Walmart Global Tech (WGT) is partnering with Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) to accelerate research in new areas of technology, provide Walmart associates with continuing education and collaborate on projects for Corporate Social Responsibility for their India operations.
The MoU was signed at an event in Chennai in the presence of Mr. Suresh Kumar, Global Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Development Officer (CDO), Walmart Inc., (and alumnus of IITM), Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean – Alumni and Corporate Relations, IITM and the U.S. Consul General in Chennai Ms. Judith Ravin. Key leaders from Walmart and senior faculty members of IITM were also present at the event.
Through this corporate partnership, IITM students and WGT associates will work on research projects together, facilitated by the Centre for Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research (IC&SR) at IITM.
In addition, WGT will use space in the IIT Madras Research Park to leverage the broader ecosystem and work with the start-up companies incubated by the IIT Madras Incubation Cell. WGT will also have access to several short and long-term education and training programs to upskill talent and fit the changing needs of the retail and eCommerce industry.
Commenting on the occasion, Suresh Kumar, Global CTO and CDO, Walmart Inc., said “WGT develops and manages the foundational technologies on which our customer experiences around the world are built. We are a human-led, tech-empowered company, and our talented associates in India are critical to driving Walmart’s global businesses and leading the next retail disruption. Many of our associates, including me, sharpened our engineering and analytical skills while studying at IITM. Our association with IITM will help us further empower our teams, collaborate on digital innovation, and strengthen the education ecosystem in India.”
Speaking about this partnership with WGT, Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IITM, said, “WGT and IITM have many areas for collaborative growth such as sustainability, AI, and energy engineering. We are keen to grow this into an impactful partnership to benefit a broad cross-section of stakeholders including students and faculty members of IIT Madras.”
U.S. Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin said, “I welcome the collaboration between global retail giant Walmart and India’s topmost technology institution IITM. Industry-academic partnerships are a great way to strengthen higher education and create a highly skilled workforce that can contribute to our mutual economic prosperity.”
WGT and IITM will also engage in CSR activities, in addition to grants that will be made to support faculty research and students with scholarships and fellowships. WGT will undertake sponsoring events, advertisements, and other branding activities to further support IITM.