Tata Innovation day

The first Tata Innovation Day awards function got under way with the inauguration of the event by chief guest Dr J J Irani, chairman of Tata Quality Management Services (TQMS), and the introduction of judges — eminent quality consultant Suresh Lulla, managing director Quimpro Consultants, Baldridge assessor Doug Serrano, the CEO of the world's largest logistics services, and Veer Prakash, research and technology head, Honeywell Technology Solutions Lab, India. The criteria for the selection of the innovation were announced. Each team was allotted 18 minutes to present its innovative idea or product.

Tata Tea kicked off the inaugural event with a presentation on the formation of KDHP (Kanan Devan Hill Plantations) through an employee buy-out. Poor financial performance and growing focus on the branded business led to the idea of an employee buy-out by workers at all levels.

The second presentation was by TAL Manufacturing Systems, whose breakthrough innovation was the WASHMACH machine. This is a standardised machine that utilises simultaneous rotating and dunking process for washing that is not available in conventional industrial washing machines.

VSNL with its project titled 'Telephone Call Routing Processor', Tata Steel on 'Customer Value Management' and TCS with their workbench innovation on professional design and development for technical information and documentation followed with their presentations. Presentations by Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Projects and Tata Chemicals took the programme through to lunch.

Tata Chemicals with its in-house concept 'Steeljunction' was the star of the afternoon, which won the second prize. 'Steeljunction' is a 25,000-square feet, organised retail store, split into two floors, which showcase a wide variety of products made from steel. According to Baldridge assessor Doug Serrano who was one of the judges, this was a unique concept not seen anywhere in the world and it rightly deserved to finish in the top three.

Metal Junction, TCS and Tata Motors were the other presenters on their innovations. Tata Motors with its unique innovation on the design of a two-cylinder diesel engine for ACE won the second runner-up prize.

The final session had Roots Corporation, the budget hotel chain of the Tata Group talking about its breakthrough hotels concept, called Ginger, that featured high quality, self service hotels in the sub-Rs1,000 tariff catgory. This was followed by the presentation of a second innovation by Titan Industries, whose presentation on mould setting in jewellery manufacturing won them the award for the best innovation.

The presentations by Tata Refractories and Tata Chemicals brought the event to a close. A short movie on innovation was shown which was followed by the prize distribution ceremony.