There are opportunities to rethink business models and operating models, as well as build the necessary green infrastructure.
TV Narendran is optimistic about the future. He is excited by opportunities he believes Tata Steel can seize on, as well as by the challenges that will push companies to adapt and adjust.
For him, a key learning from the past year is the importance of building supply chain resilience, brought to the forefront of the business agenda due to the pandemic and ongoing geopolitical uncertainties.
“The pandemic and the events in Europe have shown us how interconnected we are as a world,” he says. “To me, geopolitical issues are the number one risk. I think we all need to build optimized and resilient supply chains.” Although a resilient supply chain may not be the most cost efficient, he believes disruption and change can bring opportunity. “There are opportunities to rethink business models and operating models, as well as build the necessary green infrastructure.”
TV Narendran is clear that for Tata Steel to progress in tackling its carbon output they must be ambitious, but realistic about what this will require. “He is actively pushing to make the changes needed, having set a goal for the company to be net zero by 2045, the earliest timeframe committed to by any large steel company. Tata Steel is also working with start-ups on carbon capture technology, setting up recycling centers and making its facilities greener.
Tata Steel supported and assisted Indian communities throughout the pandemic, including by supplying thousands of tons of oxygen and providing free treatment for COVID-19.
Tata Steel is familiar with being embedded in and supporting communities, and TV Narendran believes an organization’s corporate purpose must include giving back.
He recognizes that the pandemic made businesses change how they operate, pushing Tata Steel and others to localize supply chains and look beyond traditional sources to find solutions to a crisis with a deadline many would have thought impossible.
“I'm hopeful this will lead to more innovation and more ideas. Who would have thought the COVID-19 vaccine could be developed in six months?” He firmly believes businesses can and will adapt their models if the right incentives and infrastructure are in place. “Whenever there is a crisis, I'm confident the world will find a solution.”
As a global business, Tata Steel faces many pressures, but TV Narendran believes initiatives to ensure the business stays “future ready” will be beneficial. “My focus is on ensuring Tata Steel is culturally, structurally and financially future ready — to ensure we are ready for the challenges, but also ready to seize on opportunities.”
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