Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran, in his New Year letter to the Tata group employees, says there should be preparedness for disruption and volatility in 2024 and that global governance will be a key issue as the world finds new rules to protect data privacy, curb inflation, reduce carbon emissions and perceptions of artificial intelligence (AI) risk.

Considering the enormous potential of advanced technology like AI, Chandra urges the group employees to appoint an AI champion to proactively pursue the benefits of AI — economically, operationally and socially.

Generative AI, says Chandra, is a potential antidote to India's access and inequality problems — provided careful and right rules are introduced.

Geopolitics is also a potential source of volatility, says Chandra, while acknowledging that 2024 is a year of elections, with 40 nations heading to the polls.

In 2024, he says, there are three areas to prioritise -- execution, customer satisfaction and technology. "Now that we know what we have to do, and our plans have momentum, we need to think hard about how we can execute flawlessly and with speed," says Chandra.

On customer satisfaction, he says the next decade will belong to companies that excel in giving customers excellent experiences. "With our growing footprint in consumer businesses, we have to bring empathy to every interaction—be that in Air India, Tata Motors or Titan. Brand Tata must be recognisable across all companies."

In the area of technology, he says the Tata group’s aim should not be merely to adopt, or adapt to, technology. "We need to shape it, and make it." 

Terming 2023 a "tumultuous year", Chandra says the world faced an array of destabilising trends, from escalating geopolitical tensions to the mass adoption of generative AI to the ever-accelerating push toward sustainability. 

"Some of these trends have been welcome; others much less so. But all of them have made the rules and processes governing our world trickier to navigate—and all of them have added to the pressure to adapt."

The Tata group performed "admirably" in 2023, he says, adding the group's transformation — following the principles of simplification, synergy, scale, sustainability, supply chain and AI — has progressed well across companies. "We also celebrated Tata Technologies’ historic IPO, and the announcement of new gigafactories."

In 2023, the combined market capitalisation of Tata Group companies increased by 32%, nearly double the rate of the Sensex, which rose by 17%, says the Tata Group chairman.

On India's future, Chandra says it looks bright. "In 2023, we fared better than most. We showed admirable leadership at a historic G20 summit. Our economy is thriving, with GDP on track to double to USD 7 trillion over the next five years." 

He also mentions two biggest events that stood out for India in 2023 -- the country's trailblasing lunar mission and the Indian cricket team’s journey in the World Cup.

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