executive management teams to more renewable related aspects.
So this is quite interesting for me. And, but like you said, there’s other things like healthcare and there’s also, big things like education, which is like primary. I think it’s almost like a human right. And then there are also issues around consumer goods, not to forget, the digital mega companies, such as the Googles and the Facebooks and the Amazons of the world.
So there on, on one hand we have them, but this reminds me also the role of the telecom companies and infrastructure companies, and the complex interactions amongst them and how the lead us potentially towards a more sustainable future.
So, one thing I also noticed often, sustainability means different things to different people. So, for some it’s all about environment, but for others, it has links to their livelihoods. What do you think, Jaideep, for example, social impact, what does it mean to you? And what focus will we have about this aspect in our podcast?
[00:07:36] Jaideep Prabhu: Yeah, great point Venkata. The whole sustainability issue as I see it, obviously I believe it’s not just environmental sustainability. There is a social angle there’s social impact and an environmental impact. They go hand in hand. And especially when people think of environmental impact, we can ask ourselves what’s the environment for? We are worrying about climate change, maybe more because it’s for human wellbeing.
So, sustainability and social impact are interrelated. And it would be great if you were able to focus on both those things and explore, from our interviews, from talking to executives and potential pioneers from large companies, both these aspects of environmental and social sustainability.
[00:08:18] Venkata Gandikota: Yeah I completely agree. And we have an amazing lineup of guest interviews coming up in future episodes. And I’m so excited to share things about them. But Jaideep, do you want to give a sneak peek to our listeners of whom they will hear from, and what they will get out of these podcast episodes?
[00:08:35] Jaideep Prabhu: yeah, absolutely Venkata. I don’t want to give away all the details. I want to keep some of it a surprise but let’s say we, we do indeed have a great lineup of speakers. These are people with long experience in the sustainability space. These are senior people in large companies across sectors.
We have people from telecoms. From oil and refining businesses, airlines, food companies, retail companies, fast moving consumer goods, finance and banks, clothing. So we cover a large number of sectors from across geographies. We have people from Europe from North America. We have people who operate also in emerging economies. And we also have a thought leader and author who was written extensively on these topics joining us in the episodes to come.
[00:09:28] Venkata Gandikota: Great. So, a few questions about the platform, or maybe I should say platforms that this podcast will be available on. And can you talk about that? And then when it’s likely to be available and how many episodes and how many seasons, what are your thoughts about that?
[00:09:44] Jaideep Prabhu: Yeah. So it’s a pretty long list that we want to focus on. In the first season as we are calling it, we are focusing on large corporations. In the second season, we’ll probably focus a bit more on startups, impact financing, et cetera. And we want to put these episodes out starting sometime soon.
We’ll be using the Spotify platform, the apple podcast platform. We’ll also push this also onto other major podcast platforms out there so that as many people can access the podcast as possible.
[00:10:16] Venkata Gandikota: So that’s great. And it’s when we are launching the first season we have 10 episodes in which we talk to people who are in senior positions, linked to sustainability and impact in large companies. So we look forward to all of you joining us on this podcast and until then, goodbye.
[00:10:35] Jaideep Prabhu: Thanks Venkata. Our More with Less podcast is available on major social media, such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. Other episodes will be put on YouTube later on. We are open to hearing your feedback and suggestions on making the show worthy of your listening experience. And with that, I would also say goodbye for now. And we look forward to sharing season one with all of you.
Thanks for listening to our More with Less podcast, you can follow us also on social media. Our Twitter handle is morewithlesspod and our handles on Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube are morewithlesspodcast.
Venkata Gandikota is frugal innovation and impact investing evangelist and Prof Jaideep Prabhu is a Professor of Marketing at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School and co-author of an award-winning book on frugal innovation.
If you have questions or feedback on this episode or our series, reach out to us