Tata Sons chief N Chandrasekaran, in his virtual address at the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) session on future businesses on May 11, listed the focus on artificial intelligence and supply chain rebalancing among "five megatrends" for the period to come.
Remaining sustainable, shifting attention towards health and wellness-related value propositions, and accessing talent from across the globe were among the other megatrends which Chandrasekaran listed at the Being Future Ready: CII session.
#1: Digital adoption
According to Chandrasekaran, digital adoption, including the use of advanced technology in data science and artificial intelligence, is of utmost importance for all businesses.
"This development is a huge opportunity for India. We can imagine every industry, every business to be a data business and a business that will really help us fix the structural problems we have seen in this country. This is not just about preparing for the domestic industry but also about playing a big role globally in every industry," he said.
"In the last two years, Internet has penetrated the daily lives of everyone and at the same time advances in AI, cloud, and data technology are separating top companies from the rest," Chandrasekaran added, noting that all companies have to be data and AI-driven. "No industry can escape this trend."
"Robots and bots will play a significant role. At the Tata Group, we are in a massive transformation to become future-ready. We are tightly integrating or embedding digital data, AI and sustainability as the core of the business building strategy, and most importantly, in the business model itself," he further said.
#2: Supply chain rebalancing
The emerging geopolitical situation is "fundamentally rebalancing" the global supply chains, Chandrasekaran said, adding that around 70 percent of the world's growth will come from emerging economies in the coming decade.
"We have faced supply-chain issues arising due to the geopolitical situation and the pandemic. Supply chains have to be designed for resiliency not only for efficiency but from an Indian perspective. There is a global perspective for us. India has the important role to fulfill the void that is being created in the global supply by taking a leadership position."
Chandrasekaran, while stressing India's role on this front, claimed that inflation in the country is "going to be lower" than in the West. "This is a unique situation," he quipped.
Listing sustainability as the third major megatrend, the Tata Sons chief claimed that new-age startups would find a major role in addressing the climate-related challenges.
"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. I think there is a tremendous business," he said.
Chandrasekaran categorically mentioned health as an area that would warrant significantly higher attention as the world moves into the future. "Health and wellness-related-value propositions will assume more importance," he said.
The fifth trend where businesses need to apply their minds will be "global talent", Chandrasekaran stressed.
"There are a lot of challenges in attracting talent and the models have to shift away from the traditional models. There will be new technology platforms attracting talent and some of the talents will flow. The concept is to have the ability to access talent 24/7 from any part of the world."Skills will become far more important than expensive formal education, he added, further claiming that the old talent architecture will change not only in the services industry but across all industries.