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Varun Gadhok, Head—Manufacturing, Autodesk India & SAARC

Image: Autodesk

Smart Manufacturing “Bringing a set of tools to one platform”

Jul 18, 2017

…says Varun Gadhok, Head—Manufacturing, Autodesk India & SAARC, in an interaction with Maria Jerin, while highlighting his company’s latest initiatives to benefit customers in the design and manufacturing environment. Excerpts…

Autodesk has adopted its strategy as ‘The Future of Making Things’? What is this all about and what are the significant design & technology trends that are taking this forward?

Owing to the upcoming advanced manufacturing technologies, the means of production are rapidly changing. Innovations like distributed manufacturing, near-shoring of productions, industrial applications of 3D printing are giving rise to a new era of Industrial Revolution, the Industry 4.0. Industries have to now cater to the requirements of an ever evolving, savvier consumer class that prizes customisation and individual utility over brand. This is leading to the scenario where the entire production and manufacturing process is getting transformed with the help of technology that enables agility, mobility and connection. This is the ‘Future of Making Things’ that is marked by the convergence of how things are designed, made and used across traditionally distinct sectors. We are observing three major catalysts of disruption: ‘Means of Production’, ‘The Nature of Consumer Demand’ and ‘Product (Connected Things)’, aligned with this phenomenon of convergence.

How is the Indian market for Autodesk? How do you strategise your business model for India?

In India, to address the traditional challenges of cost, time overruns and better product innovation, it is important to leverage advanced and high-precision design technology. Autodesk’s go-to-market approach in India is presently focused on three key parameters: What, Where, How – What technology do the customers want (Availability), Where do they want to buy the technology from (Accessibility) and How do they want to (Affordability). The entire business model of Autodesk has undergone a drastic transformation over the past one and a half years, wherein, we have adopted a subscription-only model to provide our software as a service to the customers.

Lately, cloud platform is becoming a disruptive technology in the design field. How is your company leveraging it to benefit customers in the design and manufacturing environment?

With an understanding of the changing market requirements driven by cloud, we strive towards the democratisation of design technology by making our software available, accessible and affordable to large and small customers alike.

Autodesk’s Product Innovation Platforms bring together a set of connected design, manufacturing, and IoT tools in a single data-centred platform. The foundation of this cloud-based platform is Fusion 360, which provides parametric and direct modeling, mechanical engineering, drawings, visualisation, simulation, machining and Additive Manufacturing, all in one place and available on demand from any device via subscription starting at $25/month (free for students and startups).

What are the initiatives taken by Autodesk to develop the entrepreneurial skills in the Indian industry?

With the Entrepreneur Impact Program (EIP), Autodesk is enabling the innovators, entrepreneurs and creators to build a better world with impactful design, globally. It is helping designers and engineers create a future where all can live well and within the limits of the planet by supporting social entrepreneurs in creating solutions for local issues. Some of the key grantees of this program in India, so far are - Kabadiwalla Connect, Arcatron Mobility, FiasTech, Cerulean Enviro Tech, Prakti Design and Saral Designs. Recently, Autodesk and NIRD (National Institute of Rural Development) have signed an MOU to support product innovation of agriculture technology using advanced and globally acclaimed design technology.

Moving ahead, how do you foresee the Indian market?

We, at Autodesk, are looking forward to supporting the ‘Make in India’ by providing cutting-edge design technology to the manufacturers in India. Our focus will be on driving ‘Product Innovation Platform’ as the next paradigm of product design and innovation in the manufacturing sector that can help them create world-class products. We will also be introducing advanced technologies such as ‘Generative Design’ in the India market that combines the power of Artificial Intelligence and design.

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