Innovation hubs and co-working spaces are quikly gaining traction in India’s startup laden ecosystem. Many companies are now putting their best foot forward and setting up more of these centers. Along the same stream, navigation and mapping company TomTom has launched a brand new global state-of-the-art innovation hub in Pune.
Spread across over 1,000 square feet of workspace, the hub will come equipped with a range of stuff that will help employees manifest an entrepreneur like approach while solving day to day problems. And yes, it is absolutely free of cost to company employees.
Interestingly, the company said that the hub was meant to bring out the hidden entrepreneur in each of the company’s employees. Why this? Well, aren’t all entrepreneurs problem solvers at the most basic level? And as such, employees who can innovate are certainly advantageous for many companies including TomTom.
Speaking on the topic, Alain De Taeye, member of the TomTom management board, told ET,
Innovation is at the core of everything we do at TomTom and we’re excited to open this new facility in Pune. It’s great to build on our existing R&D and innovation centres around the world.
Of course, at TomTom, we believe that innovation can happen anywhere and encourage all our employees to be innovative in everything they do.
The move will benefit 800 present employees of the company, with the number expected to go up to 1,000 by the end of this year. The innovation hub will allow employees to transform their ideas into proof of concepts and prototypes leading to new innovations.
The facility is segregated into three sections, demonstration, experimentation and break-out areas, which will allow employees to explore the complete range of TomTom products. The demonstration area is packed with visual aid and products for a hands-on experience, the experimentation room houses TomTom products for reverse engineering, and the break-out room will provide an ecosystem for cultivation of new ideas.
As per Barbara Belpaire, General Manager – India of TomTom and head of the Innovation Hub,
The Innovation Hub reiterates TomTom’s approach of being an innovative company with a focus on nurturing the talent in India. This will give employees a platform to develop new software, technology, applications, services and futuristic consumer products in the wearables, map making and data services space.
We aim to contribute to the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ plan where our India team will contribute significantly to innovation globally.
Employees will also be able to take these products home for up to a week and experiment with them, modifying them by switching the hardware around or playing with the software. The idea of such a space for employees is certainly awesome and will develop an inquisitive mindset among the them while also helping them know more about their company’s products.