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IIT Madras & Redington Announce Strategic Alliance to Enhance Supply Chain Expertise through Visiting Chair Professorship

IIT Madras & Redington Announce Strategic Alliance to Enhance Supply Chain Expertise through Visiting Chair Professorship

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has partnered with Redington, a global technology solution provider, to establish the ‘R Srinivasan International Visiting Chair’ dedicated to advancing research in logistics and supply chain management, with a special emphasis on sustainable practices.

A MoU towards establishing this International Visiting Chair Professorship was signed on 9th February 2024 by Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras, and Prof. J. Ramachandran, Chairman, Redington Limited. This partnership marks a significant stride towards fostering innovation and knowledge exchange in the realms of logistics and supply chain management.

Named in honour of Shri R. Srinivasan, the visionary Founder of Redington Group, the R Srinivasan International Visiting Chair aims to attract leading experts from across the globe to collaborate with faculty and researchers at IIT Madras. Together, they will dive into critical areas such as supply chain optimization, digital transformation, and sustainable supply chain practices.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras, said, “Supply Chain is becoming a very important aspect. It has many facets, not only from an economic point of view but security as well. A deep analysis of how a supply chain works is essential if we are to ascertain if a product will be delivered at a specific time during a crisis, among other things. Another thing we are looking at is how crucial is India in terms of supply chain. We can ascertain these aspects only through an in-depth analysis of Supply Chain.”

The collaboration underscores Redington’s commitment to leveraging technology to facilitate seamless product and service delivery. With its extensive international footprint and expertise in IT and mobility solutions, Redington brings invaluable insights to the academic landscape, while providing real-world applications for research endeavours.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri R. Srinivasan, Founder, Redington Group, said, “Supply Chain is the subject of serious study in the respective clusters. In India, Supply Chains constitute around 7-10% of their total costs. Post-COVID, and currently because of the various geo-political crises, the globalization of supply chains is under threat. The cost effectiveness of various countries in supply chain is giving way to acquiring as much resources as possible due to security issues. The best example is the case of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Am sure the incumbent of this Chair will spend time studying this issue.”

Shri R. Srinivasan added, “IIT Madras has several innovations to its credit with the IIT Madras Incubation Cell and the IIT Madras Research Park being well known in the industry. Hence, this institute is most apt to set up this Chair.”

Thanking the Redington Foundation for their generous contribution, Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras, said, “It is an honour that Shri R. Srinivasan, Founder, Redington Group, is associated with this Chair. This initiative, which will strengthen our Centre of Excellence on Smart Supply Chain and Logistics, extends the world’s best resources to Chennai and IIT Madras, enabling two-way meaningful collaborations, benefitting the industry at large.”

Embracing the essence of knowledge friction, Prof. J. Ramachandran, Chairman, Redington Limited, said, “Our commitment is to bridge the gap between technology innovation and adoption, especially in Emerging Markets. Our journey underscores the transformative power of technology at scale, driving the democratization of access and tackling the challenges of technology friction. Amidst the ever-expanding landscape of diverse technologies, our focus extends beyond merely managing market friction to proactively addressing technology friction, a cornerstone of our mission. As we embark on this path, the Chair Professorship stands as reassurance for collaboration between academia and industry, serving as a catalyst for pioneering research and development, innovation, and the implementation of cutting-edge solutions. Our endeavours encompass a wide spectrum of areas, ranging from Supply Chain Management to the digitization of logistics, leveraging the latest advancements in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to optimize operations and foster holistic management practices. Together, we pave the way for a future where knowledge transcends boundaries, empowering individuals and enterprises alike to thrive in an ever-evolving technological landscape. We believe these technologies will cause a third friction – what I call the KNOWLEDGE FRICTION. The newness and fast-paced nature of the emergence of these technologies suggest an urgent need to bridge the knowledge gap.”

Joining the ceremony were distinguished guests including Shri V. S. Hariharan, Group CEO of Redington Limited and Ms. Vasudha Narasimhan, Vice President, Office of Institutional Advancement, IIT Madras along with esteemed faculty members and researchers.

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