In 2014, Tech Mahindra built its first Makers Lab in Pune, India. Attracting experts, students, young and old, the innovation center today brings together clever minds in business, academia, and the general public to work on the future of the hottest emerging technologies. Since the inauguration of the first lab in Pune, Tech Mahindra has founded six satellite labs all over the world. Now, a seventh Makers Lab is being built in Espoo, Finland.
“Setting up a Makers Lab in Finland was a very natural choice for us due to all the innovation happening there right now, especially in quantum computing, augmented reality, and generative AI. The work there is top notch and being in Finland makes a lot of sense for us also in terms of our European customers and partners – Finland is a good access point especially to the Nordic countries,” says Nikhil Malhotra, Chief Innovation Officer of Tech Mahindra.
Taking a lead in quantum computing
Being a tech hotbed, with an academic community led by Aalto University as well as a vibrant cluster of companies ranging from startups to multinational corporations, Espoo was great fit for Tech Mahindra’s innovation needs in Finland. As the instigator of Tech Mahindra’s innovation centers, Malhotra envisions that the new lab in Espoo will become a communal idea generation hotspot, just as the mother lab in Pune.
Being in Finland makes a lot of sense for Tech Mahindra also in terms of their European customers and partners.
“Aalto is a great university, especially in terms of what they do in computer science design, and that was one of the major factors that made us want to build our Makers Lab in Espoo. Being close to Aalto gives us access to young talent, who can work for us as interns and later potentially join us as employees. In Pune, you see kids of the age of 15 or 16 coming to the lab and giving us ideas. That is the kind of space we want to create in Espoo as well,” Malhotra describes.
To create solutions for markets near and far, the Espoo lab will join forces with its fellow Makers Labs all over the world, sharing knowhow and research, but also taking the lead in chosen areas: “I’m hoping the lab in Finland will take a very independent position on quantum computing. Finland is known for being one of the best places in the world for quantum,” notes Malhotra.
Seamless access and connections through Business Finland
For years already, Business Finland has supported Tech Mahindra by connecting the tech giant to Finnish companies in different fields.
“Business Finland has been working in India for seven years. Meeting regularly with Tech Mahindra’s senior management since 2018, we presented them with the idea of founding an innovation lab also in Finland. Over the years, we have arranged information sharing and brainstorming sessions as well as stakeholder meetings with Finnish companies,” describes Puneet Thakur, Head of Invest In and Innovation Collaboration of Business Finland in New Delhi.
"The collaboration with Business Finland has helped us seamlessly connect to universities as well as important partners." – Nikhil Malhotra
“Coming to Espoo was inspired by our chats with Business Finland. The collaboration with their team has helped us seamlessly connect to universities such as Aalto as well as important partners like IQM. Business Finland gave us access to the Espoo region as well as timely information and guidance on how to go about in Finland,” Malhotra commends.
A valuable addition to the Finnish business ecosystem
Operating in 90 countries as one of the most globally connected IT services companies, Tech Mahindra is an experienced heavy hitter in tech with a lot to offer the Finnish business ecosystem. The company serves customers across multiple domains but tackles problem-solving and R&D with an entrepreneurial mindset.
“Tech Mahindra provides Finnish companies and academia with an understanding of what global customers are looking for in different markets. It also creates a platform for innovative Finnish startups and SMEs to co-develop solutions for these markets, which might otherwise be out of reach for smaller companies. All in all, Tech Mahindra brings a lot of knowledge and capabilities to the Finnish business ecosystem,” says Janne Kari, Head of Industry, ICT and Digitalisation at Invest in Finland, part of Business Finland.
”As one of the forerunners in our domain, we want to bring our innovation activities to Finland. It is obviously enriching for us and our customers but hopefully also for the community and corporate world in Finland at large,” says Malhotra.
This article was first published on 28 November by Business Finland.