In post-pandemic world, tech talent will run businesses: Chandrasekaran

2,620 degrees awarded at the convocation of IIT Madras

July 14, 2022 12:11 am | Updated 12:11 am IST - CHENNAI

N.  Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, delivering the convocation address at the IIT Madras on Wednesday.

N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, delivering the convocation address at the IIT Madras on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: M. KARUNAKARAN

The coming decades will require businesses to adopt new technology to function. Businesses will have to invest in tech talent and adopt and lead with artificial intelligence and data, according to N. Chandrasekaran, chairman, Tata Sons.

“Businesses, in future, have to lead with data, AI, deep tech, whatever the company, whatever the sector. No domain industry can be by itself. It has to lead with digital support,” he said in his convocation address at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras on Wednesday. Prime among the five trends he foresaw in the coming decades would be the exciting role for the graduands in driving transformation across sectors.

The COVID-19 pandemic had propelled much of the transformation. The world developed a variety of vaccines in a year and vaccinated its population despite disparities in economy and geopolitical crises. The graduands had the advantage of an ecosystem for conducting research. Their inexperience and youth gave them an opportunity to take risks, he added.

Pawan Goenka, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Institute, who presided over the convocation, said the start-ups incubated at the Institute tended to be in deep tech areas. The Institute had incubated some outstanding start-ups in the Indian space sector, like Agnikul that is working on a first-of-its-kind launch vehicle Agnibaan. The status of Institute of Eminence had given it an impetus to conduct research.

Director V. Kamakoti, who read the annual report, said that in 2021-22, the Institute received sanction for 186 ministry- sponsored projects worth ₹611.46 crore, 70% more than the previous year. Consultancy and industry-sponsored research projects received ₹279.61 crore. The incubation cell had a cumulative portfolio of 260 deep tech start-ups, and the Institute-incubated companies were together valued at ₹30,000 crore.

“Despite the pandemic, 106 start-ups are in the market, having generated a revenue of ₹6.50 crore in the financial year 2021-22 and created over 7,000 direct jobs,” he added.

A total of 2,620 degrees, including joint and dual degrees, were awarded to 2,084 students at the 59th convocation. Among them were 306 Ph.D awardees, including 19 who received joint degrees from the universities in Australia, Singapore, France and Germany.

The Institute held the convocation in physical mode after two years. On the occasion, the 60,000th degree since the inception of the Institute was also presented.

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