Ashish Khushu, chief technology officer, Larsen & Toubro Technology Services (LTTS), the business division of engineering major Larsen & Toubro, reveals the companies’ latest trends, revenue, growth and the scope of an engineering hub in India.
What are the new trends that you are witnessing in the Indian automotive market?
The five big trends that we are seeing in our discussions in India are electrification; in-vehicle entertainment system (Infotainment); driver assist functions; consolidation of platform architectures; safety and efficiencies.
We believe that we will see a high increase in investments in all the above areas which will address increasing consumer expectations in areas of driving comfort, safety, compliance and enriched user experience while driving down costs. We also see cross-pollination of technologies and experiences of global markets influencing design for India.
While what comes obviously to mind when we talk of all the above is the automotive segment, it may come as a surprise to many that there is also an increase in interest of application of these new technologies across all segments of transportation including off-highway, commercial vehicles and agricultural equipment in the Indian market.
What is the company’s future roadmap and areas of focus?
Very clearly, we are focused on building platforms, IP (Intellectual Property) and competency in the areas of autonomy, automotive security, real-time decision making software platform and deep expertise in Advanced Vehicle Control Systems.
What is the company’s revenue, growth and investment in R&D?
L&T Technology Services is on track to deliver at least 16 percent revenue growth over our FY2018 topline. As of the quarter ended June 2018, revenues for the last 12 months stood at $622 million (Rs 3,930 crore). Of this, the transportation practice accounts for over a third.
We have a dedicated team to work on platforms, solutions and IP, across business units under the CTO Organisation, with a clear charter of looking at building new assets and maturing existing assets, which are critical to the strategic plans of our customers. This is in addition to a very strong innovation culture being encouraged in the employees through a consistent programmatic approach.
Many companies are partnering and acquiring start-ups. What is LTTS’ view on such engagements?
Innovation initiatives are an intrinsic part of our plans. They are directed inwards as well as outwards. And while we are in the process of establishing around 10 CoEs (Centres of Excellence) with educational institutions, specifically in areas of new technologies across India, we are also engaged intensely with start-ups globally. The avenues of exploration include participation in international forums as well as NASSCOM’s start-up incubation program.
Our view of engagement is driven primarily by a consideration of the possibility of implementing the solution within nine to 15 months. This is, in our view, an important criteria as relevance and monetisation of the solution are of utmost priorities to all stakeholders involved.
You have R&D labs internationally with around 4,000 engineers. Do you plan to set up an engineering hub in India as well?
LTTS has 42 different labs catering to all the verticals we serve. We also have centres of excellence in the United States, Europe and Israel focused on automotive engineering, hi-tech and security. The labs serve as incubation centres for new technologies.
Specific to transportation, we have over half-a-dozen labs, including a vehicle tear-down facility in Vadodara, material testing centre in Chennai and a centre for tyre and polymer testing again in Vadodara.
(This interview was first published in the October 1, 2018 issue of Autocar Professional)
Also read: L&T Technology Services' Shailendra Shrivastava: 'Hybrid and connected vehicles should be complemented with supporting infrastructures'