Sync: Co Innovation with Corporates – Opportunities for startups | AMA with Sridhar CV, Head Alliances, CTO Incubation Group of TCS

CIE conducted an interactive Ask Me Anything session with Sridhar CV, Head Alliances, CTO Incubation Group of TCS, as a part of ResilienceUnlocked series 2.0 – a Lockdown series designed for startups to tide over and unlock their potential during the pandemic.

Key Takeaways from the session

Coexistence of corporates and startups is a win-win situation for both sides. Corporates are looking for well-performing start-ups at every stage because of

  • the risk taking capabilities
  • identifying the latest demands
  • technological innovative ideas and
  • faster decision making abilities


while startups are looking for

  • better networking
  • market reach
  • funding
  • branding and testing of their products



Barriers in corporate-startup collaboration:

Some of the prominent challenges, as mentioned by the speaker, that result in the extended gap between the two entities, entails:

  • internal competition among startups
  • a set of qualification criteria that startups need to pass
  • Lack of verified channels to reach out to Corporates, for a Startup
  • Pitch readiness and alignment of expectations


Corporates approach different engagement Models for procurement of services of a start-up such as:

  • Direct sourcing
  • Co-creation
  • Strategic Partnership –  Joint sales effort, Acquihiring and Acquisitions
  • The COIN model



The Co-Innovation Network(COIN) Model at TCS:

The COIN model of TCS identifies disruptive technologies and start-ups and leverages the flexibility in terms of positioning in TCS while providing direct access to TCS sales, marketing, and client teams, along with introductions to affiliated investors such as venture capitalists, angel investors, and corporate venture capital. (Refer for more:


‘Seize the prospect’ during the COVID situation:

With COVID, different set of trends are emerging; there lies an opportunity for startups to catch up with these trends, work on emerging technological themes and come up with new innovative ideas.

The adoption of AI, IOT and Blockchain is highly expected to offer solutions and accelerate the operations to fight this global pandemic, create solutions and bring value to the customer.


“The key here, for startups to navigate, is patience”


Innovation endeavour by TCS:

TCS incubation team is responsible to look after what the company does in the next 2-3 years and TCS research team defines fundamental as well as thematic research areas for the next 10 years which are modelled around:

Explore – fundamental research area

Enable – engineering solutions

Evangelize – taking the innovations to market

Exploit – working with the customers, Deploy and iterate



Insightful? Watch this space for more such takeaways ↑→

Know more about our ResilienceUnlocked series here

Until next time!

– Sunita Kumari, Team CIE