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Tata group embedding digital, AI and sustainability into biz, says Chandra

Focus on health and wellness, talent and supply chain rebalancing among key trends for the future....

Tata group | Tata chairman N Chandrasekaran

Viveat Susan Pinto  |  Mumbai 

N Chandrasekaran, Tata Chairman

The $103-billion Tata group, among the country's oldest conglomerates, is undergoing a massive transformation exercise as it gets future-ready, Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran said on Wednesday, while addressing a virtual summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Tata Sons is the holding company of the .

The transformation exercise, Chandrasekaran said included embedding digital, data, artificial intelligence (AI) and sustainability into the group's various businesses, as it sought to tap new opportunities emerging in the post-Covid world. The has a presence across categories from salt to software, steel and cars.

The 59-year-old Tata executive, who is an avid marathoner, pointed to the focus on health and wellness, talent and supply chain rebalancing among key trends for the future.

The has identified four key areas including digital, new energy, supply chain resilience and health, where it would like to focus its attention in the coming years.

Chandrasekaran said that the group's new initiatives including being a 5G network solutions provider to India and the world as well as its recently-launched super app TataNeu, and Tata Electronics, which is its foray into precision engineering, were recent steps it had taken in this direction.

"In the last two years, internet has penetrated the daily lives of everyone. At the same time advances in AI, cloud, and data technology are separating top from the rest," he said, adding that no industry would be able to escape this trend.

"This is a huge opportunity for India because of its inherent tech strength. We are well placed to reimagine the future to be data and AI-compliant," he said.

Chandrasekaran also noted that emerging geo-political situations such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict was fundamentally "rebalancing" global supply chains and that India could fill this void. He also said that around 70 per cent of the world's growth would come from emerging economies in the next decade.

"Supply chains have to be designed for resiliency and not just for efficiency. India can play an important role to fill the void that is being created in the global supply chain by taking a leadership position."

Chandrasekaran also said that the pressure on mitigating the impact of climate change would increase and businesses would have to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, green hydrogen, storage batteries and water efficiency to be future-ready.

"On one side, pressure on climate transition will only increase. New tech, and a unique startup ecosystem will be needed to deal with the emerging need for sustainability. India should participate in this new ecosystem and play a pivotal role in leveraging green technologies," he said.

He also emphasised that businesses would need to move away from traditional models when hiring top talent and that skills would become more relevant than formal education in the future.

"It is good to look at the market, competition and opportunities, but fundamentally what you do will depend on your context," he said when speaking about the influence of marathon running on his life.

"In marathon running, you know you have got to be fit, if you want to perform. Similarly, even in business, your balance sheet is critical if you want to have a better P&L,” he said.

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First Published: Wed, May 11 2022. 19:53 IST