Tata companies look at innovation as a strategic approach to growth and leadership. The Tata group has adopted a three-pronged strategy to encourage and enhance innovation across business sectors, companies and regions.
The three key drivers are better communication and recognition of innovative ideas and efforts; facilities and initiatives that enable learning from other companies; and support for collaborative research and partnerships with academia.
Over the last few years, the group has established a number of initiatives that encourage, enable and empower innovative measures within Tata companies.
- Tata Group Innovation Forum (TGIF): This initiative brings together a community of senior ‘innovation enthusiasts’ from across Tata companies. The role of TGIF is to plan and roll out group-level initiatives, which help Tata companies establish a culture of innovation.
- Innovation workshops: Tata Quality Management Services (TQMS) invites experts to talk about various aspects of innovation and share best practices with Tata managers. Clayton Christensen, Prof Henry Chesbrough of the University of California, Berkeley, Dr James Canton, Prof Julian Birkinshaw of the London Business School, Langdon Morris, and David Wittenberg are among those who have held such workshops in the recent past. TQMS and Tata Management Training Centre (TMTC) regularly organise workshops and programmes on building an innovation culture and innovation metrics and tools.
- Tata Innovista: Instituted to encourage creative thinking, this annual event and contest recognises and awards innovation among group companies.
- Tata Innovation Mission: Under this programme, senior Tata executives visit companies across the world to study how they foster innovation. These missions have visited companies such as Microsoft, Intel, HP and 3M in the US; Nissan, Fuji, Ito En, Olympus, Toshiba and Hitachi in Japan; and Netafim, Teva and IDE Technologies in Israel. Tata executives also visited the University of Cambridge in the UK to understand their eco-system for innovation.
- Collaboration for innovation: The group has set up several platforms for collaboration on technology and innovation both within the Tata ecosystem and with external organisations such as DuPont.
Research orientation and partnerships with academia
The Tata group invests in building outstanding research facilities and forging partnerships with academic and research organisations in order to encourage creative thinking and find innovative solutions that improve our quality of life.