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Transport Corporation of India collaborates with IIM Bangalore to launch the TCI-IIMB Supply Chain Sustainability Lab

The lab aims to advance Sustainable Supply Chain Management in India through research and consulting

28 April, 2023, Bengaluru: India’s leading integrated multimodal logistics and supply chain solutions provider, Transport Corporation of India Ltd. (TCI Group), in collaboration with Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), today launched a new sustainability lab at the IIMB campus with a focus on supply chain management. The TCI-IIMB Supply Chain Sustainability Lab (TCI-IIMB SCSL) will be a one-of-its-kind centre of excellence in sustainable supply chain practices, dissemination and advocacy.

This new lab is a testament of IIMB’s commitment to academic excellence, research and innovation in the areas of sustainability and supply chain. It will be a vital resource for the academic community and the wider business fraternity.

The lab was inaugurated by renowned Indian cardiac surgeon Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman and Executive Director of Narayana Health and Chairperson, Board of Governors, IIMB, along with DP Agarwal, Chairman of Transport Corporation of India. 

Dr. Devi Shetty pointed out that Supply Chain is an important foundation on which the development of nations depends. “Our government has made several regulatory changes addressing many hurdles in this domain. However, two issues remain – sustainability – in terms of pollution control and efficiency – in terms of digitalization, are two key areas that need to be addressed. A lab like the TCI-IIMB Supply Chain Sustainability Lab will fill this gap and come up with brilliant solutions for these issues, while also contributing to bringing down diseases caused by pollution and reducing costs.”

DP Agarwal unveiled the logo and stated that the lab is aligned to IIMB’s ethos of sustainability in fostering excellence in management, innovation and entrepreneurship. “In a structured and professional way, the lab will help foster green practices, which will deliver positive outcomes.”

Prof. Jitamitra Desai, Chairperson and faculty of the Decision Sciences area, also the former Chairperson of the Supply Chain Management Centre at IIMB, delivered the welcome address, saying the new lab is the culmination of several interactions with the industry on sustainability and digitalization that happened over the last two years.

This was followed by an address by Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan, Director, IIM Bangalore, who spoke about the objective of setting up such a lab at the institute. “IIMB’s Supply Chain Management Centre has close interaction with the industry, which also results in various live projects for our students as well. In today’s globalized world, the impact of sustainability and digitalization on supply chains is part of business strategy. As we move into two new areas – impact of digitalization on supply chains, and bringing in sustainability into all aspects of supply chains, a lab like this has special significance.”

The inauguration also saw Vineet Agarwal, Managing Director of TCI Group, launching the beta version of a GHG Measurement Tool. This tool named TEMT has a multilingual interface, enabling the grassroots level adoption by India’s logistics and supply chain ecosystem. It covers all modes of transportation, that is, road, rail, air and sea.

In his address, Vineet Agarwal spoke in detail about the Transportation Emission Measurement Tool. “You cannot improve unless you measure. Investors, customers and regulators all want us to measure, monitor and mitigate emissions. As a nation and business community in India, we encountered two challenges in mitigating emissions from transportation: the lack of proper transportation emission factors and a tool to measure such emissions. There was no ready reference. This tool will address both the issues. We believe that this lab will build a community of problem solvers, by combining research with industry expertise, helping us address the challenges in a clean and green way.”

Dr. Aditya Gupta, COO, SCMC at IIMB, walked the audience through a live demo of the tool – TEMT developed by the TCI-IIMB Supply Chain Sustainability Lab. “The tool has a dashboard that helps the user measure, monitor and mitigate emissions, and a scale. It provides reports for users. We have lots of plans for phase 2 in the development of the tool.”  

Rajkiran Kanagala, Senior Vice President and Group Head, Business Strategy, TCI, discussing features and future of the tool, said: “There is transparency in the calculation of emission, and it has an API which can be part of the ERP. There is a provision for EVs too. To ensure ease of use for all logistics players in the ecosystem, the tool is multilingual.”

Sreejit Roy, Senior Partner, Computing & Green IT, IBM, busted a few myths around sustainability. “A lab like this with a tool like TEMT can go a long way in showing us how to include sustainability in design, architecture and code.”

Anand Ganapathy Chennira, Chief Strategy Officer, SUN Mobility and alumnus of IIMB, said: “India’s movement to commercial EV is starting from two- and three-wheelers. Economics is driving the green movement in this segment. A gig economy also blurs the lines between personal and commercial vehicles. Swappable batteries will not only bring down cost of vehicles, but also aid movement to net zero. This is an exciting space, and a tool like TEMT can be very useful to this sector.” 

The session concluded with a vote of thanks by Prof. Jitamitra Desai and media interaction with Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan and Vineet Agarwal.

About TCI-IIMB Supply Chain Sustainability Lab: The TCI-IIMB Supply Chain Sustainability Lab plans to conduct research in areas such as decarbonization, circular economy and sustainable procurement, and publish white papers on sustainable supply chain management topics. It will also offer consulting services on carbon-related mapping, measurement, mitigation and management. Moreover, it targets to provide certification and assessment services, such as supplier sustainability assessment. It has already initiated research projects, white papers and case studies, and is partnering with other organizations such as WRI India, Herbal Life, etc.

Link to webpage: https://www.iimb.ac.in/tci-supply-chain-sustainability-lab

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