With the year 2020 now over and done with, what were some of your biggest learnings from the year? How will these learnings help you grow your market position in 2021?
In the past, we have faced & overcome situations like recession, market downturn and other challenges. 2020 was a special year. I must say, and I am sure everyone will agree, the times of crisis also offer opportunities – for example, the rapid acceleration of digitalisation and the way we work by being more agile. I strongly believe that the adoption of digitalised ways of working has opened new avenues to touch base with our customer and cater to their requirements. An organisation that is lean and is ready to take on the challenges faster surely has an edge in terms of satisfying customer requirements. The advancing digitalisation brings new challenges and at the same time additional opportunities.
What is your outlook on the current state of the industry? Do you foresee a change in market dynamics? In what ways are you expecting the market dynamics to metamorphose in the coming year?
The market shows a sign of positive revival and yet remains dynamic, subject to many unknowns, from the trajectory of the virus and potential vaccines or therapies to economic recovery regionally and globally. Many sectors are moving towards normal working, however, other segments, like aerospace, would join the pace soon. Very specific to India, the market is going to be positive due to the various steps taken by the government of India, like the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan under the 'Make in India' programme. This will give a trajectory to medium- and small-scale industries to grow faster and contribute in a big way to the country’s GDP. This makes me look forward to this year 2021 with more confidence.
What changes do you intend to bring into your organisation to ensure it adapts to the evolving market competition and meets the changing customer requirements in the future?
A future that will embrace digitalisation! ‘Engineering Kompetenz’ & digital expertise go hand-in-hand at Walter. We will continue to concentrate on the automation & digitalisation of our internal and sales-related processes. Virtual engineering, process mining and digital co-workers are, therefore, just a few keywords for the initiatives that will digitise and, thus, change the way of working.
For our customers, we will continue to leverage our unique ‘Kompetenz’, offering ever greater products and machining solutions with an ease of digital connect, like the Walter Nexxt - Keep up with Industry 4.0, Walter GPS, Walter Innotime and various Walter Machining apps. To virtually integrate customers into process development (remote engineering), we have equipped machining equipment with cameras and microphones, which transmit images, sound and all machining parameters via livestream from the Walter India Technology Center. We, along with our channel partners, are digitally well-equipped to provide customers innovative machining solutions in these challenging times.
In the year 2021, what according to you will be some of the big ideas that would make their way into the market, in terms of advanced technology adoption, innovation, shop floor operations, workforce management, skilling, upskilling & reskilling, as well as supply chain management?
Safety would remain our top priority and we all must follow local regulations to lighten the effects of the pandemic. Adoption of the new way of working, virtual know-how transfer to our customers, upgrading the skills through online training, etc, would be an ongoing process. As a result, we would be able to cater to our customers’ needs and requirements by combining the Engineering Kompetenz of our employees with the virtual intelligence of our software systems, digital tools, apps, e-commerce and many more. Walter’s 100-year history has shown us that we have always faced great challenges. We have, however, always embraced such challenges and used them to pave a path for a successful future.