Tata group, which commands a portfolio of over 7,000 patents, is looking at internal collaboration on joint projects as the $103-billion conglomerate bets on innovation and technology as “growth differentiators”, Chairman Cyrus Mistry said Tuesday.
The group has also invested in incubating three companies — Tata CLiQ, Tata iQ and Tata Digital Health — to cash in on the opportunities in areas like e-retail, healthcare and data analytics, Mistry said in an in-house interview on the company’s website.
“The world has moved away from large industrial innovation labs to more distributed innovation at multiple locations…We may in the future also look at bringing together in a physical space some of our group companies to work on joint projects,” he said.
“Across group companies, we recently crossed the milestone of 7,000 patent applications, and the number of patents secured each year by the top five Tata companies has tripled in the last three years. I think we have done a significant amount of work through Tata Innovista, the collaborative platform created by the group to promote innovation,” he said.
He added that harnessing innovation and technology as differentiators will drive growth.
“The best companies future-proof their strategies by exploiting industry trends, and stress-test these strategies for sudden environmental changes,” he said.
The group has invested Rs 4,15,000 crore (USD 79 billion) in capex, including areas like technology and research over the last decade. Investment over the last three years alone has been in excess of Rs 1,70,000 crore (USD 28 billion).
Mistry said the group has incubated three companies in the digital space at this point in time.
“Tata CLiQ, our e-commerce platform, is an omni-channel marketplace with curated products that deliver value to our customers. It is quite a unique positioning we have chosen. We also have Tata iQ, our big data play, which effectively uses data analytics to connect the dots with respect to our many consumers so as to ensure we have a more holistic picture of their needs,” he said.
Mistry added that with Tata Digital Health, the group is creating a platform where it is experimenting with different business models to build the de facto platform for healthcare in India.
“I am delighted to see many Tata companies adopt different elements of digital in their operations, and our people using digital in the consumer and marketing side of their businesses. While we have had early successes within our companies, the more important aspect is that they are learning to use digital in a manner that brings value to customers,” he added.