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Case Study

Tata Communications

Finding the next big idea in technology

Highlights

  • Tata Communications, a technology business thatwith the world’s largest wholly owned submarine fibre network – provides 66% of Fortune 500 companies with telecoms solutions
  • Finding the next big idea in technology harnessing the company’s connectivity expertise
  • Week-long immersion program that drew more than 25 Tata Communications executives and employees from all over the world, including Paris, London, Hong Kong and India
  • Immediate impact: Speed, opened eyes and doors, new mindset and skills

Background

Tata Communications, the flagship telecoms arm of the $108.8 billion Tata group, has evolved from an Indian voice business to a truly global technology company. Its huge network infrastructure enables enterprises to reach more than 240 countries and territories and 99.7% of the world’s GDP, connecting businesses and people across the globe to drive the growth of the digital economy. Everything the company does — cloud computing, collaboration technologies and mobile connectivity — is underpinned by its state-of-the-art network.

Innovation is at the heart of Tata Communications, and the mission of its internal innovation program, 'Shape the Future,' is to find the next big idea in technology harnessing connectivity. As Tata Communications’ corporate innovation partner, RocketSpace supports this mission by arming the company with insights, strategy and execution tools to rapidly pursue opportunities that will make the biggest impact on the business — today and in the future.

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Challenge

To accelerate innovation in the business, Tata Communications is fostering a culture of intrapreneurship + the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization. Creating a culture that encourages this mindset is the first step. Yet, some large businesses’ quest to innovate can be held back due to:

  1. the four walls surrounding budding intrapreneurs. Innovation stifles when kept inside corporate walls.
  2. having to keep up with a fast pace of change.
  3. ineffectively pitching new ideas to decision-makers.

To ensure it wouldn’t be held by these challenges, Tata Communications executives and employees decided to break free from the comfort of their everyday workplace and immerse themselves in a unique environment that facilitates entrepreneurial thinking, as well as open their eyes to how startups work, what they’re working on, and why they should care. Tata Communications wanted to work with a partner that could not only educate, but also provide tangible steps leading toward action and business value.

Solution

In less than 8 weeks, RocketSpace designed a week-long immersion program that drew more than 25 Tata Communications executives and employees from all over the world, including Paris, London, Hong Kong and India. Meeting at RocketSpace’s tech campus in San Francisco allowed participants to get out of their comfort zone and experience a cultural immersion into the Silicon Valley startup world.

In a single week, Tata Communications participants experienced a highly practical, hands-on program covering:

  • how startups work and how to work more like them,
  • major disruptive trends and companies that could affect Tata Communications’ business,
  • practical skills required of successful intrapreneurs,
  • in-person introductions to relevant, industry-leading startups, how they work and what they’re working on,
  • and critical skills needed to pitch new product concepts to management.

Full days of workshops were topped off with onsite visits to meet local tech innovators, such as Airbnb and Cisco’s Innovation Hub.

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Impact

The immersion program was supported all the way up to the CEO of Tata Communications. Executives and employees walked away with actionable insights, tested skills and relevant relationships that will help speed up execution in the company’s journey toward finding the next big idea in technology harnessing connectivity.

RocketSpace’s unique access, ecosystem and independent position created immediate value for Tata Communications participants including:

Speed

A focused week dedicated to driving new opportunities and solutions proven to shorten the cycle. Months of development and discussions were condensed to one week. Internal challenges that would have taken months to solve were explored, discussed and decided in a matter of minutes.

Opened eyes and doors

Immersion in RocketSpace’s tech campus and unique access to nascent startups gave the executives and employees a sneak peek to the latest disruptive trends. Within a week, they saw the future of the industry with new eyes.

New mindset and skills

Participants, including finalists in Tata Communications’ highly anticipated Shape the Future pitch contest, are now equipped with critical new skills — and attitude — that they need to sell their ideas to top decision-makers.

The possibilities are endless for Tata Communications: new partnerships, game-changing new technologies and, most importantly, a team prepared to imagine new opportunities and bring them to market.

"RocketSpace is a key partner in our 'Shape the Future' program, helping to identify new technologies and business models, accelerate our projects, and bridge the gap between corporate and start-up culture. Not only is it purposeful and to the point, it is a very enjoyable partnership. Our participants are simply delighted!"

Alexandre Pelletier, Head of Innovation, Tata Communications
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