What is your outlook on the current business scenario and what are the changes anticipated this year? How optimistic are you in terms of the economy bouncing back on track?
The Indian auto industry is still recovering from, what could be said, the biggest slowdown in sales in the last decade. Market sentiments that started showing signs of deceleration around the festive season in 2018 are yet to come back to normal levels even after a year having passed, with the industry witnessing such an adverse business scenario. This slowdown came in at a time when the Indian auto sector was gearing up to transition through a variety of new developments and challenges, such as the shift from BS IV to BS VI, new safety and crash norms, introduction of new age products from global auto OEMs setting up manufacturing bases in India, and of course, the much talked about and anticipated shift towards electric vehicles.
Going ahead, as our government is envisioning making India a $5 trillion economy in the next few years, the manufacturing sector has the potential to reach $1 trillion by 2025, the automobile sector being a major contributor to the same. Moreover, with more and more global OEMs coming to India, the next few years will be crucial for Indian OEMs, from the investment perspective.
What is your agenda / plan-of-action for the year 2020 in order to be competitive and stay relevant to customers and catch up with the growth momentum?
Currently, for our auto business, we are getting ready for a plethora of opportunities on the technology front. We will be able to align with the end-consumer to provide and customise solutions to multiple platforms single-handedly. We strive to create solutions that are not only state-of-the-art but also affordable. Induction of latest global technology enables us to innovate and add value to all our offerings. Our recent acquisition of a majority stake in German auto major, Linde-Wiemann, manufacturer of complex structural components and assemblies, electric vehicle components, etc, to automotive OEMs worldwide has been a strategic move in this direction.
How should a company effectively bridge the gap between optimising the existing technologies and investing in advancements? Would you like to share examples from your organisation?
Technology, Innovative business model and People (TIP) are the three key pillars that we have established the foundations of our business on. We have been investing substantially in these three areas as a result of which the momentum of growth and evolution at our company has been significantly high.
Keeping with our vision of incorporating and upgrading our processes and systems with latest technology, graduating to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital manufacturing is a natural progression for us. AI will also aid in channelising the manpower towards value added jobs rather than repetitive and routine tasks. Our BI and MI tools and other processes are done through AI with real time data and analytics. We focus on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) principle, wherein, the intent is driving optimum value and cost optimisation from our products & solutions while constantly upgrading our benchmarks.
How can India build sustainable breakthrough ecosystems for nurturing global businesses and achieve manufacturing-driven growth? At the same time, how can the industry respond to uncertain economic cycles and technological disruptions, simultaneously?
A manufacturing driven organisation of the future must aim at customising its products and solutions basis cost, functionality or usage and aligning the same with its manufacturing processes i.e. synergies must be built around design to cost, design to functionality and design to manufacturing. Another key aspect that will be very critical going ahead is time to market; by way of business restructuring and process re-alignment, an organisation can reduce the time to market across all product offerings. Also, the ‘Fail fast & fail cheap’ approach acts as an essential tool for setting benchmarks for companies, getting into new business or products, to prosper in shorter turnaround time and with a better value of investments.
Developing nations like India have the advantage to vault to the next levels of development by learning from the already deployed and successful models of the western world. The key to success is how such global models, systems and technologies can be customised for local advantage. This means capitalising on the right skills, revolutionary frameworks, institutional companies and policy agendas.