Walmart launches Center for Tech Excellence at IIT Madras

The center will work towards developing cutting-edge solutions that will help MSMEs adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) along with digitization to drive operational efficiency and profitability

   
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Walmart Global Tech (WGT) has partnered with Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) to establish the Walmart Center for Tech Excellence-dedicated to empowering Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the manufacturing and retail sectors. The center will work towards developing cutting-edge solutions that will help MSMEs adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) along with digitization to drive operational efficiency and profitability.

This partnership is another step ahead in Walmart’s commitment to equip local entrepreneurs with tools to augment their businesses and promote sustained growth for the Indian MSME sector. The center will work towards building an open-sourced, domain-agnostic platform that will develop engineering analytics solutions, making them widely accessible. Additionally, the center will build a repository of case studies to accelerate AI adoption in the manufacturing and retail industries. These case studies will also be leveraged to deliver skilling programs focused on the basics of AI and its application in the sectors.

Walmart Center for Tech Excellence was launched at an inaugural event in the presence of Suresh Kumar, Global Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Development Officer (CDO), Walmart Inc., Balu Chaturvedula, SVP & Country Head, Walmart Global Tech and Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, Prof. Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Dean (Global Engagement), IIT Madras and Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras. Key leaders from Walmart and senior faculty members of IITM were also present at the event.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Suresh Kumar, Global CTO and CDO, Walmart Inc. said, “As a people-led, tech-powered organization, we believe in using technology to serve people-and not the other way round. The Walmart Center for Tech Excellence reiterates our commitment to communities and purpose to help people live better. As an IITM alumnus, I am especially proud of our ongoing partnership. I’m both excited and confident about the potential of our center to drive innovation in AI and make a positive impact in the MSME community in India.”

Addressing the launch event, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras said, “The growth of MSMEs is very crucial for economic prosperity. IIT Madras has initiated many projects in this direction including the one that helps MSMEs in reducing energy consumption. The research carried out through the Walmart Center will be of immense value to the MSMEs.”

Sharing his thoughts at the inauguration, Balu Chaturvedula, SVP & Country Head, Walmart Global Tech said, “Walmart has a long history of improving the communities that we serve. Today
, this value extends from the physical to the digital worlds. We believe in building long-lasting relationships with the academia to help our communities thrive and live better. Our collaboration with IIT Madras is a testament to this commitment. It’s a proud moment to witness the launch of the Walmart Center for Tech Excellence and its vision to deliver value through technology for the MSME community in India.”

Outlining the vision of the Center, its Principal Investigator, Prof. Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Dean (Global Engagement), IIT Madras said, “Through this Center, we hope to support MSMEs with cutting-edge technologies in AI and IoT, provide a domain-agnostic solution platform for AI/ML implementations and upskill the manpower to be able to leverage these technologies to be globally competitive.”

Speaking about the partnership with Walmart Global Tech, Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras said, “With Artificial Intelligence impacting every walk of life, there is an urgent need to improve and empower MSME processes and operations through AI. The Walmart Center for Tech Excellence is perfectly positioned to democratize access to AI. We are grateful to Mr. Suresh Kumar, Global CTO and CDO, Walmart Inc. and a Distinguished Alumnus of IIT Madras for gracing the occasion of this launch.”

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is a people-led, tech-powered omnichannel retailer helping people save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 255 million customers and members visit more than 10,500 stores and numerous eCommerce websites in 19 countries. With fiscal year 2024 revenue of $648 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.1 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy, and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart, on X (formerly known as Twitter) at twitter.com/walmart, and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/walmart.

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