Innovation and Programs Lead

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Date: 24 Nov 2023

Location: Mumbai, India

Company: Tata Communications

About the Function:

Corporate venturing and innovation team is part of the corporate strategy group at Tata Communications and is responsible for driving both internal and external innovation efforts through a range of programs and initiatives. This ranges from incubating early-stage ideas from concept to product-market fit, strategic investments in emerging technologies and partners, co-creating with customers, exploring and building strategic point of view on emerging technologies through proactive engagement with external innovation ecosystem.

Purpose of your Role:

• In this role, you will be responsible for driving our customer co-innovation engagements with our strategic customers globally. You will conceptualize use cases and user journeys that address specific problems of customers by bringing the power of Tata Communications Digital Fabric, cutting across multiple platforms, take these concepts into prototypes and demos for customers, and translate these into customer success. Your aim is to build mind share, conduct innovation workshops, discover, and drive co-innovation projects, working closely with the client team as well internal incubation and sales leaders.

• You will also drive our internal innovation programs and be responsible for taking early product / platform ideas / MVPs to product-market fit adopting an agile and lean start-up mindset, with a customer first approach, to incubate these ideas. Additionally, in this role you will lead the strategic fit analysis, evaluation and due diligence for strategic investments from time to time, working closely with the company and business unit leadership.

• You should be a self-starter, strong productization experience, customer and outcome focused while being extremely comfortable in working with ambiguity in a dynamic work environment.

Key Responsibilities:

• Drive the customer co-innovation program with strategic customers, working closely with regional sales, marketing, product incubation/innovation teams and client partners in different regions.

• Build strong thought leadership and point of view on emerging technologies aligned to customer’s business drivers and challenges, in order to put together and deliver a strong innovation agenda for customer co-innovation, working closely with product, marketing and sales teams

• As a customer co-innovation champion, conduct customer innovation workshops leading to meaningful outcomes in terms of co-innovation ideas, POCs and build a strong funnel of opportunities for early-stage innovation portfolio of Tata Communications

• Conceptualize, design and deliver disruptive transformation ideas / use case journeys across areas like digital customer experience, supply chain / logistics, industry 4.0, smart retail, smart banking, smart manufacturing etc.

• Comfortable with and having demonstrated engagement with start-up and innovation community to discover industry pain points / challenges, discover and validate innovative solutions / models, to build rich point of views on customer co-innovation.

• Engage with the external ecosystem, investors, startups and industry experts to understand different industry challenges and generate innovative ideas and solutions for problems that need solving leveraging emerging technologies, to enrich point of views for customer workshops.

• Ability to translate use stories and user journeys to demonstratable prototypes and solutions, often leveraging the power of multiple platforms and solutions from Tata Communications, sometimes in collaboration with external partners and customer.

• Proactively drive pre-workshop preparation and post workshop actions working closely with cross functional teams at Tata Communications, to ensure impactful outcomes.

• Come up with innovation models of innovating with customers and help execute them working closely with rest of the Corporate Innovation team and business leaders.

Key Responsibilities:

• Drive the internal innovation program at Tata Communications, from running internal ideation challenges, discover and conceptualize new disruptive ideas, drive incubation of prioritized projects and take them from prototype to MVP and initial customer success.

• In this responsibility, you will need to drive new idea incubation with agility in mind, adopting a lean startup methodology and proactively bringing in technology and development partners, potential customers, and internal project team.

• Drive strategic investments in promising technologies and early-stage companies, that offer unique and futuristic capabilities to innovation and build / expand offerings into the market

• Lead and enable the end-to-end investment process from initial target identification to building the strategic partner vs invest rationale, due diligence, and internal investment process, working closely with internal stakeholders, financial partner and investee company

• Manage and provide regular updates on strategic investments to the senior leadership and the board on periodic basis

• In all of the envisaged responsibilities in this role, the incumbent will need to engage with Tata Communications’ leadership teams and ensure sustained and proactive communications with all stakeholders at all times

• Be a strong advocate and build the brand for Tata Communications’ Innovation program in the region and around the world

• Build an active pipeline of customer opportunities and take them from identification, qualification, discovery, pitch, and deal wins.

You Are (Behaviours to display aligned to DRIVE):

• Demonstrated experience in driving and managing strategic investments / strategic partner engagements.

• Strong solutions mindset and bias for action.

• Strong financial acumen to be able to translate innovation ideas into business case for customer as well as for investment analysis.

• Passionate about customer success with demonstrated impact / results.

• A blend of business / transformation acumen and strong technology understanding to be able to have a range of conversations and ideation sessions with CxOs in the customer organization.

• Must possess demonstrated and hands on experience in conceptualizing, designing, and delivering disruptive transformation ideas / use case journeys across areas like digital customer experience, supply chain / logistics, industry 4.0, smart retail, smart banking, smart manufacturing etc.

• Process oriented with the ability to effectively multi-task in a very fast paced environment.

• Attention to detail, problem-solving, productization and strong solution orientation.

• Strong presentation and strategic analysis skills with ability to build strategic points of views / thought leadership.


• Strong work ethic with flexible schedule and the ability to thrive and be successful in an ever-changing environment.

• Strong communication skills to interface with both internal and external stakeholders.

Qualification and Experience:

  • Bachelors’ degree in a STEM field with a post graduate degree in management from a reputed institute.
  • 10-15 years of relevant experience.

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