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Tata Communications investing $17.5 million in market changing ideas

New Delhi: Tata Communications, part of the over $100 billion Tata Group, already runs a programme - Moonwalks - to concentrate on exploring new industries and subjects.Threatened by startups and new-age companies, Tata Communications plans
PTI November 17, 2014 12:58 IST
PTI

New Delhi: Tata Communications, part of the over $100 billion Tata Group, already runs a programme - Moonwalks - to concentrate on exploring new industries and subjects.

Threatened by startups and new-age companies, Tata Communications plans to spend as much as $17.5 million (about Rs. 108 crores) over the next two years on funding 10 ideas that have the potential to turn into multi-million businesses.

The firm, part of the over $100 billion (roughly Rs. 6,16,188 crores) Tata Group, already runs a programme - Moonwalks - to concentrate on exploring new industries and subjects.

"We are constantly being threatened by new ways of communication from startups and new generation companies. We believe the process of innovation begins with curiosity and a desire to learn," Tata Communications MD and CEO Vinod Kumar said in an interview in the Tata Group's in-house magazine.

The idea is to get people comfortable with something they know nothing about, he added.

"We invite our people to submit ideas that have the potential to become a $200 millionĀ  (roughly Rs. 1,232 crores) business within 10 years and touch billions of people," Kumar said.

The best ideas are selected and then coached to implement these ideas, he added.

"My goal is to have 10 different incubations going on within two years. We have $10 million (roughly Rs. 61 crores) of Capex and $7.5 million (roughly Rs. 46 crores) earmarked for the programme," he said.

Started early this year, Moonwalk is experimenting with ideas like artificial intelligence and machine learning, 3D printing and manufacturing, intelligent networks, alternative energy sources and healthcare.

Tata Communications' portfolio includes transmission, IP, converged voice, mobility, managed network connectivity, hosted data centre, communications solutions and business transformation services.