• A modular kitchen from the Tata stable in future?

    You have ‘Tata’ in your salt, tea and pulses. Chances are that you may even end up cooking the ingredients in a ‘Tata’ kitchen.

    The Tata Group has developed a distinct modular kitchen with features like ultrasonic cleaner and vegetable cooler at an extremely competitive price as the 148-year-old conglomerate places innovation at the heart of its strategy to explore new areas.

    Though Group company Titan has designed the kitchen studio, the commercialization of the product, if ever, will be handled by another Tata entity as the former is mainly into lifestyle-related accessories.

    The innovation in modular kitchen complements the group’s another company, Tata Housing, which has begun betting on affordable residential complexes. The modular kitchen market is largely unorganized with Godrej & Boyce leading the Rs 1,100 crore organized space.

    Titan, which has been a master in designing for many years and also credited with making the slimmest watch in the world, is behind the modular kitchen that has been created keeping in mind the uniqueness of Indian cooking process. However, “we have to see where to place this innovation,” said Dr Gopichand Katragadda, group chief technology officer (CTO), Tata Sons, the conglomerate’s holding company.

    Katragadda, who joined in as Tata Sons’ first CTO in 2014, came in with a clear mandate of making the group among the top 10 innovative companies in the world. He introduced a consortium model where group companies work in synergy to create breakthrough innovations with a focus on energy; food and wellness; digital consumer products and services; and digital factory and fleets. Among the other innovations that the group has come up with includes wearable fitness device that monitors health.

    The group spent 2.7% of its turnover, amounting to Rs 17,896 crore ($2.9 billion), in research and development in fiscal 2015. In comparison, Katragadda said companies globally spend about 4% of their revenues on research. During the year under review, it filed over 2,000 published patents, 50% more than what it had filed in 2014. The innovations have resulted in the group saving and creating additional revenues of $1 billion. The group got its cue on importance of innovation 15 years ago when it ventured foreign shores. Drew Brees Jersey

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