December 03, 2018

Tata Steel joins the CII-led collegium of futuristic business houses to pledge support to the start-up ecosystem

The steel giant collaborates with start-ups to push the frontiers of innovation and technology

New Delhi: Tata Steel joins the CII-led collegium of futuristic business houses to pledge support to the start-up ecosystem. The steel giant is among the 10 corporate houses who have supported the CII initiative to connect start-ups with corporate houses. As part of this unique effort, Tata Steel joined the CII Startupreneur Awards 2018 to award India’s top start-ups at an event held in New Delhi today. Tata Steel awarded the ‘Top Start-up in Manufacturing 2018’ honour to Innocule Materials and Additives. Innocule is a research-driven manufacturing start-up that aims to solve challenges faced by mineral industries by developing novel chemicals.

Tata Steel representatives awarding 'Top Start-up in Manufacturing 2018' honour to Innocule Materials and Additives team at the CII Startupreneur Awards 2018

Debashish Choudhury, chief, corporate strategy and planning, Tata Steel, was involved in the pre-selection of the award applications, and Jayanta Banerjee, chief information officer, Tata Steel, was part of the grand jury of CII Startupreneur Awards 2018.

Tata Steel has a strong track record of continuous improvement and innovation through its long illustrious history. To maintain and further enhance its competitive advantage in the rapidly evolving and intensely competitive environment, there is a need to co-innovate with bright young minds and talent outside the organisation. The collaboration and engagement with the start-ups will help in solving problems related to various aspects of the value chain, consumer insight based innovation, steel and raw materials technology innovations, digital innovation and industry 4.0.

Worldwide, start-ups are consistently becoming more competitive and innovative, and they are simultaneously challenging the existing business rules and practices. In this constantly-changing technology-driven world, the innovation and new knowledge created by start-ups are becoming indispensable for large organisations to keep their business competitive. Although this shift in focus and priority for corporates in India to invest in start-ups as a strategy to counter the uncertain future has been largely absent.

Speaking on the subject, TV Narendran, CEO and MD, Tata Steel, said, “The business ecosystem is changing at a very fast pace. We need to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship among today’s youngsters and encourage new businesses and start-ups, especially those that are focused on innovation and cutting-edge technology. This will go a long way in creation of wealth and generation of employment in the country. Tata Steel is happy to engage with and support start-ups that are relevant to its value chain.  As we work towards making a better tomorrow, we need to co-create it with the pioneers of today.”

Start-ups need help from multiple entities like incubators, investors, mentors and market-access facilitators to establish, run and grow the business. In India, due to the absence of an empowering ecosystem, start-ups often perish. While the government has taken a slew of measures to support the growth of the start-up ecosystem, there is a need for corporate houses to join the movement and help scale it to the level all envisage. 

To trigger the startup-corporate connect movement and to make Indian companies think more proactively in this direction, CII is advocating a collegium of futuristic business houses, where its members will pledge to support start-ups in similar business lines or otherwise, and offer support on mentoring, arranging capital, buying back products / service, etc to help these start-ups grow. This will not only increase the chances of success of the start-ups multi-fold and generate more employment opportunities, but will also create a robust culture of corporate-sponsored start-ups, leading to creation of new ideas and innovations which are at each other’s disposal.