Can you brief us on your company’s services globally and in India? What are your major target areas?
Dr Fubi: We promote quality and safety; not only for products, but also for manufacturing plants. Our Indian presence includes over 100 locations providing testing, training, inspection, consultancy and certification services to the industry through its industrial services, mobility, products, softlines, academy & life care and systems divisions.
Currently, we are quite active in functional safety. We have a strong team here that supports the German companies and their suppliers from other countries, who are also trying to establish safety equipment in this field. In the area of mobility, we carry periodical technical inspection of cars that needs to be imported to the European market. In addition, product testing related to household equipment is one of our major business verticals in India, where we provide certifications like ISO 9001. Cyber security is another field where we want to ensure safety and quality in the digital world.
How do you oversee the Indian market for the TUV Rheinland Group?
Fuhrmann: India is considered to be a key global player. Many countries & companies are already investing here—especially the auto manufacturers. TUV India has been registering a growth rate of 20 to 30% every year that reflects the market demand. We see a good business potential for the German industry. There are many ongoing projects with regard to ‘Make in India’, sponsored jointly by the German and Indian companies.
Apart from the automotive industry, we see a positive potential in IT, textile, machinery and infrastructure projects. However, I believe there is a huge gap in India’s infrastructure and qualified manpower.
What is your opinion on the recent rise in the number of electric vehicles? How do you foresee its future growth when compared to gasoline cars?
Dr Fubi: There will be more electric cars coming into the fleet; however, the growth in gasoline cars will be steeper than the growth of electric vehicles. We have to see electric vehicles as a complete system considering the charging infrastructure backed by a stable grid. From this logical standpoint, charging the electric vehicles with power generated from a coal power plant doesn’t make sense. The major driver for e-mobility is to reduce the CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. So, behind the stable grid, there should be power generated from the renewable sources.
Also looking at the cost perspective, e-mobility is quite expensive. In highly developed countries, e-mobility was introduced based on the subsidies. Now, photo voltaic panels are available all over the world with much cheaper price as compared to 10 years back. However, with respect to e-mobility, who is providing the charging infrastructure and subsidies will make a standpoint. Hence, huge investment is necessary to move towards e-mobility.
Globally, Industry 4.0 is considered as the next wave of industrial revolution. How can Indian companies leverage its existing potential to move towards this?
Fuhrmann: How to bring the different areas of business together, what we call digitalisation, is one of our main strategies in our business development. We have the expertise in place and India has been a pivotal IT-hub. So, I believe India is in a good shape to some extent. What is missing out is the production environment that can be definitely integrated though, I believe the basic issues in terms of infrastructure, skilled workforce, transportation and supply chain ecosystem needs to be addressed well.
How do you define Industry 4.0 concept? What are the safety and security standards you offer?
Dr Fubi: The discussion on Industry 4.0 is still ongoing – Is it just connectivity of machines or is it mass production at the lot size of one or is it the digital connectivity of the whole value chain? This is completely interconnected, which can enable the customers to design the product to be manufactured. These benefit in huge savings. Being very efficient is important, but if somebody hacks in, the outcome is very dangerous. There are not too many experts available in the area of industrial cyber-security. Quite often, the priority is not set high for cyber-security in manufacturing plants and power stations in comparison with the banking and finance industry. The recent ransomware attack is one such example underlining these issues. We are training and developing our people in industrial cyber-security.
Secondly, in the near future, the processes will be more and more automated and there will be more interactions between the humans and robots. Here, we need to ensure that robots are operating safely because a malfunction could cause dramatic issues. So, we are providing services in the field of functional safety to carry out the test & verification of robots, automation and control system.
Can you brief us about your new facility in Bengaluru? What are the latest technologies that are incorporated here?
Fuhrmann: We have expanded our footprint in India with a new 2.5 million euro facility located at Bengaluru. The new 14,000 sq mt facility houses all of its state-of-the-art laboratories under a single roof. This approach offers customers a complete solution that will reduce turn-around time and accelerate timeto- market. The laboratories include the photovoltaic lab, material testing lab, electrical safety lab, medical lab, battery testing lab and the Softlines testing lab. It is also home to the wireless IoT testing laboratory, which conducts radiated and conducted signal measurements as well as wireless alliance certification.
Moving ahead, what are your plans for the Indian market?
Dr Fubi: We are expecting our growth performance to continue. So, we are continuously investing in the Indian unit that enables maintaining more test equipment. We look forward to investing on training the workforce extensively.
Fuhrmann: Our company sustains the talent. We were able to build a really competent team over the past years. Ensuring a proper skill set and adhering to training modules as per our specific needs is a major challenge for us. To buy new equipment is easy, but to identify talent, motivating and qualifying them is a challenging task. ☐